British-American Diplomacy
Explanatory Article to Article 5 of the Jay Treaty : Hunter Miller's Notes


The original article and the British instrument of ratification form together one document, wholly executed on March 15, 1798; that is, the document begins with the usual recitals of an instrument of ratification, then contains the treaty with the signatures and seals of Grenville and of Rufus King, and terminates with the customary words of ratification, with the signature of George III, and with the Great Seal. The ratification by Great Britain was thus concurrent with the signature of the agreement. The procedure was suggested in the instructions to Rufus King of January 2, 1798 (D. S., 4 Instructions, U. S. Ministers, 216). While such form and practice are not usual, they made possible a prompt exchange of the ratifications; King wrote on the date of signature (D. S., 7 Despatches, Great Britain, No. 68):

We executed four copies two of them with their original ratifications will be sent by Lord Grenville to Mr. Liston with an Instruction to exchange them with you, when the President shall have ratified the same on our part.

The text here printed is from the document above mentioned.

The Department of State file now contains also a facsimile of the original signed treaty which is in the British archives, and a facsimile of the Unuted States instrument of ratification, which likewise embodies as part thereof a signed original of the treaty.

A certificate of the exchange of ratifications on June 9, 1798, was signed by Pickering on June 11 under the seal of the Department of State. A facsimile thereof, from the British archives, is now in the Department of State file.

The testimonium clause of the treaty is omitted in 8 Statutes at Large, 132; but it appears in 18 Statutes at Large, pt. 2, Public Treaties, 284.

No record of a proclamation of this treaty has been found; but it was published at the time (e. g., Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, August 3, 1798; the newspaper print purports to be "by authority"). The text was printed in The Laws of the United States, Folwell ea., IV, 239-40. That volume is dated 1799; but its second part, with the acts of the second session of the Fifth Congress and including the text of this treaty, certainly appeared in pamphlet form in 1798.

Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 2
Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.