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it cannot be expected that Great Britain fhall not use the means the posseffus for the purpose of making him feel the pressure of his own system. There is every reason to believe, that, ere long, the effects on the enemies of Great Britain will be luch as irresistibly to produce a change which will place commerce on its for mer ba. fis. In the mean time, fir, I hope you will not think it extraor. dinary if I should contend that the leizure of American ships by France, since November 1, and the positive and ungualified de. clarations of the French government, are stronger proofs of the continued existence of the French decrees, and the bad faith of the ruler of France, than the restoration of five or fix veslels, too palpably given up for fallacious purposes, or in testimony of his satisfaclion at the attitude taken by America, is a proof of their revocation, or of his return to principles of justice.
I will only repeat, sir, in answer to your observation, on the late condemnation of the ships taken under his majesty's orders in council, what I have already had the honor to state to you. that the delay which took place in their condemnation, was not a consequence of any doubt existing in his majesty's government, as to whether the French decrees were revoked, as you seem to imagine, but in consequence of its being thought that the American government, upon its appearing that they were deceived by France, would have ceased their injurious measures against the British commerce, A considerable time clapsed before the decision took place on those ships, and there is no doubt, but that had the United States' government not per. sisted in their unfriendly attitude towards Great Britain, on discovering the ill faith of France, a spirit of conciliation in his majesty's government would have caused their release.
In reply to your observatiors, on these pretensions of Great Britain relative to the revocation of the French decrees, I beg to repeat that the sum of the demands made by England is, that France should follow the established laws of warfare as practised in former wars in Europe. Her ruler, by his decrees of Berlin and Milan, declared himselt no longer bound by them; he has openly renounced them in his violent efforts to ruin the resources of Great Britain, and has trampled on the rights of independent dations to effect his purpose. If the French government make use of means of unprecedented violence, to prevent the intercourse of England with unoffending neutrals, can it be expected that England should tamely suffer the establishment of such a novel system of war without retaliation, and endeavoring in her turn to prevent the French from enjoying the advantages of which she is unlawfully deprived.
Having explained, already, the situation in which the question of the blockade of May 1806, rests, according to the views of his majesty's government, and the desire of Great Britain to conduct her system of blockade according to the laws of nations, I will only advert to it on this occasion, for the purpose of taking the liberty of acknowledging to you the very great pleasure I received from the highly honcrable mark of respect which you have taken the occasion to express for the illustrious statesman from whose counsels that measure emanated.
I need not repeat to you, sir, what sincere satisfaction it would give me, if, without the sacrifice of the essential rights and interests of G. Britain, all the points in discussion between our two countries could be finally adjusted. I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed) AUG. J. FOSTER.
(Documents to be continued in N0. 5.]
Twelfth CONGRESS.... First Session.
[Documents---Continued from No. 4.]
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster. Sir,
Department of State, October 29, 1811. I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 22d of this month, and to lay it before the president.
The assurance which you have given of your disposition to reciprocate, in our communications on the important subjects de pending between our governments, the respectful attention which cach has a right to claim, aud that no departure from it was intended in your letter of the 26th July, has been received with the satisfaction due to the frank and conciliatory spirit in which it was made.
I learn, however, with much regret, that you have received no instructions from your government, founded on the new proof of the revocation of the Berlin and Milan decrees, which was com. municated to t'u marquis Wellesley, by the American charge d'affairs at Londoit, in a document of which I had the honor to transmit to you a copy. It might fairly have been presumed, as I have before observed, that the evidence afforded by that document, of the complete revocation of those decrees, so far as they interfered with the commerce of the United States with the Brit. ish dominions, would have been followed by an immediate re. peal of the orders in council. From the reply of the marquis of Wellesley, it was at least to have been expected that no time had been lost in transmitting the document to you, and that the instructions accompanying it would have manifested a change in the sentiments of your government on the subject. The regret,there. fore, cannot but be increased, in finding that the communication, which I had the honor to make to you, has not even had the effect of fufpending your efforts to vindicate the perfeverance of your government in enforcing those orders.
I regret also to observe, that the light in which you have viewed. this document, and the remarks which you have made on the subject generally, seem to preclude any other view of the condi. tions on which those orders are to be revoked, than those that were furnished by your former communications. You still ad. here to the pretension, that the productions and manufactures of Great Britain, when neutralized, must be admitted into the ports of your enemies. This pretension, however vague the language heretefore held by your government, particularly by the marquis Wellesley in his communications with Mr.
Pinkney on the sub
ject, was never understood to have been embraced. Nothing, 11) deed, Port of the specific declarations, which you have made, would have induced a belief that such was the cafe. I have the honor to be, &.c.
(Signed) JAS. MONROE.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe. Sir,
Washington, October 31, 1811. I did not reply at great length to the obfervations contained in your letter of the ist instant, ou the pretensions of Great Britain as relative to the French lyftem, because you seemed to me to have argued as if but a part of the system continued, and even that part had ceased to be considered as a mea!ure of war against G.Britain. For me to have allowed this, would have been at once to allow in the face of facts that the decrees of France were repeatedl, and ihat her unprecedentesd measures, avowedly pursued in de fiance of the Jaws of nations, were become mere ordinary regulations of trade. I therefore thought fit to confine my answer to your remarks, to a general statement of the sum of the demands of Great Britain, which was, that France should, by effeclually revoking her de crees, revert to the usual method of carrying on war as praélised in civilized Europe.
The pretention of France to prohibit all commerce in articles of Britilli origin, in every part of the continent, is one among the many violent innovations which are contained in these decrees, and which are preceded by the declaration of their being founded on a determination of the ruler of France, as he himfelf avowed, to revert to the principles which characterized the barbarism of the dark ages, and to forget all ideas of justice and even the common fedlings of humanity in the new method of carrying on war adopt. cd by him.
* It is not, however, a question with Great Britain of mere commercial interest, as you feem to suppose, which is involved in the attempt by Bonaparte to blockade her both by sea and land, but one of feeling and of national honor, contending as we do against the principles which he professes in his new system of warfare. It is impoffible for us to submit to the doctrine that he has a right to compel the whole continent to break off all intercourse with us, and to luize upon vefrels belonging to neutral nations, upon the fole plea of their having visited an English port, or of their being laden with articles of British or colonial produce, in whatsoever inanncr acquired.
This pretension, however, is but a part of that system, the whole of which, under our construction of the letter of M. Champagny of August 5, 1810, corroborated by many subfi'quentdecjarations of the French government, and not invalidated by any unequivocal dcclaration of a contrary tenor, must be considered as fill in full force.
In the communication which you lately transmitted to me, I am sorry to repeat that I was unable to discover any facts which fatisfactorily proved that the decrees had been actually repealed, and I have already repeatedly stated the reasons which too probably led to the restoration of a few of the American ships taken in pursuance of the Berlin and Milan decrees after November 1. Of their maritime existence we cannot so easily obtain evidence, because of the few French ships of war which venture to leave their harbors. Who can doubt, however, but that, had the ru. ler of France a navy at his command equal to the enforcing of his violent decrees, he would foon Thew that part of them to be no dead letter. The principle is not the less obnoxious because it is from necessity almoft dormant for the moment, nor ought it there. fore to be less an object to be strenuously refifted.
Allow me, sir, here to express my sincere regret that I have not as yet been able to convince you, by what I cannot but consider the strongest evidence, of the continued exiftence of the French decrees, and consequently of the unfriendly policy of your government in enforcing the non-importation against us and opening the trade with our enemies. His royal highness will, I am con. vinced, learn with unseigned forrow, that such continues to be still the determination of America, and whatever restrictions on the commerce enjoyed by America in his majesty's dopinions may ensue on the part of Great Britain, as retalitory on the refusal by your government to admit the productions of Great Britain, while they open their harbors to those of his majesty's enemies, they will, I am pursuaded, be adopted with fincere pain, and with pleasure relinquished whenever this country shall resume her neutral position and impartial attitude between the two belliger. ents. I have the honor to be, &c. &c.
(Signed) AUG. J. FOSTER.
Correspondence between Mr. Monroe and Mr. Foster, rel
ative to the encounter between the United States' frigate
the President, and the British Roop of war Little Belt. Mr. Morier, Charge D'Affairs of his Britannic Majesty,
to Mr. Monroe. SIR,
Baltimore, June 26, 1811. I have the honor to enclose an official letter addressed to rearadmiral Sawyer, by captain Bingham, commanding his majesty's floop the Little Belt, which contains an account of the late en. gagement between that ship and the American frigate the President.
In thus communicating to you without orders from his majef. ty's government this document, which in the moft eflential fact differs fo materially from that of commodore Rodgers, I trust that this government will receive it as a proof the fincere desire which exists with me, to open the way to an amicable arrangement of the question which may arise out of this unfortunate affair, when it shall be known to his majesty's government. I have the honor to be, &c.
(Signed) J. P. MORIER.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Morier. SIR,
Department of State, June 28, 1811. I had the honor to receive yesterday your letter of the 26th inftant communicating a statement from captain Bingham to admi. ral Sawyer, of the circumstances attending the late unfortunate en. counter between the United States' frigate the President and his Britannic majesty's floop the Little Belt.
It is to be regretted that the ftatement made by captain Bingham should have varied in any circumstance from that made by the commander of the American trigate. I fatter myfar, with the difpofition of the president, which I am authorized to exprefs, to make it the fubject of mutual and friendly explanations, that its disagreeable tendency will be obviated. I am induced to ex. press this expectation with the more confidence, from the concilatory manner in which you have made this communication, I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed)
JAS. MONROE. .....
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe. SIR,
Washington, July 3, 1811. The affurances which you did me the honor to give me yesterday verbally,that no instructions whatever had been given to commodore Rodgers which could, under any construction, be meant to authorize his attempting to recover by force any person claim. ed as an impreffed American citizen from on board any of his majesty's ships of war, were amply fufficient to convey to my mind every satisfaction upon that subject. The reports, however, current in the United States and connected with commodore Rodgers' condnct and proceedings, as well as the inferences which will be drawn from the expreffions which he used to the captain of his majesty's floop the Little Belt, being of a tendency to create cloubts in Great Britain as to the nature of the authori. ty under which he acted, I willingly accept your offer of making me the statement in a more formal manner, in order that I may tranfmit it to my goverment, to prevent all possible mistake on to important a point.
The queftion arifing out of the rencounter between the United States' frigate the Prefident, and his majefty's floop the Little Bett, will then remain limited to the act itself. You are already, fir, in poffeffion of the British commander's statenient of the cir