Minister Merry to Acting Secretary of State Loomis.

No. 1044.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith copy and translation of treaty signed at Managua on April 19 between representatives of Great Britain and Nicaragua relating to the Atlantic coast of the latter, same being intended to definitely settle the old Mosquito question. I have taken the copy from El Diario de la Tarde, semiofficial journal published at Managua, as the official publication may be delayed. You will note that the treaty of Managua, 1860, is abrogated by the first section of the new treaty. * * *

I have, etc.,

William Lawrence Merry.
[Page 703]


[From El Diario de la Tarde, April 24, 1905. Mosquito treaty.]

His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Sea, Emperor of India, etc., and His Excellency the President of Nicaragua, desiring to settle in an amicable way the pending questions in relation to the Mosquito Reserve, have decided to celebrate the present treaty, designating as their plenipotentiaries: His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, etc., the Hon. Herbert William Broadley Harrison, companion of the highly distinguished order of St. Michael and St. George, chargé d’affaires of His Britannic Majesty in Nicaragua, and His Excellency the President of Nicaragua Dr. Don Adolfo Altamirano, minister of foreign relations, who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers and the same having been found in proper form, have agreed to the following articles:

  • Article 1. The high contracting parties agree that the treaty of Managua of January 28, 1860, is abrogated and will so remain.
  • Art. 2. His Britannic Majesty recognizes the absolute sovereignty of Nicaragua over the territory that formed the old Mosquito Reserve which is referred to in the treaty of Managua before cited.
  • Art. 3. In consideration that the Mosquito Indians were some time under protection of Great Britain and attentive to the interest that the Governments of His Majesty and Nicaragua have shown in their favor, the Government of Nicaragua agrees to grant them the following concessions:
    The government will propose to the national assembly the enactment of a law for the term of fifty years, counted from the ratification of this treaty, exempting all the Mosquito Indians and the Creoles born before the year 1894 from military service and all direct impost upon their persons, goods, possessions, animals, and means of subsistence.
    The government will permit the Indians to live in their hamlets, enjoying the privileges granted by this convention and according to their own customs, provided they do not oppose the laws of the country or public morality.
    The Government of Nicaragua will concede an extension of two years that they may legalize their rights to the property which they have acquired in conformity with the regulations which reigned in the reserve before the year 1894. The government will not collect anything for the lands or their measurement nor for the granting of the titles. The government will give each family in the locaion of its residence 8 manzanas (16 acres) of land if the members of the family do not exceed 4 and 2 mananzas for each person exceeding this number.
    There shall be assigned public lands for breeding for the use of the inhabitants in the vicinity of each Indian hamlet.
    In case that any Mosquito Indian or Creole proves that the lands which he had in conformity with the regulations ruling before the year 1894 have been preempted or adjudicated to other persons, the government will indemnify, conceding to him public lands of approximate value and as near as possible to the place of habitation.
  • Art. 4. The Government of Nicaragua will permit the ex-chief of the Mosquito Indians, Robert Henry Clarence, to reside in the Republic and to enjoy its complete protection, providing he does not infringe the laws and while his acts do not tend to excite the Indians against Nicaragua.
  • Art. 5., The Mosquito Indians and all the inhabitants of the old reserve shall enjoy the same rights guaranteed by the laws of Nicaragua to Nicaraguan citizens.
  • Art. 6. The present treaty will be ratified and ratifications exchanged in London within the term of six months, counted from the date of its signatures.

In faith of which the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present treaty and sealed it with their seals.

  • Adolfo Altamirano,
    Minister of Foreign Relations, etc.
  • Herbert Harrison,
    His British Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires.