which the annulling of our Orders will produce in America. It has been said by the hired writers (who detest the Americans only because they are free); it has been said by these prostituted personages and their like elsewhere, that America will now demand other points to be conceded to her. I had the honour lo state to your Royal Highness, in my Fourth Letter, that America bad TWO subjects of complaint against us, upon both of which she must be satisfied, if we meant to have peace with her : namely, The Orders in Council, and The Impressment of American Seamen. The nature, the extent, and the grounds of the latter complaint was, in the Letter here referred to, fully stated; and I then took occasion lo endeavour to convince your Royal Highness, that this was what stuck closest to the hearts of the people of America ; and, in America, Sir, the feelings of the people are consulted, as they ought to be, upon all occasions.

If we look back to the Report of the Committee of Congress, of November last, we shall find, that the heaviest of its denunciations is levelled against our impressment of their seamen. After stating their grievances as growing out of the Orders in Council, they proceed to the subject of impressment, and say:

“ Your Committee are not, however, of that sect whose worship is at the shrine of a calculating avarice. And while we are laying before you the just

complaints of our merchants against the plunder of their ships and cargoes, we “ cantiot refrain from presenting to the justice and humanity of our country the unhappy case of our impressed seamen. Although the groans of these victims of barbarity for the loss of (what should be dearer to the Americans than life) “THEIR LIBERTY; although the cries of their wives and children in the pri“ vation of protectors and parents, have of late, been drowned in the louder " clamours at the loss of property : yet is the practice of forcing our mariners “ into the British navy, in violation of the rights of our flag, carried on with “ unabated rigour and severity. If it be our duty to encourage the fair and " legitimate commerce of this country by protecting the property of the mere “ chant, then indeed, by as much as life and liberty are more estimable than ships

and goods, so much more impressive is the duty to shield the persons of our seamen, of whose hard and honest services are employed, equally with those of the o merchants, in advancing, under the mantle of its laws, the interests of their o country."

These were the sentiments, expressed in that Report, which determined on war; and, your Royal Highness may be assured, that up to these sentiments they are prepared to act. It was from this conviction, that, in the Fifth Letter, addressed to your Royal Highness, I said : “If I “ were asked what ought to be done to prevent war with America, I “should say, certainly, first repeal the Orders in Council ; but, I am “ far from supposing, that that measure alone would be sufficient. In. “ deed, it seems to me, that the Impressment of American seamen must be abandoned ; and to this I would add a declaration, that England “ would not interfere in the affairs of Spanish South America*.” I now, Sir, most earnestly repeat this advice. I implore you to resist the advice of those, who would fain make you believe, that we ought to persist in

The following Bill, which, in all probability, has long ago become a law in America, will show in what light the Americans view the subject of our Impress. ment of their Seamen.

A Bill for the Protection, Recovery, and Indemnification of American Seamen.

The Preamble states, that His Britannic Majesty has caused to be impressed out of the ships of the United States, sailing on the high seas, under the American flag, divers liege citizens of said States, and hath compelled them to serve these impressments. I implore your Royal Highness to reflect on the manifold miseries that may arise from this cause; and, to be pleased to bear in mind, that to yield hereafter, to yield upon force or menace, will be disgrace ; whereas to yield now would indicate a sentiment of justice. How many nations have, from the indulgence of the pride and obstinacy of their rulers, been, at last, humbled in the dust! But this will never, I trust, be the lot of England under the sway of your Royal Highness. That nothing may be wanting on my part to prevent your Royal Highness from being deceived into the adoption of injurious measures with regard

on board the ships of war of Great Britain, and to fight against the United States, and that numbers of them are yet detained.

It is therefore enacted, that from and after the 4th day of June next, any person or persons who shall impress any native seaman of the United States, sailing on the high seas, or in any port, river, haven, basin, or bay, under pretence or colour of a commission from any foreign power, shall, for every such offence, be adjudged a pirate and felon, and on conviction, suffer death; and the trial in such case shall be had where the offender is apprehended or may be first brought.

That it shall be lawful for any seaman, sailing under the flag of the United States, or any person or persons attempting to impress him, to repel by force ; and if any person so attempting to impress said seaman shall be killed, maimed, or wounded, such seaman, on the general issue, may give the special matter in evidence, which is hereby declared a perfect justification.

That on information being given to the President of the United States proving satisfactorily to him, that any citizen of the United States shall have been impressed, and shall be yet detained, or shall hereafter be impressed, to cause the most rigorous retaliation on any of the subjects of said Government taken on the high seas, or within the British territories, whom he is hereby authorized to cause to be taken and seized for that purpose, any treaty to the contrary notwithstanding.

That any seaman, heretofore or hereafter impressed, may attach, in the hands of any British subject, or in the hands of any debtor of any British subject, a sum equal to thirty dollars per month for the whole time he shall have been detained on board any British vessel or vessels.

T'hat the President of the United States may capture, by way of reprisal, as many British subjects, on the high seas or within the British territories, as may be equal to the impressed American seamen in the possession of Great Britain, and by a cartel to exchange the same.

That the President, whenever sufficient testimony shall be produced, that the commander of any public armed vessel of any foreign nation shall have taken or impressed from on board any ship or other vessel of the United States, while at any port or place not within the jurisdiction of such foreign nation, or while on her passage to or from any port or place, any seaman, mariner, or other person not being in the military service of an enemy of such foreign nation, may prohibit by proclamation, every person residing within the United States or its territory, from affording aid, succour or provisions, of whatever kind, to such ship or vessel; and any pilot or other person, residing within the United States, who shall, after such prohibition shall have been made known, and before the same shall be revoked, afford aid, succour, or provisions, as aforesaid, to such ship or vessel, and be thereof convicted, shall be sentenced to be iinprisoned not exceed. ing one year, and fined not exceeding one thousand dollars.

That from and after the 4th of June next, whenever full and sufficient testi. mony shall be produced, that the commanders of public armed vessels of any foreign nation, have impressed or taken from on board any ship or vessel within the jurisdiction of the United States, or while on her passage to or from any port or place, any seaman, mariner, or other person, the President may prohibit, by proclamation, the landing from on board any ship or other vessel of the fo. reign nation (whose commander or coinmanders have offended as aforesaid) any goods, ware, or merchandise within any of the ports of the United States or the territories of the United States.

The above Bill was read a first time by a majority of 53 to 28. On its third reading, it was re-committed to a Committee of the whole.

to the question of Impressment, I will, in my next, endeavour to lay before you a true and clear statement of the case, and will humbly offer you my opinion as to what ought to be done by our Government with respect to it. And I remain in the meanwhile, &c. &c. &c

WM. COBBETT. State Prison, Newgate, Thursday,

18th June, 1812.



(Political Register, August, 1812.)

I implore your Royal Highness to reflect on the manifold miseries that may " arise from this cause, and to be pleased to bear in mind, that, to yield here" after upou force or menace, will be disgracc; whereas to yield now would * indicate a sentiment of justice."--Letter to the Regent, Vol. XXI. Pol. Reg.

p. 789.


SIR, If I have now to refer to the proofs of the correctness of those opinions which I addressed to your Royal Highness many months past, upon the subject of the Dispute with America, I beg you to be assured, that I do it not in the way of triumph, but in the hope, that even yet my advice, most respectfully offered to your Royal Highness, may have some weight with you, and may, in some small degree, tend to avert that last of national evils, a war with America, a war against the children of Englishmen, a war against the seat of political and religious freedom.

In my former Letters I took great pains to endeavour to induce your Royal Highness to distrust the statements in our public prints as to the power of the English party in the American States. I assured you, that the venal press in England was engaged in promulgating a series of deceptions with regard to the opinions of the people of America. I took the liberty to point out to your Royal Highness the mischiefs which must result from listening to the advice of those whose language might correspond with that of this press; and, in short, I showed, that, if the endeavours of that pernicious, partial, and corrupt press had their intended effect, war with America must be the consequence. By this press (the vilest instrument of the vilest corruption that ever existed in the whole world) the people of England were induced to approve of the measures which have now produced a war with America; or, at least, they were induced to wink at them. They were made to believe, that our measures of hostility against America were useful to us, and that the American Government had not the power to resent them by war. The same, I doubt not, was told to your Royal Highness verbally; but, how wretch. edly have the nation and you been deceived !

The state of affairs between the two countries now stands thus : There exists a Dispute on the subject of our Orders in Council, on that of the Impressment of Americun Seamen, and on the possession of the Floridas. There are some other matters of inferior importance, but they would admit easy arrangement. With regard to the Orders in Council

, your Royal Highness was advised to issue, on the 21st of April last, a Declaration, stating that you would not repeal the Orders in Council. until France, officially and unconditionally, by some public promulgation, repealed her Berlin and Milan Decrees. France, so far from doing this, has, in the most public and solemn manner, declared, that she will never do what your Declaration required, though, at the same time, she has repeated (and she has done no more) what she had said to the Ame. rican Government in 1810, and what was then communicated to our Government by the American Minister in London. Nevertheless, you were afterwards advised to repeal the Orders in Council, though the conditions of the Declaration before issued were not at all satisfied, but were, in fact, set at open defiance.

This repeal, which took place on the 23d of June last, was, however, too late in its adoption to prevent war. The American Government, who had been making their preparations for many months, and which preparations had been the subject of mockery with the venal press in England, declared war on the 18th of June last. The intelligence of this having been received in England, your Royal Highness was advised to issue, on the 31st of July, an Order in Council for an embargo on all American vessels in our ports, and also for capturing and detaining all American vessels at sea.

This is the state of affairs between the two countries ; and the main question now appears to be, whether, when the American Government hears of our repeal of the Orders in Council, they will revoke their de. claration of war. This is a question of great interest at this moment; and, I shall, therefore, proceed to lay before your Royal Highness my sentiments with respect to it.

The same sort of infatuation that has prevailed here, with regard to American affairs, for many months past, appears still to prevail. Indeed, Sir, I can call it no other than insolence; an insolent contempt of the Americans, thought by those who hate them, and who would, if they could, kill them to the last man, in revenge for their having established a free government, where there are neii her sinecures, jobs, or selling of seats. This insolence has induced people to talk of America as a country incapable of resenting anything that we might do to her; as being a wretched state, unsupported by anything like vigour in government; as a sort of horde of half.savages, with whom we might do what we pleased ; and, to the very last minute, the great mass of the people here; ninetynine out of every hundred, firmly believed, that America would never go to war with us. They left prorocations quite out of the question. They appeared to have got into their heads a conclusion, that, let us do what we would to America, she would not go to war with us.

This way of thinking has pervaded the whole of the writings upon the subject of the Dispute with America. At every stage in the progress towards war, the corrupt press has asserted, that America knew better than to go to war with us. When she went so far as to pass Acts for

raising an army and equipping a fleet, and that, too, with the avowed intention of making war against us; still the birelings told the people, that she dared not go to war, and that she only meant to bully. I could fill a large volume with assertions from the Times newspaper alone, that we should not yield a titile, and that America would not dare to go to war. But, the fact is too notorious to dwell upon. There is no man, and especially your Royal Highness, who can have failed to observe the constant repetition of these assertions.

At last, however, America has dared to go to var, even against that great warrior George the Third, nearly three-fifths of whose reign has been occupied in wars, exclusive of the wars in India. He has been not only the greatest warrior, but the greatest conqueror of any European prince that ever lived. Napoleon is nothing to him as a conqueror; and yet the Americans have dared to declare war against him. But, even now, now that she has actually declared war, and that too, by an Act of Congress, by a law passed by real representatives of the people ; by men elected by the free voice of the nation ; by an unbribed, unbought, unsold, unenslaved assembly, not by a set of corrupt knaves whom the President can at any time twist about by means of the people's money; eren now, when she has declared war in this solemn manner, the hireling newspapers in London would fain make us believe, that the whole thing is a mere make-belief; that it is a mere feint, and“ will end in smoke.” At the least, they tell us, that when the news of the repeal of our Orders in Council reaches America, there must be a revocation of the declaration of war. They seem to forget, that the declaration of war in America is an Act of Congress, and that to do away the effect of that Act, another Act must pass. They seem to forget, that it is the people who have declared war; and that the people must be consulted before that declaration can be annulled, or revoked. But, Sir, the fact is, that these writers talk miserable nonsense. We are at war with America ; and, before we can have peace with her again, we must have a treaty of peace.

But, the main question for rational men to discuss is : “ Will the “ repeal of our Orders in Council be sufficient to induce America to make " peace with us, without including the redress of her other grievances ?” This is the question that we have to discuss ; it is a question in which hundreds of thousands are immediately interested ; and it is a question which I think may be answered in the negative; that is to say, Sir, I give it as my opinion, that the repeal of our Orders in Council will not be sufficient to restore us to a state of peace with America, and, I now proceed respectfully to submit to your Royal Highness the reasons, upon which this opinion is founded.

In my last Letter (page 105) I had the honour to state to your Royal Highness, that there was another great point with America : namely, the Impressment of American seamen, which must be adjusted before harmony could be restored between the two countries; and, as you must have perceived, this subject of complaint stands at the head of Mr. Madison's statement of the grounds of war; it stands at the head of his manifesto against our Government. His own words will best speak his meaning:

“Without going beyond the renewal, in 1803, of the war in which Great Brie "tain is engaged, and onnitting unrepaired wrongs of interior magnitude, the " conduct of her Government presents a series of acts hostile in the United

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