Convention Relative to Disposal of Property and Consular Jurisdiction Between Austria-Hungary and the United States; May 8, 1848

Art 1 Art 2 Art 3 Art 4 Art 5 Art 6

Concluded May 8,1848; ratification advised and time for exchange of ratifications extended to July 4, 1850, by the Senate February 13, 1850; ratified by the President February 15, 1850, ratifications exchanged February 23, 1850; proclaimed February 25, 1850.

The United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Austria having agreed to extend to all descriptions of property the exemption from dues, taxes or charges, which was secured to the personal goods of their respective citizens and subjects by the eleventh article of the treaty of commerce and navigation which was concluded between the parties on the 27th of August, 1829, and also for the purpose of increasing the powers granted to their respective Consuls by the tenth article of said treaty of commerce and navigation, have named for this purpose their respective Plenipotentiaries, namely:

The President of the United States of America has conferred full powers on James Buchanan, Secretary of State of the United States; and his Majesty the Emperor of Austria upon his Charge d'Affaires to the United States, John George Hulsemann;

Who, after having exchanged their said full powers, found in due and proper form, have agreed to and signed the following articles:


The citizens or subjects of each of the contracting parties shall have power to dispose of their personal property within the States of the other, by testament, donation or otherwise; and their heirs, legatees and donees, being citizens or subjects of the other contracting party, shall succeed to their said personal property, and may take possession thereof, either by themselves or by others acting for them, and dispose of the same at their pleasure, paying such duties only as the inhabitants of the country, where the said property lies, shall be liable to pay in like cases.


Where, on the death of any person holding real property, or property not personal, within the territories of one party, such real property would, by the laws of the land, descend on a citizen or subject of the other, were he not disqualified by the laws of the country where such real property is situated, such citizen or subject shall be allowed a term of two years to sell the same, which term may be reasonably prolonged, according to circumstances, and to withdraw the proceeds thereof, without molestation, and exempt from any other charges than those which may be imposed in like cases upon the inhabitants of the country from which such proceeds may be withdrawn.


In case of the absence of the heirs, the same care shall be taken, provisionally, of such real or personal property as would be taken in a like case of property belonging to the natives of the country, until the lawful owner or the person who has a right to sell the sane, according to Article II., may take measures to receive or dispose of the inheritance.


The high contracting parties grant to each other the liberty of having, each in the ports of the other, Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Commercial Agents and Vice-Commercial Agents, of their own appointment, who shall enjoy the same privileges and powers as those of the most favored nations; but if any of the said Consuls shall carry on trade, they shall be subjected to the same laws and usages to which private individuals of their nation are subjected in the same place.

The said Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Commercial and Vice-Commercial Agents shall have the right as such to sit as judges and arbitrators in such differences as may arise between the masters and crews of the vessels belonging to the nation whose interests are committed to their charge' without the interference of the local authorities, unless the conduct of the crews or of the captain should disturb the order or tranquillity of the country; or the said Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Commercial Agents, or Vice-Commercial Agents, should require their assistance in executing or supporting their own decisions. But this species of judgment or arbitration shall not deprive the contending parties of the right they have to resort, on their return, to the judicial authority of their own country.

The said Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Commercial Agents and Vice-Commercial Agents, are authorized to require the assistance of the local authorities for the search, arrest and imprisonment of the deserters from the ships of war and merchant vessels of their country. For this purpose they shall apply in writing to the competent tribunals, judges and officers, and shall demand said deserters, proving by the exhibition of the registers of the vessels, the muster-rolls of the crews, or by any other official documents, that such individuals form legally part of the crews and, on such claim being substantiated, the surrender shall not be refused.

Such deserters when arrested shall be placed at the disposal of the said Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Commercial Agents, and Vice-Commercial Agents, and may be confined in the public prisons, at the request and cost of those who shall claim them, in order to be sent to the vessels to which they belong, or to others of the same country. But if not sent back within three months of the day of their arrest, they shall be set at liberty, and shall not be again arrested for the same cause. If, however, the deserter shall be found to have committed any crime or offense requiring trial, his surrender may be delayed until the tribunal before which his case shall be pending shall have pronounced its sentence, and such sentence shall have been carried into effect.


The present treaty shall continue in force for two years, counting from the day of the exchange of its ratifications; and if, twelve months before the expiration of that period, neither of the high contracting parties shall have announced by an official notification to the other, its intention to arrest the operation of said treaty, it shall remain binding for one year beyond that time, and so on until the expiration of the twelve months which will follow a similar notification, whatever the time at which it may take place.


This convention is concluded subject to the ratification of the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and of His Majesty the Emperor of Austria; and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged in Washington within the term of one year from the date of the signature thereof, or sooner if possible.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles, as well in German as in English, and have thereto affixed their seals.

Done in the city of Washington, on the eighth day of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, in the seventy-second year of the independence of the United States of America, and in the fourteenth year of the reign of His Majesty the Emperor of Austria.



(1) Resolution of the Senate of the United States, February 13, 1850.

Whereas the time limited by the sixth article of the convention for the extension of certain stipulations contained in the treaty of commerce and navigation of August 27, 1829, between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, concluded at the city of Washington the 8th May, 1848, has expired before the ratification of the said convention by the Senate: Be it, therefore,

Resolved, (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring,) That the Senate advise and consent to the exchange of ratifications of the convention aforesaid at any time prior to the 4th day of July next, whenever the same shall be offered by His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, and the said ratifications shall be deemed and taken to have been regularly exchanged, the limitation contained in said convention to the contrary notwithstanding.


ASBURY DICKINS, Secretary Back

Treaties, Conventions, International Acts and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers 1776-1909.
Compiled by William M. Malloy
Under Resolution of the Senate of January 18, 1909
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1910.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.