could not be sent directly from Rochefort to Cherburg, as you desired; but the minister of marine has directed the maritime prefect of Rochefort to have them struck off the rolls, and to send them to Rochelle, there to be put at the disposition of the consul of the United States.

I hasten, sir, to apprize you of this, and I have the honor to renew the assurance of my high consideration. (Signed)


No. VI.*
Mr. Barlow to the Secretary of State.

Paris, January 4th, 1812. Though Mr. Morris has been gone 36 hours, I send this by the mail to take its chance of reaching Cherbourg before the sailing of the frigate, just to say that Mr. Biddle, the messenger by the Hornet, has reached me. I have scarcely had time to open the packets, but shall lose no time in obeying your instructions as far as I am able, as soon as I find what they are; and I hope not to detain the Hornet after her return from England. With great respect and attachment,

your obedient servant,


Copy of a letter from the Duke of Bassano to Mr. Barlow.

· Paris, 8th January, 1812. You did me the honor to apprize me on the 15th December, that a certain number of Americans, making part of the crews of different vessels captured and carried into our ports, found themselves detained in France as prisoners of war. Evidence taken on their persons, and on board the vessels in which they served; denotes that eight among them have been seized under a neutral flag. Those named Joel Wicker, Judah Swift, Herman Dickenson, served on board the American ship Friendship; Littleton Addison, William Banks, Martin Kelly, Richard Miller, belonged to the American ship Spanish Lady; and John Beadley, to the Pappenburgh vessel the Catharine.

His majesty the emperor, upon the report which I have presented to him, has ordered that these eight seamen, whatever may have been the causes of the capture of their vessels, be placed at the disposition of their government.

The ancient decisions applicable to all seamen making part of the crew of an enemy vessel, whatever may be their citizenship, [nationalité] do not permit to be extended to American seamen; found under such circumstances, the friendly ineasure of which I have the honor to inform you. Accept, Sir, the assurances of my high consideration, &c. &c. (Signed)

* Not Numbered by Mr. Barlow.


No. VI. Extract of a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Secretary of State,


Paris, January 28, 1812. “In consequence of the note of the minister of foreign relations (of which I had the honor of sending you a copy by the frigate, and now send another copy) announcing that he was authorized to negotiate and sign a treaty of commerce, on principles of perfect reciprocity, I had some personal conferences with him on the nature of those principles. I then drew up the project of a treaty and sent it to him on the 17th instant.

“I have reason to presume that in a short time, say three or four weeks, the work may be finished and the treaty ready to be submitted to the president. This being a matter of so much importance in itself, so essential, when finished, to have it despatched as soon as possible, by the safest and swiftest conveyance, and so improbable that at the time contemplated I shall be able to find any such conveyance, but by a public ship, that I have concluded to detain the Hornet.

“ Having ventured on this resolution, I am now anxious to impart it to you, with the copies above mentioned, as soon as possible, and for this purpose I send the Hornet with this despatch to England, desiring Mr. Russell to forward it with such expedition and safety as may be in his power, as none can be had at present from this country.

“ The affair of the Acastus now terminated will be at least one more proof that the obnoxious decrees are in good faith annulled.

“ The ship Acastus, captain Cottle, loaded with tobacco, and bound from Norfolk to Tonningen, was boarded by an English frigate, and afterwards taken by a French privateer, and brought into Fecamp, forthe fact of having been thus boarded. As soon as the emperor was informed of this by my letter of the 20 December to the duke of Bassano, he ordered tbe ship and cargo to be restored to her owner, all which I have had the honor to state to you, and I now state it to Mr. Russell.”

No. VII. Extract af a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Secretary of State,


Paris, February 8th, 1812. “ Having an opportunity to send to London, which cannot be entirely relied upon for safety, I shall do little more than send you a copy


my last despatch.

“ Since its date I have had several conversations with the mi. nister of foreign relations relative to the progress of the treaty. He is at work upon it, and probably in good earnest; but the discussions with Russia, and the other affairs of this continent, give him and the emperor so much occupation, that I cannot count upon their getting on very fast with ours.

“ But he endeavours to assure me that it shall not suffer much delay, and that most of the essential points that I insist upon will be agreed to. These declarations, however, are not sufficiently precise to be relied on.

“ The Hornet sailed from Cherbourg the first of February, and may be expected back in a very few days."

No. VIII. Extract of a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Secretary of State,


March 30, 1812. “ The Hornet returned to Cherbourg, the second time, about the 15th February, where she yet remains, and where I am under the painful necessity of detaining her still longer, or of sending her home without the treaty. The alternative is disagreeable, but I do not hesitate, under all circumstances, to detain her. It is in the hope that we shall bring the affair to a conclusion in time for her to arrive with the treaty before congress will adjourn.

“ Be assured that I spare no pains and omit no argument in urging forward this business.

“ Mr. Russell has written me again for additional proofs of the removal of the decrees. I have the honor to inclose to you a copy of my answer to him of yesterday, which I shall send by the same. ship that takes this despatch (the Neptune, for New-York). The captain, Hopkins, has promised to put the messenger, Mr. Frean, of South Carolina, on shore in England, without expense to the government."

(Inclosed in No. 8.) Mr. Barlow to Mr. Russell.

March 20, 1812. It seems from a variety of documents that I have seen, and among others the decision of Sir William Scott, in the case of the ship Fox, that the British government requires more proof of the effectual revocation by the French government of the Berlin and Milan decrees. Though it is not easy to perceive what purpose such additional proof is to answer, either for obtaining justice or for showing why it is refused, yet I herewith send you a few cases in addition to what have already been furnished.

Among these, I believe you will find such as will touch every point that was contemplated in those decrees, to prove them all to have been removed If not, and still further proof after this should be deemed necessary, I can doubtless furnish it; for the subject is not exhausted, though your patience may be.

1st. The schooner Fly, Adams, of and from New-York, loaded with cotton, sugar and coffee, bound to St. Petersburgh, taken by an English cruizer and carried into Cowes, thence released, came into Havre, declared the facts as above, entered, sold her cargo, reloaded with French goods, and departed without molestation.

2d. The brig Ann Maria, of and from New-York, D. Campbell, master, bound to a port in France, loaded with potash, cotton, staves, put into Falmouth, then came to Morlaix, entered, sold, bought, reloaded, and departed, as above.

3d. The ship Neptune, Hopkins, bound from London to Charleston, in ballast, taken, brought into Dieppe, restored by a decree of the emperor, and departed again in ballast.

4th. Ship Marquis de Someruelos, with indigo, fish, cotton, bound to Civita Vecchia, boarded by a British frigate, arrived at her port, declared the fact, entered, sold, and is now reloading for the United States.

5th. Ship Phæbe, from Boston to Civita Vecchia, colonial produce, boarded as above, arrived, entered, sold, and is now reloading for departure.

6th. Ship Recovery, of Boston, with pepper, boarded, arrived, entered, and treated as above at the same place; now selling her cargo.

7th. Brig Star, bound to Naples, with colonial produce, taken and carried into Toulon, for having touched at Gibraltar, under pretence of a violation of the decrees, and restored by the emperor, on the express ground that the decrees no longer existed, as applicable to the United States.

It would be wrong to allege that any of these vessels were protected be special licenses. In the first place, only three of the seven had licenses; those were the Fly, the Phæbe, and the Recovery. Secondly, it is well known that licenses are not and riever were given as protections against the effects of those decrees. The object of the licenses given to vessels of the United States is distinctly defined to be merely to guard against false papers, and to prove the regularity of the voyage. They are used only for colonial produce, and not at all for the produce of the United States; and we see in every instance, that a vessel loaded wholly with produce of the United States, or in ballast, is respected by the government, here. At least I know it has been so, in every instance, since my arrival in September last; and there have been, I doubt not, thirty or forty such vessels in France within that period. But a vessel loaded with colonial produce and sailing without a license, would be certainly confiscated, whether she had violated the supposed decrees or not. Indeed, the regulation about licenses is not a mari.

Vol. IV. App.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

time regulation, and it has nothing to do with neutral rights. It is, strictly speaking, a relaxation of the French navigation act, in favor of such particular persons as obtain them, to enable such persons to bring goods of an origin foreign to the United States into France.

It is the same as if a vessel of the United States should, by a special relaxation of the English navigation act, obtain a license to bring Brazil sugars, or French wines into England. Such a license would surely not be considered as a breach on the part of England, of our neutral rights, neither would it be a breach of such rights to confiscate our vessels carrying such articles into England without a license. The violation of the navigation law, either of France or England, is not a neutral right, and therefore the punishment of such violation is not a breach of neutral right.

I have taken the liberty to be thus particular on this head, because in several instances, during the discussion with the ministers of the British government, I have seen a disposition in them to confound with the French maritime decrees not only this affair of special licenses, but several regulations merely fiscal and municipal, bearing no relation to neutral rights, or to the decrees in question.

I will terminate this statement by repeating the solemn declaration that I made to you in my letter to you of the 30th January, (and there is no impropriety in the repetition, since a greater length of time has given a wider scope to the declaration) that since my arrival in September last, there has not been a single instance of the application of the Berlin and Milan decrees to an American vessel or cargo, and that I have not heard of their having been so applied since the first of November, 1810, though many instances have occurred within that period, in which they must have been so applied, had they been in vigor.

It is difficult to conceive, probably impossible to procure, and certainly insulting to require, a mass of evidence more positive than this, or more conclusive to every unprejudiced mind. (Signed)


Copy of a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Duke of Bassano, dated

March 12, 1912. The undersigned, minister plenipotentiary of the United States, has the honor to transmit, here inclosed, to his excellency the duke of Bassano, minister of foreign relations, copies of the protests of Thomas Holden, master of the American brig Dolly, of New York, and Stephen Bayard, master of the American ship Telegraph, of New York, by which his excellency will learn that these vessels have been met with at sea, by his imperial and royal majesty's ships, the Medusa, capt. Raoel, and the Nymph, capt. Plassaw,

« ForrigeFortsett »