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intent and meaning of this article, to take into their consideration all claims, whether of principal or interest, or balances of principal and interest, and to determine the same respectively, according to the merits of the several cases, due regard being had to all the circumstances thereof, and as equity and justice shall appear to them to require. And the said Cominissioners shall have power to examine all such persons as shall come before them, on oath or affirmation touching the premises ; and also to receive in evidence according as they may think most consistent with equity and justice, all written depositions, or books, or papers, or copies, or extracts thereof; every such deposition, book, or paper, or copy, or extract, being duly authenticated, either according to the legal forins now respectively existing in the two countries, or in such other manner as the said Commissioners shall see cause to require or allow.
“ The award of the said Commissioners, or of апу three of them, as aforesaid, shall in all cases be
final and conclusive, both as to the justice of the clain, and to the amount of the sum to be paid to the creditor or claimant; And the United States undertake to cause the sum so awarded to be paid in specie to such creditor or claimant without deduction ; and at such time or times, and at such place or places as shall be awarded by the said Commis. sioners; and on condition of such releases or assignments to be given by the creditor of claimant, as by the said Commissioners may be directed; provided always that no such payment shall be fixed by the said Commissioners to take place sooner than twelve months from the day of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.
“ Agreeably to the stipulations of this article, the four Commissioners met at Philadelphia, on the 25th of May, 1797. Mr. Thomas Mi Donald,
a gentleman of family and of high reputation at the bar, and Mr. Henry Pye Rich, an eminent merchant, were the Commissioners appointed on the part of His Britannic Majesty ; Mr. Thomas Fitzsimons, a merchant of Philadelphia, and Mr. James Innes, a planter and lawyer of Virginia, a gentleman of fortune and of strict honour, were appoints ed on the part of the United States. These gentlemen having assembled, and verified their powers, proceeded to the choice of the fifth Commissioner, who, as was provided by the article of the treaty. above quoted, was to be chosen by lot. The name of Mr John Guillemard, a gentleman of unexceptionable character, was put into the urn by the British Commissioners ; those of the United States put in that of Mr. Fisher Ames, an able lawyer and most worthy gentleman of Massachusetts. The lot fell upon Mr. Guillemard; of course, Mr, Ames was excluded.
“ The Board, thus formed, was now ready to proceed to business; but, as the space of two years was allowed for creditors to give in their claims, the inconceivable tardiness of these people gave the Board but little occupation till the term allowed by the treaty was nearly expired. During this season of inactivity, Mr. Innes (" than whom, says Mr. M.Donald, “ a man more truly honourable never existed") Mr. Innes, unfortunately, died. His loss would not, however, have been so much felt, had the American government appointed Mr. Amnes to succeed him, and why he wķis not appointed can be accounted for only by the total change of policy, which that government had thought fit to adopt. To Mr. Fitzsimons, the remaining American Commissioner, was now joined Mr. Samuel Sitgreaves, a lawyer of Pennsylvania. With respect to the private character, the morality and religion, of these gentlemen, we shall say nothing at present,
reserving to ourselves, however, the full liberty of making use of our information on these subjects, if the intolerable insolence of the American press should provoke us to an abandonment of that forbearance which we have hitherto thought it not unbecoming our character to exercise.
“ The publication now under our perusal being what, indeed, it professes to be, no more than a
brief statement of opinions,” given in the “Board of Commissioners,” it would be next to impossible for us, by any analysis, or selection of extracts, to communicate that information to our readers, which we wish them to be possessed of; particularly as each opinion refers to numerous facts and documents, the nature and purport of which do not here admit of a statement. We shall, however, endeavour to render our arrangement ás per, spicuous as possible, hoping that' the pamphlet it. self, as well as every document relating to this striking instance of American duplicity, will, "ere long, be submitted to the publić.
" It appears, that after Mr. Sitgreaves joined the Board, a system of quibble and procrastination was begun, and persevered in, by the American Commissioners, who, unable to inveigle, intimidate, or weary the majority of the board, at last fell upon the disgraceful expedient of secession, thereby furnishing their government (under whose positive direction, with shame be it said, they acted this shuffling part) with an excuse for its non fulfilment of the treaty.
“ Before we enter on the grounds upon which this secession was attempted to be justified, it may be necessary for us to observe, that, besides a secretary to the Board, there was a General Agent, who preferred the claims and supported them by evidence and argument, while, on the other hand, they were examined, and afterwards replied to,
by by an Agent, on the part of the United States, ag. ting under the instructions of the Attorney-General. So that, the Commissioners were regarded (and they ought to have regarded themselves) as sworn judges, or arbitrators, perfectly independent of the parties, and perfectly unconcerned as to the consequences of the decisions. That this was the dignified light in which the majority of the Board viewed their official characters appears from the following extract, which also proves, that the American Commissiorers, notwithstanding their oalk (see sixth article of the treaty above quoted) were content to be looked upon as the merę advocates of their government.
“ The American Commissioners having, in con, ference, continued their support of the position, which, in the case of Inglis, they had distinctly and formally declared, that, when they could not in any other way prevent a decision, by the majority against what they (the American Commissioners) conceived to be just rights and interests of the United States, they were entitled, and even bound in duty, to secede, or withdraw from the Board for that purpose ; the three other members, who held a very different opinion, thought they could not place their siew of the subject in a clearer light, than that which was presented by the following resolution
“ Resolved, That it is expedient to declare, that " the Commissioners appointed by His Britannic
Majesty are equally charged with the rights of “ the United States under the treaty of amity, “ as with those of Great Britain, or of British sub
jects, claiming before this Board ; and that the “ Commissioners appointed by the United States,
are in like manner equally charged with the
rights of Great Britain, and of British subjects :: so claiming, as with those of the United States :.
- that there is no distinction whatever of chaşs racter or duty aniong the members of the Board;
but that each of the five members thereof is
an arbitrator upon oath, to proceed diligently and to decide all questions, whether of interpretations $ or of fact, with perfect impartiality ; and withs out any regard to his original appointment, or " the manner in which the opinion he is bound in k conscience to give, may affect the interest of the “ parties concerned.”
« This declaration was proposed by three members of the Board, and so recorded; but Mr. Fitzsimons and Mr. Sirgreaves, thinking it their duty to prevent it from being passed by a vote, again seceded, or withdrew." P. 24.
“ We now proceed to the pretended grounds of secession.—The first subterfuge of the American Commissioners was intended to procure delay ; delay almost everlasting. The majority of the Board were of opinion, that certain leading claims should be first determined on. The number of claims was very great ; of course, if the principles had been discussed anew, in the investigation of every claim, the discussion would have occupied the space of many years ; perhaps fifty, at least. The majority, therefore, insisted upon hearing certain claims, which seemed to comprise all the principles of any importance, and upon making the decision upon each point a precedent in the subsequent discussions. This was strenuously resisted by the American Commissioners, to whose government delay was certuin gain, and formed one of their excuses for seceding.
Next, the American Commissioners would agree to no resolution in which interest during the war should be allowed ; alleging (just as the fraudulent debtors themselves had done) that the creditors ought to receive no interest during that