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tenth part as much taxes as an Englishman, in the prosecution of a war declared by the vote of representatives freely chosen by the people at large. Eight millions of pounds sterling, raised for three or four successive years, would build a navy that I should, and that I do, contemplate with great uneasiness; for, as I once before had the honour to state to your Royal Highness, the Americans are as good sailors as any that the world ever saw. It is notorious that the American merchant ships sail with fewer hands, in proportion to their size, than the merchant ships of any other nation; the Americans are active in their persons; they are enterprising; they are brave; and, which is of vast consequence, they are, from education and almost from constitution, SOBER, a virtue not at all less valuable in an army or a fleet than it is in domestic life.
war with America. I then said, and in the most distinct terms and without any hesitation, that America would never be content without a complete abandonment, on our part, of the practice of seizing persons on board her ships upon the high seas. formed this opinion upon the general tone of the American prints; upon the declaration of the Congress; and especially upon information contained in letters received from friends in America, in whose hearts, strange as it may appear to some, my imprisonment in Newgate seems to have revived former feelings towards me. These letters, written by persons (be it observed) strongly attached to England, for no others did I ever number amongst my friends; these letters assured me, that the people of America; not the government; not "a faction," as our hirelings have called them; that the people of America, from one end of the country to the other, cried for war in preference to longer submission to the stopping of their vessels on the high seas, and taking persons out of them, at the discretion of our officers. Upon this information, coming, in some cases, three hundred miles from the Atlantic coasts, I could safely rely; and, therefore, I did not hesitate to pro
This, Sir, is a view of the means and resources of America very different, perhaps, from the views which some persons might be disposed to present to your Royal Highness; and, if this my view of the matter be correct, it surely becomes us to be very cautious how we force these resources into action, and set them in array against us, backed, as they will be, with the im-nounce, that the repeal of the Orders in placable hatred of the American people. If, indeed, the honour of England required the setting of these resources at defiance; if England must either confess her disgrace, must basely abandon her known rights; must knuckle down to America, or brave the consequences of what I have been speaking of; I should then say, in the words of the old Norman proverb (adopted by the French in answer to the Duke of Brunswick's proclamation), "let honour be "maintained, happen what will."
But, Sir, the question is: does the honour of England require the making of this perilous experiment? In my opinion it does not; and I now, with the most anxious hope, that, at last, they may be attended with some effect, proceed respectfully to submit to your Royal Highness the reasons upon which this opinion is founded.
Council alone would not preserve peace; nor, was I a little surprised to hear Mr. Brougham declare, that if that measure did not satisfy America, he, for one, would support a war against her.
The question, then, is now reduced to this: Does the honour of England demand, that she insist upon continuing the practice of which America complains, and against which she is now making war? To answer this question, we must ascertain, whe-l ther the practice of which America complains be sanctioned by the usages of nations; whether the giving of it up would be to yield any known right of England; because, in the case of the affirmative, to yield would be to make a sacrifice of our honour, rather than which I agree that we ought to coutinue the war to the last extremity, it being much less disgraceful to submit to actual force, than to submit to menaces.
The dispute with regard to the Orders in
My opinion is, however, decidedly in the negative; and I will not disguise from your Royal Highness, that I never felt surprise more complete (to give my feelings no stronger appellation) than that which I experienced at reading the following passage in the letter of Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Russell of the 29th of August last:
"I cannot, however, refrain on one
impunity in deception, or, rather, encou ragement to deceive, which such writers have so long experienced in England, I will not take upon me to determine; but, know well, that it is a most audacious falsehood; I know that America has never expressed even a wish to make us give up "the right of search;" and, if her government were to attempt to accomplish such an end by war, I am quite sure that it would soon lose the support of the people. But, "the right of search" is not, and never has been, for a moment, by any writer on public law, considered as a right to search for persons, except, indeed, military persons, and those, too, openly employed in the enemy's service.
single point from expressing my surprise; namely, that, as a condition, preliminary even to a suspension of hostilities, the "Government of the United States should "have thought fit to demand, that the Bri-I "tish Government should desist from its "ancient and accustomed practice of im"pressing British seamen from the mer"chant ships of a Foreign State, simply on "the assurance that law shall hereafter "be passed, to prohibit the employment "of British seamen in the public or com"mercial service of that State. The "British Government now, as heretofore, "is ready to receive from the Government "of the United States, and amicably to "discuss, any proposition which professes to have in view either to check abuse in" right of search" is a right, possessed by "exercise of the practice of impressment, a belligerent power, to search for and to "or to accomplish, by means less liable to seize as good prize, any articles contraband "vexation, the object for which impress- of war, such as guns, powder, and the "ment has hitherto been found necessary, like, which may be on board of a neutral but they cannot consent to suspend the ship going to an enemy's port; because, "exercise of a right upon which the naval by carrying the said articles, the neutral strength of the empire mainly depends, does, in fact, aid the enemy in carrying on "until they are fully convinced that means can be devised, and will be adopted, by "which the object to be obtained by the exercise of that right can be effectually "secured."
Being no Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I shall, I trust, be excused if I am found to understand less of the "ancient "and accustomed practice" of Great Britain as to this matter; but, Sir, I have never before heard, except from the London news-papers, that Great Britain did ever, until now, attempt to take persons of any description out of neutral vessels sailing upon the high seas; and very certain I am, that such a practice is not warranted, nay, that it never was thought of, by any of those authors who have written upon public law. I do not recollect a single instance in which we have exercised what is here called a right; and, if in the abandonment of the practice, we give up no known right of England, such abandonment can be no dishonour; unless, which would be a monstrous proposition, it be regarded as dishonourable to cease to do any thing, because the doing of it has been the subject of complaint and the object of resistance.
This right has been further extended to any goods, belonging to an ene my, found on board a neutral vessel; because, by becoming the carrier of his goods, the neutral does, in fact, screen his goods, as far as possible, from capture, and does thereby also aid the enemy. This is what is called "the right of search;" a right, however, which, as far as relates to goods, has been often denied by neutral powers, and which we actually gave up to the threats of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark, towards the end of the last American war.
But, of this right, of no part of this right, do the Americans now complain. They yield to the exercise of this right in all its rigour. But, they deny that we have any right at all; they deny that we have a pretence to any right to stop thefr vessels upon the high seas, and to take out of them any persons whatever, unless, indeed, military persons in the service of our enemy; and, I repeat it, Sir, that I know of no usage of nations; that I know of no ancient usage of our own even; that I know of no law, maxim, principle, or practice, to sanction that of which the Americans complain, and in resistance of The men who conduct the London news-which they are now armed and at war; papers, and whose lucubrations are a sore and, therefore, I am of opinion, that to affliction to their native country, have long abandon this practice would be no dishobeen charging the Americans with a wish nour to England. to make England give up her "right of "search." Whether this falsehood has arisen from sheer ignorance, or from that"
Lord Castlereagh talks of our right to impress British seamen from the merchant ships of a foreign state." Im
very name of war was too hateful to be endured.
pressment may take place in our ports and harbours; and, there, if confined to our own seamen, America does not object to But, in answer to all this, it is said, it. It is upon the high seas that she objects by Lord Castlereagh, that "the naval to impressment; because there the matter "strength of the empire mainly depends" must be left to the discretion of the British upon the continuation of this practice of officer. It is there a matter of power. There impressment. That is to say, if we take is no one to appeal to; there is no umpire; the whole of the facts into view, our naval there is no judge to look into proofs, and strength mainly depends upon a practice to decide. The searching officer may, which exposes so many of the American under his discretion, take out as many men citizens to misery and ruin. The plain as he pleases; he may leave the ship des- meaning of our perseverance in the practice titute of the hands necessary to conduct her is this: that, if we do not continue it, our a league; and, he may take out American seamen will desert to the American ships citizens as well as English subjects. That in such numbers as to leave us without the this may be done is quite certain, because possibility of obtaining a sufficiency of men it has been done in countless instances. to man and fight our fleet. Supposing this Thousands of native Americans, thus im- to be the fact, it really forms no justificapressed, have been released by our Admi- tion of the practice; for, we can have no ralty on the official application of the right to put America to any inconvenience American agents; and, who can doubt whatever merely for our own benefit, or to that many thousands remain unreleased? save ourselves from loss or danger. The General Lyman, late American Consul in President, however, in order to show, London, once stated, in a report to his go- that he does not wish us to receive any vernment, that there were about fourteen injury in this way, and in order, if posthousand native Americans then on board sible, to put an end to the war, has made our fleet, who had been impressed from a voluntary offer of a law to be passed in on board American ships on the high seas America to prevent our seamen from being He might possibly exaggerate; but it is admitted into American ships, upon connot to be doubted that the number was, dition, that we will first abandon our pracand has constantly been, very considerable. tice of impressment, and give up, that is, And, I beg your Royal Highness to take a restore to their liberty, those native Ame serious view of the great hardships expe- ricans whom we have already impressed. rienced by Americans thus impressed. Mr. Russell, in his letter to Lord CastleTaken from their lawful and peaceable reagh, says "While, however, it repursuits; dragged into a service and forced "gards this course as the only one which under a discipline so little congenial with" remained for it to pursue with a hope of their habits and their prejudices; wafted" preserving any portion of that kind of away to sickly climates, exposed to all the "character, which constitutes the vital dangers of battle, taken, perhaps for ever, "strength of every nation, yet it is still from the sight and the knowledge of their" willing to give another proof of the spihomes and friends; and, if, by chance" rit which has uniformly distinguished its (for it can be nothing more), restored at" proceedings, by seeking to arrest, on last, restored (as has often been the case)" terms consistent with justice and honour, "the calamities of war. It has therefore with the loss of health or of limbs, and, at the very least, with the loss of time," authorized me to stipulate with His Briand that, too, in the prime of their lives;" tannic Majesty's Government, an armiand carrying about them, for the remainderstice to commence at or before the exof their days, feelings towards England "piration of sixty days after the signature which I need not attempt to describe. "of the instrument providing for it, on
Your Royal Highness's heart will tell" condition that the Orders in Council be you, I hope, much better than I can, not "repealed, and no illegal blockades to be what is, but what must be, the effect of" substituted to them, and that orders be such a practice, carried on against a immediately given to discontinue the impeople, who are not only the children of" pressment of persons from American vesEnglishmen, but of those Englishmen who" sels, and to restore the citizens of the preferred freedom in a wilderness across "United States already impressed; it bethe ocean to slavery in their native land." ing moreover well understood that the This it is, Sir, that has, at last, kindled" British Government will assent to enter the flame of war in a country where the" into definitive arrangements as soon as
66 may be, on these and every other dif-knowledged, that we had Americans unference, by a Treaty to be concluded willingly serving on board. And, what a "either at London or Washington, as on lamentable contrast do we find in the same "an impartial consideration of existing letter, with regard to some English sea"circumstances shall be deemed most ex- men said to have been on board the Con"pedient. As an inducement to Great stitution; to which I beg leave to add, for "Britain to discontinue the practice of im- your most serious moment, the fact (if a ་་ pressment from American vessels, I am fact it be) that part of the crews of the vic"authorized to give assurance that a law torious American ships, the Wasp and the "shall be passed (to be reciprocal) to pro- United States, were English. Nay, it is "hibit the employment of British seamen in stated in the Courier news-paper, upon "the public or commercial service of the what is asserted to be good authority, that "United States.". two thirds of the crews of the American ships of war are English seamen. be true, it is another, and a most cogent reason, for acceding to the terms of America, and putting an end to the war; for, the longer the war continues the longer will continue a connexion from which such fearful consequences may ensue.
Really, Sir, it is not possible, it appears to me, to suggest any thing more reasonable than this. I can form an idea of nothing more strongly expressive of a desire to put an end to the war. What! shall it be said that England wages a war, when she might terminate it by such means? I trust not, and that we shall not have to weep over a much longer continuation of this unfortunate contest.
I know, that there are persons who treat the idea of a law, passed by the Congress, with contempt. But, if this is to be the course pursued, the war will not soon have an end. We must treat America with respect. We must do it; and the sooner we begin the better. Some of the impudent hireling writers in London, affect to say, that no credit is to be given to any act of the American government; that our officers ought not to believe the passports and certificates produced by the American seamen. If this is to be the tone, and if we are to act accordingly, there is no possibility of making peace with America. Peace implies treaty and confidence; but, what confidence are we to have in a nation such as our hirelings describe America to be? This arrogant, this insolent tone must be dropped, or peace is impossible.
The fact of our impressing of native Americans is affected to be denied, and Lord Castlereagh does not notice the proposition to restore those whom we have already impressed. But, Sir, if the fact were not perfectly notorious, that thousands have been released by us, the letter of CAPTAIN DACRES, of the Guerriere, removes all doubt upon the subject; for, in that letter, intended to account for his defeat by the Constitution, he says, that PART OF HIS CREW WERE NATIVE AMERICANS, and, they not choosing to fight against their country, he suffered them to be inactive spectators. Now, here we have the fact clearly ac
At any rate, it appears to me, that our own safety, if the war is to be continued, will dictate the discharging of all the impressed Americans whom we may have on board of our ships. Fight against their country they will not, unless they be forced, and who is to foresee and provide against the contagion of such an example? Against this evil, however, and against numerous others, which I forbear to mention, the measure proposed by the President would completely guard us; and, the respect, which it is my duty to entertain towards your Royal Highness, bids me hope that that proposition will finally be accepted.
I am, &c. &c.
Bolley, 29th Dec. 1812.
SUMMARY OF POLITICS. NORTHERN WAR.-And, he is not dead! He is not dead! And all the Lloyd's men are baffled! -Napoleon, after having conducted his army out of danger, has himself returned to Paris, where, it appears he has been received with as much joy as if he had met, in his absence, with no reverse at all.—The 29th Bulletin does him more honour than any one he has ever published. candid exposition of his own disappointment and of the sufferings of his army. It contains internal evidence of its truth, and leaves, in my mind, no doubt at all, not only of his design, but of his full ability, to recommence his attack on Russia in the spring.I will, on some future occa
It is a
sion, review the accounts of "his defeat," | hour through the British Envoy here, that which have been published in London; for, the hostile edicts against our commercial such a string of falsehoods, such impudent, rights and our maritime independence would and at the same time such stupid attempts not be revoked; nay, that they could not at deception, were never, surely, heard of be revoked, without violating the obligabefore. These accounts would make a tions of Great Britain to other Powers as - most curious and not a small volume. It well as to her own interests. To have is a volume of which he will not lose sight, shrunk under such circumstances, from I dare say.What mischiefs have not manly resistance, would have been a dethis vile press done in the world! Now gradation blasting our best and proudest where is the Bourbon project ? Now hopes. It would have struck us from the where are all the hopes of "marching to high rank where the virtuous struggles of icc over his corpse ?". The dream our fathers had placed us, and have betraypeace ed the magnificent legacy which we hold in trust for future generations. It would have acknowledged, that on the element which forms three-fourths of the globe we inhabit, and where all independent nations have equal and common rights, the American people were not an independent people, but colonists and vassals.It was at this moment, and with such an alternative, that war wes chosen. The nation felt the necessity of it, and called for it. The appeal was accordingly made in a just cause, to the just and powerful Being who holds in his hands the chain of events and the destiny of nations. It remains only, that faithful to ourselves, entangled with no connexions with the views of other Powers, and ever ready to accept peace from the hand of justice, we prosecute that war with united council, and with the ample faculties of the nation, until peace be so obtained, and as the only means under the divine blessing of speedily obtaining it.
is already over, and we awaken to the reality of endless war. -The "three "armies in his front and two armies in his "rear" could not, it seems, arrest his progress. In short, either almost the whole of what we heard of his perils was false, or he has now gained a thousand times more glory than he ever before was entitled to. For my part, I am quite struck dumb at the credulity of those who believe him to be a fallen man. It fills one with despair to see any portion of the public so besotted. Far be it from me to blame any Englishman for wishing to see Napoleon down; but, to believe that he is so, when they see him return to his capital amidst the acclamations of the French people, is, one would suppose, too much for any people in their senses.- -In a few weeks, however, we shall see reflection return. Kutosow's adventures have been a sort of honey-moon to us. When that is quite passed, we shall become as mopish as gib-cats. We shall look back with shame to our ecstasies and deliriums; and, about that time too will come the landlord with his reckoning; that is to say, the minister with his Budget, and the war with its extended demands.
Bolley, 30th Dec. 1812.
Nov. 4, 1812.
ARMIES OF SPAIN.
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER AT WAR.
Paris, Dec. 11.
AMERICAN PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE. (Continued from page 830, vol. 22.) maintenance of our own; that it was preceded by a patience without example, under wrongs accumulating without end; and that it was finally not declared, until every hope of averting it was extinguished by the transfer of the British Sceptres into new hands, clinging to former Councils, and until declarations were reiterated in the last
Copy of a Leller willen to the Minister at
Salamanca, Nov. 21.
I have the honour to address to your Excellency the account of the prisoners of war and deserters which have entered Salamanca from the 16th up to this evening.I am ignorant whether the Duke of Dalmatia, whose head-quarters ought to be at Salvatierra, has any still with him. When I shall be informed on that head, I shall have the honour to render you an account thereof.