. The cod and the haddock, the deer skins, and the pine trees are symbolic of the most
important issues in the peace negotiations with Great Britain.
was a staunch advocate of freedom to fish and had made inquiries better to understand
the nature of the business and its requirements. He refused to yield on access to
the Grand Banks and nearby waters for Americans, although he had to make some concessions
on the wording of America's access to fishing along the Newfoundland coast. Another
major issue was the western boundary of the United States. From the outset, John Jay
had insisted upon the Mississippi River, and
had strongly supported this position. He was outspoken, too, in pushing the northeastern
boundary as far northward as possible in opposition to the British desire to retain
a good part of Maine as a source of mast trees. “Refugees” referred to the problem
of Britain's attempting to obtain amnesty for loyalists and restitution or indemnification
for those who suffered losses of property. For an account of the negotiating positions
and concessions, see Morris, Peacemakers
, ch. xi, and p. 363–364, 373–380.
later included images of the fish, the deer, and the pine tree in a seal designed
to commemorate the victory that the Americans had won in the negotiations. Fashioned
in 1783, it consisted of thirteen stars arranged to enclose the tree and the deer
above a swimming fish. After
helped to win similar concessions at the Treaty of Ghent in 1814,
asked him to have a new seal engraved, adding a phrase from Horace (Epistles
, I, vi, 57), arranged to enclose the sea: Piscemur, venemur, ut olim
; that is: “Let us fish, let us hunt, as in the past” (
, facing p. 135 and p. 140).