John Quincy Adams: State of the Union Addresses of John Quincy Adams

3. State of the Union Address: December 4, 1827 (continued)

Our relations of friendship with the other nations of the earth, political and commercial, have been preserved unimpaired, and the opportunities to improve them have been cultivated with anxious and unremitting attention. A negotiation upon subjects of high and delicate interest with the Government of Great Britain has terminated in the adjustment of some of the questions at issue upon satisfactory terms and the postponement of others for future discussion and agreement.

The purposes of the convention concluded at St. Petersburg on July 12th, 1822, under the mediation of the late Emperor Alexander, have been carried into effect by a subsequent convention, concluded at London on November 13th, 1826, the ratifications of which were exchanged at that place on February 6th, 1827. A copy of the proclamations issued on March 19th, 1827, publishing this convention, is herewith communicated to Congress. The sum of $1,204,960, therein stipulated to be paid to the claimants of indemnity under the first article of the treaty of Ghent, has been duly received, and the commission instituted, conformably to the act of Congress of March 2d, 1827, for the distribution of the indemnity of the persons entitled to receive it are now in session and approaching the consummation of their labors. This final disposal of one of the most painful topics of collision between the United States and Great Britain not only affords an occasion of gratulation to ourselves, but has had the happiest effect in promoting a friendly disposition and in softening asperities upon other objects of discussion; nor ought it to pass without the tribute of a frank and cordial acknowledgment of the magnanimity with which an honorable nation, by the reparation of their own wrongs, achieves a triumph more glorious than any field of blood can ever bestow.

The conventions of March 7th, 1815, and of October 20th, 1818, will expire by their own limitation on October 20th, 1828. These have regulated the direct commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain upon terms of the most perfect reciprocity; and they effected a temporary compromise of the respective rights and claims to territory westward of the Rocky Mountains. These arrangements have been continued for an indefinite period of time after the expiration of the above mentioned conventions, leaving each party the liberty of terminating them by giving twelve months' notice to the other.

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