Robert Butler to Governor Coppinger
and reply
July 3rd and 4th, 1821

Archives

Florida Territorial Papers
St. Augustine
July 3rd 1821

Sir  That a more perfect understanding should exist between us in relation to the Archives which are embraced in the
treaty of cession and relating to individual property is the object of this communication. I should upon mature reflection,
consider myself wanting in my duty to the inhabitants of this province, who are about to become citizens of my
government, if I will held any statement in relation to the Archives, which might lead to the removal of any documents
that would be of importance to their security, and which my government considers included in the treaty. The following
records are deemed indispensible to this Object. Viz the royal or other orders authorising the Gov of this province to
issue grants to individuals for land, lotts, or squares. The evidence of indemnity offered by G. Britain to her subjects who
might leave their property in this province and of the Spanish authorities calling on those individuals, to come forward
and dispose of their property or peacably occupy it within certain periods or the same would be confiscated; and the
order of confiscation thereafter. The original records of all trials and decisions embracing individual property, and the
original records relating to the execution of wills, and administration of estates. The foregoing explanation is given to
shew you, what I am bound to consider as the Archives relating to individual proper and which are not to be removed
from this place until the decision is had on the subject by our respective governments; and I request that you will cause
the Capt Genl to be furnished with a copy of this communication. I have the honor to remain with perfect respect & Great
Consideration

Robt Butler

H. E. Govr Coppinger

* * *

July 4, 1821

The note Y. E. was pleased to send me yesterday, in order to point out which are the records comprehended in the
treaty of cession, and appertaining to private property I have duly examined, and have to answer; that confining myself
to a compliance with the treaty, and with the orders of my government, their literal sense is the only guide to my
endeavor in the execution; and when any doubts arise I consult them with that frankness necessary to ascertain my
course, and warrant my responsibility. Thus actuated I early informed Y. E. with respect to the public archives, or
escrivanos office, or records bearing on private property of the inhabitants of this province; measures with which Y. E.
was pleased to accede. It now appears that Y. E. advance pretensions to other documents, that I am sorry to say are
according to my conception excluded from the delivery --- I do not comprehend the ground on which you step your
demand; therefore, and in order to report to my government by the earliest opportunity, that it may decide with yours on
these points and at the same time, on those others in question, Y. E. will excuse my not entering into particular
observations on each of these. I have much pleasure in repeating to Y E my constant esteem --- God preserve you
many years.

Jose Coppinger
By order of H. E. Geo J. F. Clarke

H. E. Robert Butler, Adj Gen & Com
St. Augustine July 4, 1821
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