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[29 His royal highness can never acknowledge any blockade whatsoever to be illegal which has been duly notified, and is supported by an adequate force, merely upon the ground of its extent, or because the ports or coasts blockaded are not at the same time invested by land. His royal highness can never admit that neutral trade with Great Britain can be constituted a public crime, the commission of which can expose the ships of any power whatever to be denationalized. His royal highness can never admit that Great Britain can be de. barred of its rights of just and necessary retaliation, through the fear of eventually affecting the interest of a neutral. His royal highness can never admit that the exercise of the undoubted and hitherto undisputed right of searching neutral merchant vessels in time of war, for the impressment of British seamen, when found therein, can be deemed
violation of a neutral flag. Neither can he admit that the taking such seamen from on board such vessels can be considered by any neutral state as a hostile measure, or a justifiable cause of war.
There is no right more clearly established than the right which a sovereign has to the allegiance of his subjects, more especially in time of war. Their allegiance is no optional duty, which they can decline and resume at pleasure. It is a call which they are bound to obey ; it began with their birth, and can only terminate with their existence. If a similarity of language and manners may make the exercise of this right more liable to partial mistakes and occasional abuse, when practised towards vessels of the United States, the same circumstances make it also a right, with the exercise of which in regard to such vessels it is more difficult to dispense. But if to this practice of the United States, to harbour British seamen, be added their assumed right to transfer the allegiance of British subjects, and thus to cancel the jurisdiction of their legitimate sovereign, by acts of naturalization and certificates of citizenship, which they pretend to be as valid out of their own territory as within it, it is obvious that to abandon this ancient right of Great Britain, and to admit these several pretensions of the United States, would be to expose to danger the very foundation of our maritime strength.
Without entering minutely into the other topics, which have been brought forward by the government of the United States, it may be proper to remark, that whatever the declaration of the United States may have asserted, Great Britain never did demand, that they should force British manufac
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tures into France; and she formally declared her willingness entirely to forego, or modify, in concert with the United States, the system by which a commercial intercourse with the enemy had been allowed under the protection of licenses; provided the United States would act towards her, and towards France, with real impartiality. The government of America, if the differences between states are not interminable, has as little right to notice the affair of the Chesapeake. The aggression, in this instance, on the part of a British officer, was acknowledged, his conduct was disapproved, and a reparation was regularly tendered by Mr. Foster on the part of his majesty, and accepted by the government of the United States. It is not less unwarranted in its allusion to the mission of Mr. Henry; a mission undertaken without the authority, or even knowledge of his majesty's government, and which Mr. Foster was authorized formally and officially to disavow. The charge of exciting the Indians to offensive measures against the United States is equally void of foundation. Before the war began, a policy the most opposite had been uniformly pursued, and proof of this was tendered by Mr. Foster to the American government. Such are the causes of war which have been put forward by the
government of the United States. But the real origin of the present contest will be found in that spirit which has long unhappily actuated the councils of the United States; their inarked partiality in palliating and assisting the aggressive tyranny of France; their systematic endeavours to inflame their people against the defensive means of Great Britain ; their ungenerous conduct towards Spain, the intimate ally of Great Britain; and their unworthy desertion of the cause of other neutral nations. It is through the prevalence of such councils that America has been associated in policy with France, and committed in war against Great Britain.
And under what conduct on the part of France has the government of the United States thus lent itself to the enemy? The contemptuous violation of the commercial treaty of the year 1800 between France and the United States; the treacherous seizure of all American vessels and
in all harbours subject to the controul of the French arms; the tyrannical principles of the Berlin and Milan decrees, and the confiscations under them; the subsequent condemnation under the Rambouillet decree, antedated or concealed to render it the more effectual; the French commercial regulations which render the traffic of the United States with France almost illusory; the burning of their merchant ships at sea,
long after the alleged repeal of the French decrees--all these acts of violence on the part of France produce from the government of the United States only such complaints as end in acquiescence and submission, or are accompanied by suggestions for enabling France to give the semblance of a legal form to her usurpations, by converting them into municipal regulations.
This disposition of the government of the United States, this complete subserviency to the ruler of France, this hostile temper towards Great Britain, are evident in almost every page of the official correspondence of the American with the French government. Against this course of conduct, the real cause of the present war, the prince regent solemnly protests. Whilst contending against France, in defence not only of the liberties of Great Britain, but of the world, his royal highness was entitled to look for a far different result. From their common origin from their common interests from their professed principles of freedom and independence, the United States were the last power, in which Great Britain could have expected to find a willing instrument and abettor of French tyranny. Disappointed in this his just expectation; the prince regent will still pursue the policy, which the British government has so long and invariably maintained, in repelling injustice, and in supporting the general rights of nations, and, under the favour of Providence, relying on the justice of his cause, and the tried loyalty and firmness of the British nation, his royal highness confidently looks forward to a successful issue to the contest, in which he has thus been compelled most reluctantly to engage.
Westminster, January 9, 1813.
AMERICAN AND BRITISH PROCLAMATIONS ON THE
INVASION OF CANADA.
By William Hull, Brigadier-General and Commander of the North-Western Army of the United States,
A PROCLAMATION. Inhabitants of Canada! After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the United States have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities of Great Britain have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission. The army under my command has invaded your country, and the standard of the Union now waves over the territory of Canada. To the peaceable unoffending inhabitant it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to make them. I come to protect, not to injure you.
Separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wilderness from Great Britain, you have no participation in her councils, no interest in her conduct--you have felt her tyranny, you have seen her injustice; but I do not ask you to avenge the one or to redress the other. The United States are sufficiently powerful to afford every security consistent with their rights and your expectations. I tender you the invaluable blessings of civil, political, and religious liberty, and their necessary result, individual and general prosperity. -That liberty which gave decision to our councils, and energy to our conduct in a struggle for independence, and which conducted us safely and triumphantly through the stormy period of the revolution. That liberty which has raised us to an elevated rank among the nations of the world; and which afforded us a greater measure of peace and security, of wealth and improvement, than ever fell to the lot of any people.
In the name of my country, and by the authority of government, I promise you protection to your persons, property, and rights; remain at your homes; pursue your peaceful and customary avocations; raise not your hands against your brethren.- Many of your fathers fought for the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being children, therefore, of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an army of friends, must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated from tyranny and oppression, and restored to the dignified station of freemen. Had I any doubt of eventual success, I might ask your assistance, but I do not. I come prepared for every contingency-I have a force that will look down all opposition, and that force is but the vanguard of a much greater? If, contrary to your own interests and the just expectations of my country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered and treated as enemies, and the horrors and calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous and savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages are let loose to murder our citizens, and butcher our women and children, this war will be a war of extermi. nation. The first stroke of the tomahawk--the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal of one indiscrimi. nate scene of desolation. No white man found fighting by
the side of an Indian will be taken prisoner: instant destruction will be his lot. If the dictates of reason, duty, justice, and humanity, cannot prevent the employment of a force which respects no rights, and knows no wrong, it will be prevented by a severe and relentless system of retaliation. I doubt not your.courage and firmness. I will not doubt your attachment to liberty. If you tender your services voluntarily, they will be accepted readily.--The United States offer you peace, liberty, and security—your choice lies between these and warm slavery and destruction. Choose then, but choose wisely ; and
may He who knows the justice of our cause, and who holds in his hand the fate of nations, guide you to a result the most compatible with your rights and interests, your peace and happiness.
WILLIAM HULL. Head quarters, Sandwich, July 12, 1812. By the general,
A. P. HULL, capt. of the 13th U. S. regt.
of infantry and aid-de-camp.
PROCLAMATION. The unprovoked declaration of war, by the United States of America, against the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and its dependencies, has been followed by the actual invasion of this province in a remote frontier of the western district, by a detachment of the armed force of the United States. The officer commanding that detachment has thought proper to invite his majesty's subjects not merely to a quiet and unresisting submission, but insults them with a call to seek voluntarily the protection of his government, Without condescending to repeat the illiberal epithets bestowed, in this appeal of the American commander to the people of Upper Canada, on the administration of his majesty, every inhabitant of the province is desired to seek the confutation of such indecent slander in the review of his own particular circumstances. Where is the Canadian subject who can truly affirm to himself that he has been injured by the government in his person, his liberty, or his property? Where is to be found, in any part of the world, a growth so rapid in wealth and prosperity as this colony exhibits ? Settled, not thirty years, by a band of veterans exiled from their former possessions on account of their loyalty, not a descendant of these brave people is to be found, who, under the fostering liberality of their sovereign, has not acquired a property and VOL. IT