[GHENT, TREATY OF]. GEORGE IV, King of England. Document signed ("George R" with paraph), countersigned by George Canning as head of the foreign office, Carlton Palace, 4 October 1822. 28 pages (pages 26-27 blank), neatly sewn with original blue silk ribbon extending along the spine, first page with large papered Royal seal of George IV which anchors the loose end of the silk ribbon, last page docketed: "Warrant for affixing the Great Seal to the Ratification of a Convention between His Majesty, the Emporer of Russia, and The United States of America, signed at St. Petersburgh July 12, 1822, with Three Instruments Annexed," a thin wormtrack affecting a small area at center of the seal, and minute holes in two other leaves, otherwise in very good original condition.
AN ADDITIONAL CONVENTION TO THE TREATY OF GHENT (1814) REGARDING COMPENSATION FOR SEIZED AMERICAN SLAVES
A remarkable diplomatic document comprising a rider or supplemental convention to the Treaty of Ghent, agreed 24 December 1814. The first leaf constitutes the King's official Warrant addressed to John, Earl of Eldon, "Our Chancellor of Great Britain," to affix "the Great Seal of our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" to the treaty "between Us, Our Good Brother The Emperor of all the Russias, and Our Good Friends The United States of America, for carrying into effect the Award made by Our said Good Brother upon the First Article of the Treaty of Peace and Amity between Us and Our said Good Friends, concluded at Ghent" on 24 December 1814, "respecting the true Construction and Meaning of which, differences had arisen between the Two Contracting Parties [Great Britain and the United States], and which had therefore, been referred to the decision of Our said Good Brother,--signed at St. Petersburgh...by the Plenipotentiaries of Us and of Our said Good Brother and Good Friends...." On the following pages is the full text of the convention, comprising eight Articles and two Annexes ("A" and "B") plus an appendix "A.1" containing the "Opinion de la Majesté Impériale." The body of the treaty is written in a fine clerical hand in English and in French in side-by-side columns (the "Annexes" and appendix are in French only). On page  appear the scribal signatures of the convention's signatories: Graf Karl Robert Von Nesselrode (1780-1862), Russian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ("Nesselrode"), Count Ioánnis Antónios Kapodistrias (1776-1831), Russian Secretary of State, later President of Greece ("Capodistria"), Sir Charles Bagot (1781-1843), British Ambassador Extraordinary to St. Petersburg ("Charles Bagot"), and Henry Middleton (1770-1846), styled on p. as Envoy Extraordinary "on the part of the President of the United States [James Monroe], with the Advice and Consent of the Senate."
Monroe's biographer, Harry Ammon, notes that "in spite of the fact that the Treaty of Ghent provided for almost nothing of consequence, it presented several difficulties in its interpretation. Perhaps the sharpest disagreement arose over the provision requiring the restoration of property removed by British forces...Since more than 3,500 slaves (400 of whom were reportedly employed on Admiral Cochrane's Jamaica estate) had been seized by the British, there was considerable pressure...to obtain either their return or the payment of an indemnity. Monroe and Anthony Baker, the British chargé, clashed on this issue in March 1815, when the Secretary of State refused to accept Baker's contention that this provision applied only to that property still in the place where it had been originally captured. In the face of this sharp rebuff Baker trannsferred negotiations to London. To assist [John Quincy] Adams in presenting the American case, Monroe collected detailed information by querying ship captains and sending agents to the West Indies and Nova Scotia....Discussions on this monor but complex issue dragged on interminably until 1923, when the controversy was submitted to the Czar for Arbitration...." (James Monroe: The Quest for Natinal Identity, Charlottesville, 1990, pp.348-349).
With the arbitration of the Russian diplomats, Great Britain and the United States agree in this document to a complex method and formula for the adjustment of claims growing out of the hostilities ended by the Treaty of Ghent. By that Treaty, it is noted, Americans are entitled to claim from Britain "a just Indemnification" for "all the Slaves that the British Forces may have carried away from the Places and Territories" in the War of 1812 and also for Slaves seized on the high seas. However, no compensation is due for "American Slaves who were carried away from Territories" not surrendered to the United States under the original treaty's First Article. The articles agreed by the present convention set up specific procedures for the appointment of Commissioners, to whom such claims shall be presented and adjudicated, describes the procedure for determining an "average value" for slaves at the time in question and specifies the procedure for indemnification of American slave owners.