U. S. At Large

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No. 72.

Treaty With Spain for the Floridas

February 22, 1819

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There shall be a firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship between the United States and their citizens, and his Catholic Majesty, his successors and subjects, without exception of persons or places.


His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property and sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him, situated to the eastward of the Mississippi, known by the name of East and West Florida. . . .


The boundary line between the two countries, west of the Mississippi, shall begin on the Gulph of Mexico, at the mouth of the river Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of that river, to the 32d degree of latitude; thence, by a line due north, to the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Nachitoches, or Red River; then following the course of the Rio Roxo westward, to the degree of longitude 100 west from London and 23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River, and running thence, by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, following the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its source, in latitude 42 north; and thence, by that parallel of latitude, to the South Sea. The whole being as laid down in Melish’s map of the United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the first of January, 1818. But, if the source of the Arkansas river shall be found to fall north or south of latitude 42, then the line shall run from the said source due south or north, as the case may be, till it meets, the said parallel of latitude 42, and thence, along the said parallel, to the South Sea: All the islands in the Sabine, and the said Red and Arkansas rivers, throughout the course thus described, to belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the navigation of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said boundary, on their respective banks, shall be common to the respective inhabitants of both nations.

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The inhabitants of the ceded territories shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion, without any restriction; and all those who may desire to remove to the Spanish dominions, shall be permitted to sell or export their effects, at any time whatever, without being subject, in either case, to duties.


The inhabitants of the territories which his Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, by this Treaty, shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities, of the citizens of the United States.


[Grants of land prior to Jan. 24, 1818, to be ratified and confirmed; all subsequent grants to be null and void.]


The two high contracting parties, animated with the most earnest desire of conciliation, and with the object of putting an end to all the differences which have existed between them, and of confirming the good understanding which they wish to be forever maintained between them, reciprocally renounce all claims for damages or injuries which they, themselves, as well as their respective citizens and subjects, may have suffered until the time of signing this Treaty.

The renunciation of the United States will extend to all the injuries mentioned in the Convention of the 11th of August, 1802.

2. To all claims on account of prizes made by French privateers, and condemned by French consuls, within the territory and jurisdiction of Spain.

3. To all claims of indemnities on account of the suspension of the right of deposit at New-Orleans, in 1802.

4. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the government of Spain, arising from the unlawful seizures at sea, and in the ports and territories of Spain, or the Spanish colonies.

5. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Spanish government, statements of which, soliciting the interposition of the government of the United States, have been presented to the Department of State, or to the Minister of the United States in Spain, since the date of the Convention of 1802, and until the signature of this Treaty.

The renunciation of his Catholic Majesty extends:

1. To all the injuries mentioned in the Convention of the 11th of August, 1802.

2. To the sums which his Catholic Majesty advanced for the return of Captain Pike from the Provincias Internas.

3. To all injuries caused by the expedition of Miranda, that was fitted out and equipped at New-York.

4. To all claims of Spanish subjects upon the government of the United States, arising from unlawful seizures at sea, or within the ports and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Finally, to all the claims of subjects of his Catholic Majesty upon the government of the United States, in which the interposition of his Catholic Majesty’s government has been solicited, before the date of this Treaty, and since the date of the Convention of 1802, or which may have been made to the Department of Foreign Affairs of his Majesty, or to his Minister in the United States.

And the high contracting parties, respectively, renounce all claim to indemnities for any of the recent events or transactions of their respective commanders and officers in the Floridas.

The United States will cause satisfaction to be made for the injuries, if any, which, by process of law, shall be established to have been suffered by the Spanish officers, and individual Spanish inhabitants, by the later operations of the American army in Florida.1


The Convention entered into between the two governments, on the 11th of August, 1802, the ratifications of which were exchanged the 21st December, 1818, is annulled.


The United States, exonerating Spain from all demands in future, on account of the Claims of their citizens to which the renunciations herein contained extend, and considering them entirely cancelled, undertake to make satisfaction for the same, to an amount not exceeding five millions of dollars. . . .1


The Treaty of Limits and Navigation, of 1795, remains confirmed in all, and each one of, its articles, excepting the 2, 3, 4, 21, and the second clause of the 22d article, which, having been altered by this Treaty, or having received their entire execution, are no longer valid.

With respect to the 15th article of the same Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation, of 1795, in which it is stipulated that the flag shall cover the property, the two high contracting parties agree that this shall be so understood with respect to those powers who recognise this principle; but, if either of the two contracting parties shall be at war with a third party, and the other neutral, the flag of the neutral shall cover the property of enemies whose government acknowledge this principle, and not of others.

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The United States hereby certify that they have not received any compensation from France, for the injuries they suffered from her privateers, consuls, and tribunals, on the coasts and in the ports of Spain, for the satisfaction of which provision is made by this treaty; and they will present an authentic statement of the prizes made, and of their true value, that Spain may avail herself of the same, in such manner as she may deem just and proper.


The United States, to give to his Catholic Majesty a proof of their desire to cement the relations of amity subsisting between the two nations, and to favour the commerce of the subjects of his Catholic Majesty, agree that Spanish vessels, coming laden only with productions of Spanish growth or manufactures, directly from the ports of Spain, or of her colonies, shall be admitted, for the term of twelve years, to the ports of Pensacola and St. Augustine, in the Floridas, without paying other or higher duties on their cargoes, or of tonnage, than will be paid by the vessels of the United States. During the said term, no other nation shall enjoy the same privileges within the ceded territories. The twelve years shall commence three months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.

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1 The act of March 3, 1823, to carry into effect Art. IX., is in U. S. Stat. at Large, III., 768. — ED.

1 A commission under this article was provided for by act of March 3, 1821 (U. S. Stat. at Large, III., 637–639). A stock to provide for the payment of claims was created by act of May 24, 1824 (U. S. Stat. at Large, IV., 33, 34). — ED.

1 Signed: "John Quincy Adams, Luis de Onis." — ED.

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Chicago: U. S. At Large in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. William MacDonald (1863-1938) (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 307–311. Original Sources, accessed July 12, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D12JM1JVLYKDGJ5.

MLA: . U. S. At Large, Vol. VIII, in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, edited by William MacDonald (1863-1938), New York, The Macmillan Company, 1916, pp. 307–311. Original Sources. 12 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D12JM1JVLYKDGJ5.

Harvard: , U. S. At Large. cited in 1916, Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York, pp.307–311. Original Sources, retrieved 12 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D12JM1JVLYKDGJ5.