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other blockades, of a similar character which were maintained by Great Britain, to be founded on strict maritime right.

The conditions now annexed to the French demand, are much more extensive, and, as I have shewn, include a surrender of many other of the most established principles of the public law of nations.

I cannot, I confess, see, upon what ground you contend that the report of the duke of Bassano affords no proof, against any partial repeal of the French decrees. The principles advanced in that report are general; there is no exception made in favour of America, and in the correspondence of Mr. Barlow, as officially published, he seems to allow that he had no explanation respecting it. How can it therefore, beconsidered in any other light, than as a re-publication of the decrees themselves, which, as it were, to take away all grounds for any doubt, expressly advances a doctrine that can only be put in practice on the high seas, namely, “ that free ships shall make free goods," since the application of such a principle to vessels in port, is absolutely rejected under his continental system.

It is indeed impossible to see how, under such circumstances, America can call upon Great Britain to revoke her orders in coun. cil. It is impossible that she can revoke them at this moment, in common justice to herself and to her allies; but, sir, while under the necessity of continuing them, she will be ready to manage their exercise so as to alleviate, as much as possible, the pressure upon America, and it would give me great pleasure to confer with you at any time, upon the most advisable manner of producing that effect. I have the honour, &c. &c. (Signed)

AUG. J. FOSTER. Hon. James Monroe, &c. &c.

Mr. Monroe to Mr. Faster.
SIR,

Department of State, June 13, 1812. I am not aware that any letter of yours, on any subject on which the final decision of this government had not been communicated to you, has been suffered to remain without a prompt and written answer. And even in the cases thus supposed to have been settled, which you thought proper to revive, although no favourable change had taken place in the policy or measures of your government, I have never failed to explain to you, informally, in early interviews, the reasons which made it imperiously the duty of the United States, to continue to afford to their rights and interests all the protection in their power. The acknowledgment of this, on your part, was due to the frankness of the communications which have passed between us, on the highly important subjects on which we have treated, and I am happy to find, by your letter of the 10th instant, that, in relying on it, I have not been disappointed.

The impropriety of a demand made by your government, of a copy of the instrument or instructions given by the French go

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vernment to its cruizers, after the repeal of the Berlin and Milan decrees, was sufficiently shown in Mr. Pinkney's letter to the marquis of Wellesley, of the 10th of December, 1810, and in my letters to you of the 23d of July, 1811, and 14th of January last. It was for this reason that I thought it more suitable to refer you to those letters, for the answer to that demand, than to repeat it in a formal communication.

It excites, however, no small surprise, that you should continue to demand a copy of that instrument, or any new proof of the repeal of the French decrees, at the very time that you declare, that the proof which you demand, in the extent to which we have a right to claim the repeal, would not, if afforded, obtain a corre. sponding repeal of the orders in council. This demand is the more extraordinary, when it is considered that since the repeal of the decrees, as it respects the United States, was announced, your government has enlarged its pretensions, as to the conditions on which the orders in council should be repealed, and even invigora. ted its practice under them.

It is satisfactory to find that there has been no misapprehension of the condition, without which your government refuses to repeal the orders in council. You admit, that to obtain their repeal, in respect to the United States, the repeal of the French decrees must be absolute and unconditional, not as to the United States only, but as to all other neutral nations; nor as far as they affect, neutral commerce only, but as they operate internally, and affect the trade in British manufactures with the enemies of Great Bri. tain. As the orders in council have formed a principal cause of the differences, which unhappily exist between our countries, a condition of their repeal communicated in any authentic document or manner, was entitled to particular attention. And surely none could have so high a claim to it, as the letter from lord Castlereagh to you, submitted, by his authority, to my view, for the express purpose of making that condition, with its other contents, known to this government.

With this knowledge of the determination of your government, to say nothing of the other conditions annexed to the repeal of the orders in council, it is impossible for me to devise, or conceive any arrangement, consistent with the honour, the rights and interests of the United States, that could be made the basis, or become the result of a conference on the subject. As the president, never. theless, retains his solicitude to see a happy termination of any difference between the two countries, and wishes that every opportu. nity, however unpromising, which may possibly lead to it, should be taken advantage of, I have the honour to inform you, that I am ready to receive and pay due attention to any communications or propositions having that object in view, which you may be autho. rized to make.

Under existing circumstances it is deemed most advisable, in every respect, that this should be done in writing, as most suscep

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tible of the requisite precision, and least liable to misapprehension. Allow me to add, that it is equally desirable that it should be done without delay. By this it is not meani to preclude any additional opportunity which may be afforded by a personal interview. I hare the honor to be, &c. (Signed)

JAMES MONROE. Augustus J. Foster, &c. &c.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
SIR,

Washington, June 14, 1812. I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant.

It is really quite painful to me to perceive that notwithstanding the length of the discussions which have taken place between us, misapprehensions have again arisen respecting some of the most important features in the questions at issue between the two coun. tries, which misapprehensions, perhaps proceeding from my not expressing myself sufficiently clear in my note of the Toth instant, in relation to one of those questions, it is absolutely necessary should be done away.

I beg leave again to state to you, sir, that it is not the operation of the French decrees upon the British trade with the enemies of Great Britain, that has ever formed a subject of discussion between us, and that it is the operation of those decrees upon Great Britain through neutral commerce only which has really been the point at issue. Had America resisted the effect of those decrees in their full extent upon her neutral rights, we should never have had a difference upon the subject. But while French cruizers continued to capture her ships under their operation, she seems to have been satisfied if those ships were released by special imperial mandates issued as the occasion arose, and she had chosen to call municipal an unexampled assumption of authority by France, in countries not under French jurisdiction, and expressly invaded for the purpose of preventing their trade with England upon principles directly applicable to, if they could be enforced against, America.

I beg you to recollect, sir, that if no revocation has been made of the orders in council upon any repeal of the French decrees, as hitherto shewn by America to have taken place, it has not been the fault of his majesty's government. It was France, and afterwards America, that connected the question relative to the right of blockade, with that arising out of the orders in council. You well know that if these two questions had not been united together, ihe orders in council would have been, in 1810, revoked How could it be expected that Great Britain, in comm in justice to other neutral nations, to her allies and to herself, should not contend for a full and absolure repeal of the French decrees, or should engage to make any particular concession in favour of America, when she saw that America would not renounce her demand for a surrender, with the orders in council, of some of our most im. portant maritime rights.

Even to this day, sir, you have not explicitly stated in any of the letters to which you refer me, that the American government would expressly renounce asking for a revocation of the blockade of 1806, and the other blockades alluded to in Mr. Pinkney's letter; much less have I been able to obtain from you any disclaimer of the right asserted by France, to impose upon the world the new maritime code promulgated by France, in the late re-publication of her decrees, although I have, by order of my government, ex. pressly stated their expectation of such disclaimer, and repeatedly called for an explanation upon this point.

I will now say that I feel entirely authorized to assure you that if you can at any time produce a full and unconditional repeal of the French decrees, as you have a right to demand it in your character of a neutral nation, and that it be disengaged from any question concerning our maritime rights, we shall be ready to meet you with a revocation of the orders in council. Previously to your producing such an instrument, which I am sorry to see you appear to regard as unnecessary, you cannot expect of us to give up our orders in council.

In reference to the concluding paragraph of your letter in answer to that in mine of the 10th instant, I will only say that I am extremely sorry to find you think it impossible to devise or conceive any arrangement consistent with the honor, rights and interests of the United States which might tend to alleviate the pressure of the orders in council upon the commerce of America. It would have given me great satisfaction if we could have fallen upon some agreement that might have had such effect. My government, while under the imperious necessity of resisting France with her own weapons, most earnestly desires thai the interests of America may suffer as little as possible from the incidental effect of the conflict. They are aware that their retaliatory measures have forced the ruler of France to yield, in some degree, from his hostile decrees; and whether it were more advisable to push those measures vigorously on until they complete the breaking of it up altogether, the main object of our retaliatory system) or to take advantage of the partial and progressive retractions of it produced by the necessities of the enemy, has been a question with his majesty's government. It is one on which they would have been most desirous to consult the interests of America. Under existing circumstances, however, and from our late communications I have not felt encouraged to make you any written proposal, arising out of this state of things; I shall therefore merely again express to you that as the object of Great Britain has been throughout to endeavour, while forced in behalf of her most im. portant rights and interests to retaliate upon the French decrees, to combine that retaliation with the greatest possible degree of attention to the interests of America, it would give his majesty's government the most sincere satisfaction if some arrangement could be found which would have so desirable an effect. I have, &c. (Signed)

AUG. J. FOSTER. Honorable James Monroe, &c. &c.

MESSAGE From the President of the United States, recommending an immediate

Declaration of War, against Great Britain. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States

I COMMUNICATE to Congress certain documents, being a continuation of those heretofore laid before them, on the subject of aur affairs with Great Britain.

Without going back beyond the renewal in 1803, of the war in which Great Britain is engaged, and omitting unrepaired wrongs of inferior magnitude, the conduct of her government presents a series of acts, hostile to the United States as an independent and neutral nation.

British cruizers have been in the continued practice of violating the American flag on the great high way of nations, and of seizing and carrying off persons sailing under it; not in the exercise of a belligerent right, founded on the law of nations against an enemy, but of a municipal prerogative over British subjects. British jurisdiction is thus extended to neutral vessels, in a situation where no laws can operate but the law of nations, and the laws of the country to which the vessels belong; and a self redress is as. sumed, which, if British subjects were wrongfully detained and alone concerned, is that substitution of force, for a resort to the responsible sovereign, which falls within the definition of war. Could the seizure of British subjects, in such cases, be regarded as within the exercise of a belligerent right, the acknowledged laws of war, which forbid an article of captured property to be adjudged, without a regular investigation before a competent tribunal, would imperiously demand the fairest trial, where the sacred rights of persons were at issue. In place of such a trial, these rights are subjected to the will of every petty commander.

The practice, hence, is so far from affecting British subjects alone, that under the pretext of searching for these, thousands of American citizens, under the safeguard of public law, and of their national flag, have been torn from their country, and from every thing dear to them; have been dragged on board ships of war of a foreign nation, and exposed, under the severities of their discipline, to be exiled to the most distant and deadly climes, to risk their lives in the battles of their oppressors, and to be the melancholy instruments of taking away those of their own brethren.

Against this crying enormity, which Great Britain would be so prompt to avenge if committed against herself, the United States

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