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Special Message

March 29, 1796

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

I send herewith a copy of the treaty of friendship, limits, and navigation, concluded on the 27th of October last, between the United States and His Catholic Majesty. This treaty has been ratified by me agreeably to the Constitution, and the ratification has been dispatched for Spain, where it will doubtless be immediately ratified by His Catholic Majesty .

This early communication of the treaty with Spain has become necessary because it is stipulated in the third article that commissioners for running the boundary line between the territory of the United States and the Spanish colonies of East and West Florida shall meet at the Natchez before the expiration of six months from the ratification; and as that period will undoubtedly arrive before the next meeting of Congress, the House will see the necessity of making provision in their present session for the object here mentioned. It will also be necessary to provide for the expense to be incurred in executing the twenty-first article of the treaty, to enable our fellow-citizens to obtain with as little delay as possible compensation for the losses they have sustained by the capture of their vessels and cargoes by the subjects of His Catholic Majesty during the late war between France and Spain.

Estimates of the moneys necessary to be provided for the purposes of this and several other treaties with foreign nations and the Indian tribes will be laid before you by the proper Department.


George Washington, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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