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Special Message

March 30, 1826

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

By the second article of the general convention of peace, amity, navigation, and commerce between the United States and the Republic of Colombia, concluded at Bogota on 3d of October, 1824, it was stipulated that the parties engaged mutually not to grant any particular favor to other nations in respect of commerce and navigation which should not immediately become common to the other party, who should enjoy the same freely if the concession was freely made, or on allowing the same compensation if the concession was conditional. And in the third article of the same convention it was agreed that the citizens of the United States might frequent all the coasts and countries of the Republic of Colombia, and reside and trade there in all sorts of produce, manufactures, and merchandise, and should pay no other or greater duties, charges, or fees whatsoever than the most favored nation should be obliged to pay, and should enjoy all the rights, privileges, and exemptions in navigation and commerce which the most favored nations should enjoy, submitting themselves, nevertheless, to the laws, decrees, and usages there established, and to which were submitted the subjects and citizens of the most favored nations; with a reciprocal stipulation in favor of the citizens of the Republic of Colombia in the United States. Subsequently to the conclusion of this convention a treaty was negotiated between the Republic of Colombia and Great Britain, by which it was stipulated that no other or higher duties on account of tonnage, light, or harbor dues should be imposed in the ports of Colombia on British vessels than those payable in the same ports by Colombian vessels, and that the same duties should be paid on the importation into the territories of Colombia of any article the growth, produce, or manufacture of His Britannic Majesty's dominions, whether such importations should be in Colombian or in British vessels, and that the same duties should be paid and the same discount (drawbacks) and bounties allowed on the exportation of any articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of Colombia to His Britiannic Majesty's dominions, whether such exportations were in Colombian or in British vessels.

The minister of the United States to the Republic of Colombia having claimed, by virtue of the second and third articles of the convention between the two Republics, that the benefit of these subsequent stipulations should be alike extended to the citizens of the United States upon the condition of reciprocity provided for by the convention, the application of those engagements was readily acceded to by the Colombian Government, and a decree was issued by the executive authority of that Republic on the 30th of January last, a copy and translation of which are herewith communicated, securing to the citizens of the United States in the Republic of Colombia the same advantages in regard to commerce and navigation which had been conceded to British subjects in the Colombian treaty with Great Britain.

It remains for the Government of the United States to secure to the citizens of the Republic of Colombia the reciprocal advantages to which they are entitled by the terms of the convention, to commence from the 30th of January last, for the accomplishment of which I invite the favorable consideration of the Legislature.


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

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