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who after having plundered them of a part of their cargoes, destroyed the remainder by burning the ships.
It is a painful task to the undersigned to be obliged so frequently to call the attention of his excellency to such lawless depredations. It appears to him, that in the whole catalogue of outrages on the part of the cruizers of the belligerents, of which the United States have such great and just reasons to complain, there are none more vexatious and reprehensible than this.
Upon what ground can such spoliations be justified? Will it be alleged that the destruction of these vessels was necessary in order to prevent their carrying information to the enemy, and there. by endanger the safety of these frigates upon a trackless ocean? This would be a poor defence. After boarding these peaceful traders, they might easily have laid their course south, when they intended to go north. They could even have maintained their assumed character of British ships, under which it seems they began the commission of these flagrant acts, and thus have prevented all information of their cruizing in those latitudes.
But it appears that plunder and not safety was the object for which they have thus disgraced the imperial Aag. For his excellency will probably have learnt from Brest, where the frigates entered, that the twenty boxes of spices and other articles taken from the Telegraph, were smuggled on shore, and, it is said, were sold for the benefit of the equipage of the Medusa.
Thus is the property of citizens of the United States seized, condemned and sold by officers of the imperial navy, who became at once captors, judges and vendors of the property of unoffending neutrals. Such disgraceful violations of every principle on which nations consent to live in peace, ought never to go unpunished, and surely in this case they will not.
The undersigned, therefore, most earnestly calls on his excellency, the minister of foreign relations, as the official guardian of public right, to lay a statement of this outrage before his majesty in such a point of view as shall produce a speedy compensation to the captains Holden and Bayard, and the owners of the ships and cargoes, for the losses they have sustained; and his majesty will doubtless take measures to avenge the dignity and signalize the justice of his government by punishing such a crime in a manner to prevent its repetition.
The valuation of the Dolly and her cargo, and the Telegraph and her cargo, is herewith inclosed; the delay in obtaining these valuations has retarded for some weeks the presentation of this letter; and the undersigned cannot but indulge the hope that his excellency will now give as carly attention to the whole of the case as its importance manifestly demands. The undersigned begs his excellency, &c. &c. (Signed)
No. IX. Extract of a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Secretary of State,
Paris, March 15, 1812. “I have scarcely been able to get an interview with the duke of Bassano for the last 15 days, though he has appointed several. He has disappointed me in most of them, and I am sure with reluctance. Last evening I obtained a short audience, in which he de. clared that his great work of this continent was now finished, and he would be able after to-morrow to devote himself very much to the treaty with the United States, till it should be completed. And I left him rather with the hope than the full expectation, that he will have it in his power to keep his promise."
No. IX. Extract of a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Secretary of State,
Paris, March 16, 1812. “ Since I had the honor of writing to you yesterday, the Moniteur has come out with the Senatus Consultum of which I spoke. This I now inclose. This despatch goes by a safe hand for Bordeaux, there to be confided to some passenger to go by one of our fast sailing schooners. You will notice that ihe minister, in his report, says nothing particular of the United States, and nothing more precise than heretofore of the revocation of the decrees.
" This furnishes an additional motive for using all my efforts to get the treaty through, carrying with it an unequivocal stipulation that shall lay that question to rest. Its importance is surely sufficient to warrant my detaining the Hornet.
“ The emperor did not like the bill we have seen before congress for admitting English goods contracted for before the nonimportation law went into operation.
“I was questioned by the duke of Bassano on the bill, with a good deal of point, when it first appeared, and I gave such clear and decided explanations, as I thought at the time, would remove all uneasiness. But I have since heard that the emperor is not well satisfied. If congress had applied its relieving hand to individual cases only, and on personal petitions, it would have excited no suspicion.
“ In consequence of my repeated remonstrances in cases of condemnation of American cargoes, on frivolous or false pretences, I think the career is somewhat arrested, and they now show a disposition to revise the judgments. The Betsey, the Ploughboy, and the Ant, are ordered for revision. The Bellisarius is in progress, and is likely to be liberated, as you will learn by the correspondence I now have the honor to inclose respecting that case."
NOTE. Mr. Barlow's letters of the 15th and 16th of March, are both inarked No. 9 by him.
(Inclosed in No. 9, of the 16th March.) Copy of a letter from Mr. Barlow to the Duke of Bassano, dated MY LORD,
6th February, 1812. I understand that the brig Bellisarius, of New York, capt. Lockwood, and her cargo is about to be confiscated, after report made to his majesty, because this vessel and her cargo are liable to the decree of Milan of the 17th December, 1807.
As I know positively that this American vessel left New York the 17th of June, 1811, seven months after the revocation of the decrees of Milan and Berlin, laden with permitted articles the produce of the soil of the United States, I am unable to account for this decision, without attributing it to an error of date committed in the report, in which it is possible that the year 1810, has been taken for the year 1811.
I take the liberty, therefore, to submit this remark to your excellency, well persuaded, if there has been an error in the report, the justice of his majesty will order a revision of the affair.
I pray your excellency, &c. &c. (Signed)
(Inclosed in No. 9, of the 16th March.) Translation of a letter from the Duke of Bassano to Mr. Barlow,
Paris, 15th March, 1812. I have had the honor of informing you that the case of the ship Bellisarius was terminated, and that I had advised the minister of commerce of the intentions of his majesty.
It having been ascertained on the first examination of this affair, that the ownership (le pour compte) of a great part of the cargo was not proved; and this irregularity, as well as the insufficiency of the papers on board, being a formal contravention of the rules of navigation generally adopted and established, at all times, the decision to which this part of the cargo might be liable had at first extended beyond it.
But on a circumstantial report which I had the honor of presenting to the emperor, his majesty, who likes to carry into the examination of all the affairs on which you address me, friendly dispositions, has ordered that the different questions which were submitted to him should be separated, to the end that a decision may be had in the first place on those which present themselves under the most favorable aspect.
In consequence, sir, the vessel and the part of the cargo of which the ownership (le pour compte) is proven, will be given up to the proprietors; and as to the other articles of the cargo, which are not accompanied with the same kind of proof, the necessary time and facilities will be given to establish the fact of their being American property, conformably to the ancient rules. Accept, sir, the assurance of my high consideration. (Signed)
THE DUKE OF BASSANO.
Paris, April 22, 1812. “ I am obliged at last to dismiss the Hornet, without the expected treaty, which I should have regretted more than I do if your. despatches, which I have had the honor to receive by the Wasp, had not somewhat abated my zeal in that work.”
“ It really appeared to me, that the advantages of such a treaty as I have sketched would be very great; and especially if it could be concluded soon."
“ It is true that our claims of indemnity for past spoliations should be heard, examined and satisfied; which operation should precede the new treaty or go hand in hand with it. This is dull work, hard to begin, and difficult to pursue.” “ I urged it a long time without the effect even of an oral answer. But lately they have consented to give it a discussion; and the minister assures me that something shall be done to silence the complaints, and on principles that he says ought to be satisfactory."
“ I shall not venture to detain the Wasp more than two or three weeks; and I hope by that time to have something decisive to forward by her.”
“ From some expressions in your letters, I am in hopes of receiving soon some more precise instructions on these subjects.
“My communication with England by Morlaix, is almost entirely cut off. It is not so easy to send to London, unless by one of our own public ships, as it is to the United States. I now send your despatches and my own to Mr. Russell, by a messenger in the Hornet, whom I shall desire capt. Lawrence to put on shore or into a pilot-boat on the coast of England.
“This messenger, with Mr. Biddle, will leave Paris this night for Cherbourg, where the Hornet is ready to receive them."
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MR. FOSTER AND MR. MONROE, &c. Letter from the British Minister to the Secretary of State, with Mr.
Monroe's Reply to the same; and a Correspondence between the
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
Washington, April 15th, 1812. I HAVE the honour to acquaint you, that, in addition to those seamen belonging to his majesty's hired armned ketch Gleaner, mentioned in my representation to you of the 30th ultimo, who lately received protection in the violation of their engagements, or were seduced from the service of his majesty by citizens of the United States, I have since been informed by lieutenant Green, her commander, of another subject of his majesty who was also induced to leave his majesty's service, in consequence of encouragement to that effect from the inhabitants of Annapolis.
Such instances, sir, of improper attempts made on the part of citizens of the United States to deprive his majesty's ships, even when employed in the diplomatic intercourse between the two countries, of their seamen, will serve in conjunction with many others in my power to quote, and perhaps in your remembrance, to show, that if the United States have reason at times to complain of irregularities in his majesty's officers, in undesignedly taking their seamen, mistaking them for their own, we have occasionally also reason to make complaint of our seamen engaged on national service, and known as British subjects, being seduced from their allegiance by the citizens of the United States with circumstances of aggravation and insult highly irritating.
Although, sir, it has unfortunately not as yet been found practi. cable by our governments to agree to such arrangements as might preclude the possibility of events taking place so calculated to produce vexation on either side, I cannot however but hope that the government of the United States may find some means to prevent a recurrence of similar irregularities on the part of their citizens; and I assure you, sir, that, as hitherto, so at all times, whenever you claim any persons on board any of his majesty's ships as native American citizens, no exertion shall be wanting on my part to procure their discharge; and I will add, that it would afford me very high satisfaction to be now furnished by you with a list of all those whom you can claim as such, in order that I might use every effort in my power to obtain their immediate release.
You need not I am sure, sir, be reminded by me of the prompt attention which has invariably been given by his majesty's commanding officer on the Halifax station, to the reclamations in similar cases, which I have transmitted since my arrival in the United