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you, and yours founded on it to me. I continue to persuade myself, however, that you will become sensible that, with a knowledge of the extent given by your Government to the conditions on which alone its orders will be repealed, and that this extent was always contemplated by your Government, it was impossible for the President to be inattentive to the fact, or to withhold it from the legislative branch of the Government. I have to add, that, had it been proper for him so to have done, the late hour at which your note was received, (not until noon of the 1st instant,) was not in time to be considered in relation to the message sent to Congress on that day.
With great respect, &c.
JAMES MONROE. A. J. Foster, Esq., &c.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
WAs HINGTon, June 7, 1812. SIR : It is extremely painful to me to find that, notwithstanding the assurance which I had the honor to make to you on the authority of communications from His Majesty’s Captain General in Canada, that His Majesty's officers had not only had no hand in urging the Indian tribes to the late atrocities committed on the frontiers of the United States, but had even endeavored, in the true spirit of friendly neighborhood, to restrain them as far as lay in their power, such reports still continue to be circulated with revived industry ; and have, in a great degree, even been countenanced by statements which were recently made in an address from a Governor of one of the United State to the citizens of that State. To set this question at rest, I beg leave to transmit to you the enclosed copies of a letter from the late Governor of Canada to His Majesty's Secretary of State for the War Department, and the answer of Lord Liverpool, which have been recently received by me through Lord Castlereagh’s office; and from which you will perceive that His Majesty's Ministers had not only expressed their decided approbation of the conduct of the Government of Canada, in using whatever influence they might possess over the Indians to dissuade them from committing hostilities on the citizens of the United States, but also had especially directed that those exertions should be continued. While I assure you, sir, very frankly, that I do not believe such evidence was necessary to convince the American Government of the erroneous nature of the above-mentioned reports, I yet beg to request that this letter and its enclosures may, as early as possible, be laid before the President. I also beg leave to add, that it is really a serious inconvenience thus to find it necessary continually to furnish fresh evidence in order to oppose rumors, which, though unsupported by the shadow of a document, or any authority whatever than mere hearsay, do yet derive a consequence from the circulation given to them under the official sanction of a State Government. I have thought it necessary to be thus explicit
had either from Lieutenant Governor Gore, or from any officer of the Indian Department, relative to the intentions of the Indians. My private accounts, however, which, though not official, were equally to be relied on, gave me assurances of their determination to have recourse to arms, so long ago as in November; and in my wish to assist in saving the American frontier from the horrors usually attending the first burst of an Indian war, by enabling them to take precautions against it, I communicated my accounts to Mr. Morier; and though I thought that an official communication might be extremely objectiona: ble, I gave him, however, permission, if he did not think it improper from any circumstance of situation, in which he might find himself with them, verbally to convey the information to the American Government, and I have since heard from Mr. Morier that he did so. In January 1 repeated to Mr. Morier that I continued to receive
a confirmation of the intelligence I had before
sent him, but I do not know whether he made
any further communication to the American
made by him to restrain the Indians from the
commission of any act of hostility on the Amer
ican frontier. I have the honor to be, &c. LIVERPOOL.
Mr. Foster to the Secretary of State.
WAshingtoN, June 8, 1812.
SIR : Since I had the honor of writing to you yesterday, I have received some additional papers relating to the subject mentioned in my letter, which I transmit to you, enclosed. They consist of a letter from Sir James Craig to Lord Liverpool, enclosing the extract of a letter from Lieutenant Governor Gore, and of the instructions which he had given to the Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to exert himself in restraining the Indians from committing any act § hostility against the citizens of the United tates, Allow me, sir, to request that these papers may, without loss of time, be communicated to the President. I have the honor,. &c. AUGUSTUS J. FOSTER.
The Hon. JAMEs Mon Roe, &c.
Quebec, May 21, 1811.
My Lord: In a despatch, No. 37, I thought it right to apprize your Lordship of the appearance of hostile intentions towards the Americans, which had shown itself among the Indians in the upper country, as well as of the steps I had taken on the occasion.
In pursuing the same subject, I have now the honor to enclose copies of the letter I have reteived from Lieutenant Governor Gore, and of the instructions which, in consequence of mine to him, he had given to the Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
I have the honor to be, &c.
J. H. CRAIG. The Earl of Liverpool, &c.
o Bitract of a letter from Lieutenant Governor Gore to o His Excellency Sir James Craig. York, UPPER CANADA, March 2, 1811. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's letter of the 2d of February, which reached me on the 24th. I lost no time in itecting the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs to instruct the officers of the Indian Department to caution and restrain the Indians from committing any act of hostility on the white inhabitants in the neighborhood. A copy of my letter to Colonel Claus is here with transmitted.
* Botract of a letter from Lieutenant Governor Gore to Colonel Claus, Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs.
York Place, Feb. 26, 1811.
. . In further notice of Mr. Elliott's letters to you, It is desirable that you should desire, him to be more than usually circumspect in his communiotions with the Indians, so as to leave no posoble suspicion of favoring their projected hostil
ities against the United States of America. You will, therefore, direct him, as occasion may offer, to impress upon the Indians the certainty of eventual misfortune to themselves from any attack on the whites; to point out to them that the Americans are become so strong, that any effort on their part to prevail by arms must be in vain ; and, that it is from such an assurance, and out of regard to their safety, comfort, and happiness, that their great father expressly forbids that any encouragement should be afforded to them in any warlike enterprise.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster.
I) EPARTMENT of STATE, June 8, 1812. SiR : I have had the honor to receive your letter of June 1st, with the papers enclosed, relating to several British seamen who are stated to have entered into the naval service of the United States. Without repeating what I had the honor to state to you in a personal interview respecting the deserter from the Gleaner, and the conduct of the armed party from that vessel, who pursued him some distance into the country, I shall confine my remarks to your complaint of the detention of British seamen in American vessels, twentyeight of whom are said to have been on board the Constitution. Although the fact cannot be admitted on the evidence produced, because it is contrary to the laws of the United States, yet it will be inquired into. It is also possible that the seamen so detained, admitting the fact of their detention, may have become legally American citizens; in which case, they must be protected as such. The Government of the United States can make no distinction between native and naturalized citizens, as has been already remarked to you. I repeat, also, that your Government cannot object to this rule, because the British statute naturalizes, ipso facto, all alien seamen who shall have been two years on board a British ship of war, and considers them, equally, with natives, within the allegiance and entitled to the protection of Great Britain. The principal object of your letter seems to be, to find some analogy between the American practice, with respect to seamen, and the British practice; and to deduce from the former a justification of the latter. Permit me to note the difference, or rather the contrast, between them. The regulations of the United States prohibit the enlistment of aliens into their vessels of war. No such regulations exist on the side of Great Britain. Enlistments by force, or impressments, are contrary to the laws of the United States. . This mode of procuring crews for the public ships is not only practised by Great Britain within her legal jurisdiction, but is extended to foreign vessess on the high seas, with abuses which aggravate the outrage to the nations to whom the vessels belong. Most of the States composing our Union have enacted laws providing for the restoration of sea men abandoning the service of merchant vessels, to which they were bound by voluntary engagement. If no provision has been made for the surrender of the deserters from public ships, it is because such deserters, although in many instances forced into the service, would be deemed malefactors, and punishable as such ; and it is not the practice of any country, particularly of Great Britain, to surrender malefactors without a stipulation, which is always reciprocal. In Great Britain we know from experience that no provision exists for restoring American seamen to our merchant vessels, even to the fulfilment of their voluntary engagements; and if deserters from American ships of war are ever restored, it is by the courtesy, not the legal duty, or perhaps authority, of British naval commanders, and from the policy of recommending a practice which, if mutual, must be evidently in favor of the British service—the desertion from it being so common, in comparison with that from the service of the United States. You observe that your Government has charged you to state, that it will continue to give the most positive orders against the detention of American citizens on board British ships of war. If these orders were to prohibit the impressments of seamen from American vessels at sea, the great source of the evil, they would have been a welcome proof of the disposition to do justice and promote a good understanding between the two countries. Nothing short of this can be an adequate remedy, and the United States are known to be ready to substitute to the practice the most liberal arrangements on the subject. But suppose the orders to be given as signified, and in the latitude and form promising most efficacy, how could they restore that part of the thuusands of our citizens who have been impressed or passed into ships stationed or cruising in remote parts of the globe 7 But it is signified only that your Government will continue to give orders against the detention of American citizens on board British ships of war. It follows that they are to be detained, as heretofore, until formal proof can be produced to the British Admiralty, in each particular instance, that the seamen is a native citizen of the United States; the difficulty and delay in doing which are too obvious to need explanation. Nor is this the only cause of complaint. When such proof has been produced to the British Admiralty, a direct refusal is made to the discharge of the seaman, if he has resided in Great Britain, shall have married there, or shall have accepted the bounty given to seamen voluntarily entering the service, although the American seamen, after having been forced into the service, have accepted the bounty either to relieve their wants, or otherwise to alleviate their condition. I omit other causes of detention which might be mentioned. Add to the whole, that it is not sufficient to prove that the seamen taken from American vessels are not subjects of Great Britain nor the subjects of her enemy. It has been the invariable practice of the British cruisers to include in their impressments from American vessels the citizens and
Relations with Great Britain.
subjects of every neutral nation, even where it was known that they were such ; and no instance it is believed, can be given of the success of an o for the restoration of such neutral aliens to the service of the United States. These observations cannot fail, as I presume. to satisfy you, sir, how little ground your Government has for the complaints stated in your letter, and how much the United States have for those they have so long and so strenuously, but, at the same time, so ineffectually presented, in behalf of their injured mariners. I have the honor to be, &c. JAMES MONROE.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster.
DepartMeNT of STATE, June 10, 1812.
SIR : In answer to the letters of the 7th and 8th instant, which I have had the honor to receive from you, disclaiming any agency of your Government in promoting the hostility of the Indians, it is my duty to communicate to you such information as has been transmitted to this Government on the subject, at different periods, since the year 1807. From these documents it appears that, whatever may have been the disposition o your Government, the conduct of its subordinate agents has tended to excite the hostility of those tribes towards the United States.
In estimating the comparative evidence on this subject, it is impossible not to recollect the communication lately made to this Government respecting the conduct of Sir James Craig in another important transaction, which, it appears, was proved by Lord Liverpool. I have the honor to be, &c. - JAMES MONROE.
[The following papers are those referred to and enclosed in Mr. Monroe's letter of June 10.]
Extracts of letters to the Secretary of War, from Captain Dunham, of the United States' Army, dated Michill Mackinac, May 24, 1807. . There appears to be a very general and extensive movement among the savages in this quarter. Belts of wampum are rapidly circulating from one tribe to another, and a spirit is prevailing by no means pacific. The enclosed talk, which has been industriously spread among them, needs no comment. There is certainly mischief at the bottom, and there can be no doubt in my mind but that the object and intention of the great Maniton, or second Adam, under the pretence of restoring to the aborigines their former independence, and to the savage character its ancient energies, is, in reality, to induce a general effort to rally, and to strike somewhere a desperate blow.
Question. Did Captain Bingham inform you he took the President for a French ship? Answer. He did. Question. What message were you charged with from Commodore Rodgers to Captain Bingham when you boarded the Little Belt the morning after the action ? Answer. Commodore Rodgers ordered me to go on board the Little Belt, to ascertain the name of the ship and her commander, and to express his deep regret at what had taken place, and to say he regretted that the Little Belt had fired first; that had he known her force he would even have received a shot without returning it. Question. Have you seen Commodore Rodgers's official letter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated, off Sandy Hook, on the 23d day of May last, relative to the action with the Little Belt 7 Answer. Yes. Question. Are there any circumstances in that letter which you know to be incorrect 7 Answer. I know of none. Question by Commodore Rodgers. Was the President on fire at any time during the rencounter with the Little Bell? Answer. She was not. Question by Commodore Rodgers. Did the President sheer off with a view to avoid the Little Belt at any time during the action ? Answer. Certainly not. Question by Commodore Rodgers. Were there any other than round and grape shot fired at the Little Belt 7 • Answer. Not to my knowledge; from the fourth division, which I commanded, there were none other fired; there were none other than round and grape shot on deck.
Question by Commodore Rodgers. In the po-,
sition the two ships were at the time Commodore Rodgers gave orders the second time to cease firing, what would, in your opinion, have been . o of another broadside from the Presient Answer. It is more than probable it would have sunk the Little Belt. Question by Commodore Rodgers. When you delivered Commodore Rodgers's message to Captain Bingham, did he ask you why the President had fired at all? Answer. No; he asked me no question of that kind. Captain HENRY CAldwell was produced to the court, and sworn as a witness. Question. Were you on board the United States frigate, the President, during the engagement, on the night of the 16th day of May last, with the Little Belt” Answer. I was. Question. What is your station on board the President 7 Answer. Commandant of marines. Question. When the President had arrived within hailing distance of the Little Belt, did Commodore Rodgers hail her first? Answer. Yes. Question. What answer did Commodore Rodgers receive from the Little Belt” 12th Con. 1st SEss.-60
Answer. I indistinctly heard a voice from the Little Belt, but I could not tell whether it was an answer to the Commodore's hail, or whether the Little Belt hailed in return. Question. Were you in a position to observe the Little Belt at the time the first gun was fired? Answer. I was; I was looking directly at the Little Belt through the starboard gangway. Question. From which ship was the first gun fired? Answer. From the Little Belt. I saw the flash of her gun, and immediately heard the report. Commodore Rodgers, turning round to me, asked “What the devil was that ?” and I replied, “She has fired into us.” Question. Did Commodore Rodgers hail the Little Belt a second time, and was it then, and before he received any answer from her, that she fired into the President? Answer. The Commodore hailed a second time, and received no answer; but before he had time to take the trumpet from his mouth the Little Belt fired into the President. Question. At this time had Commodore Rodgers given any provocation to the commander of the Little Belt 7 Answer. None whatever. Question. What were Commodore Rodgers's orders ou board the President before coming up with the Little Belt 7 Answer. His orders were not to fire unless fired into, as we were not to be the aggressor on any account. Question. At what time did the men under your command commence firing at the Little Belt 7 Answer. Not until the President had received a second broadside from the Little Belt. Question. After the President opened her fire upon the Little Belt, was the latter ship silenced, and how soon? Answer. She was silenced, I think, in four or five minutes. Question. When the Little Belt was silenced, did Commodore Rodgers appear anxious to prevent further injury being done to her ? Answer. He appeared very anxious to prevent further injury to the Little Belt, and gave immediate orders to cease firing. Question. Did the President cease firing, and did the Little Belt afterwards renew her fire at the President, and how soon 7 Answer. The President ceased firing, and the Little Belt, in about two minutes, renewed the action. Question. Was the President's fire then renewed, and how long did it continue before the fire of the Little Belt was completely silenced 3 Answer. The fire of the President was renewed and continued about six or seven minutes before the guns of the Little Belt were silenced. Question. When the fire of the Little Belt was a second time silenced, did Commodore Rodgers make every exertion to prevent further injury being done to her? Answer. He did.
The court met pursuant to adjournment:— Present, Commodore Stephen Decatur, President; Captain Charles Stewart, Captain Isaac Chauncey, members. The proceedings of the court of yesterday were read and approved. RAY Mond H. J. PERRY was produced and sworn as a witness. Question. Were you on board the United States frigate, the President, during the engagement on the night of the 16th of May last with His Britannic Majesty’s ship, the Little Belt 7 Answer. I was, sir. Question. Do you hold any, and what, station on board the United States frigate, the President 7 Answer. I hold the station of junior lieutenant and signal officer. - Question. At what time were the colors hoisted on board the President 7 - Answer. About a quarter before two, P.M. on the day of the action. Question. Were the colors of the President kept flying until she arrived alongside of the Little Belt 3 * Answer. They were. Question. On the day of the said action, where were you quartered on board the frigate President 7 Answer. On the quarter-deck. Question. Were you standing near Commodore Rodgers when he first hailed the Little Belt 7 Answer. I was standing at his elbow. Question. Had the Little Belt then hailed the President 7 Answer. I did not hear the Little Belt hail the President. Question. When Commodore Rodgers hailed the Little Belt, was there any reply from her, and, if any, what was the nature of it? Answer. I did not hear any reply. Question. Was sufficient time given by Commodore Rodgers for the Little Belt to have answered his hail 7 Answer. There was sufficient time given in my opinion. Question. Did Commodore Rodgers hail the Little Belt the second time, if so, how soon 3
Answer. He in a few seconds hailed the Little Belt again. Question. Did the Commodore receive any answer to his second hail, and, if so, what was its purport 7 Answer. I heard no reply from the Little Belt. Question. At the time of Commodore Rodgers's second hailing, did you hear the report of a gun? Answer. I did. *Question. Were you in a position to observe the Little Belt at the time the said gun was fired? Answer. It was; I was standing looking out of the gangway at the Little Belt 7 Question. Was the said gun fired from the Little Belt 7 Answer. It was ; I saw the flash and heard the report. Question. At this time had any gun been fired from the President, or any provocation whatever been given by the Commodore to the Captain of the Little Belt 7 Answer. No gun had at this time been fired by the President, and I know not of any provocation having been given by the Commodore to the Captain of the Little Belt. Q. Was the latter ship silenced, and how soon 7 Answer. The Little Belt was silenced, to the best of my recollection, in five or six minutes. Question. When the fire of the Little Belt was silenced, did the Commodore appear anxious to prevent further injury being done to her ? Answer. He did appear very much so ; orders to that effect were passed from him to every division of guns. Question. Did the fire of the President hereupon cease ? and did the Little Belt renew her fire, and in what time ! Answer. The fire of the President ceased as soon as the orders were received; and in about two minutes aster the fire of the Little Belt was renewed. Question. Did the President then recommence her fire, and was the Little Belt again silenced, and how soon ? Answer. The President then recommenced her fire, and in about six minutes afterward the guns of the Little Belt were silenced. Question. When the fire of the Little Belt was silenced a second time, did Commodore Rodgers make every exertion to prevent further injury being done to her ? Answer. He did, sir. Question. Have you seen Commodore Rodgers's official letter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated off Sandy Hook, on the 23d day of May last, relative to the action with the Little Belt 3 Answer. I have. Question. Are there any circumstances stated in that letter which you know to be incorrect? Answer. I know of none. Question by Commodore Rodgers. Was the soon at any time during the rencounter on re Answer. No. Question by Commodore Rodgers. Did the President sheer off with a view to avoid the Little Belt at any time during the action ? Ans. No.