« PoprzedniaDalej »
tenth part as much taxes as an Englishman, war with America. I then said, and in the in the prosecution of a war declared by the most distinct terms and without any hesitavote of representatives freely chosen by the tion, that America would never be content people at large. Eight millions of pounds without a complete abandonment, on our sterling, raised for three or four successive part, of the practice of seizing persons on years, would build a navy that I should, board her ships' upon the high seas. I and that I do, contemplate with great un- formed this opinion upon the general tone easiness; for, as I once before had the ho- of the American prints; upon the declaranour to state to your Royal Highness, the tion of the Congress; and especially upon Americans are as good sailors as any that information contained in tetters received from the world ever saw.
It is notorious that friends in America, in whose hearts, strange the American merchant ships sail with as it may appear to some, my imprisonment fewer hands, in proportion io their size, in Newgate seems to have revived former than the merchant ships of any other na- feelings towards me. These letters, writtion; the Americans are active in their ten by persons (be it observed) strongly atpersons; they are enterprising; they are tached to England, for no others did I ever brave; and, which is of vast consequence, number amongst my friends; these letters they are, from education and almost from assured me, that the people of Ainerica ; constitution, SOBER, a virtue not at all not the government ; not " a faction," as less valuable in an army or a fleet than it is our hirelings have called them ; that the in domestic life.
people of America, from one end of the This, Sir, is a view of the means and country to the other, cried for war in-preresources of America very different, per- ference to longer submission to the stopping haps, from the views which some persons of their vessels on the high seas, and taking might be disposed to present to your Royal persons out of them, at the discretion of Higbness; and, if this my view of the mat- our officers. Upon this information, comter be correct, it surely becomes us to be ing, in some cases, three hundred miles very cautious how we force these resources from the Atlantic coasts, I could safely rely; into action, and set them in array against and, therefore, I did not hesitate to prous, backed, as they will be, with the im- nounce, that the repeal of the Orders in placable hatred of the American people. Council alone would not preserve peace ; If, indeed, the honour of England required nor, was I a little surprised to hear Mr. the setting of these resources at defance; Brougham declare, that if that measure did if England must either confess her disgrace, not satisfy America, he, for one, would must basely abandon her known rights ; support a war against her. must knuckle down to America, or brave The question, then, is now reduced to ķ the consequences of what I have been speak- this: Does the honour of England demand, ing of; I should then say, in the words of that she insist upon continuing the practice the old Norinan proverb (adopted by the of which America complains, and against French in answer to the Duke of Bruns- which she is now making war? To an. wick's proclamation), " let honour be swer this question, we must ascertain, whe- und "maintained, happen what will."
ther the practice of which America comBut, Sir, the question is: does the honour plains be sanctioned by the usages of nations ; of England require the making of this pe- whether the giving of it up would be to rilous experiment? In my opinion it does yield any known right of England; because, not; and I now, with the most anxious in the case of the affirmative, to yield would hope, that, at last, they may be attended be to make a sacrifice of our housur, rather with some effect, proceed respectfully to than which I agree that we ought to coutis submit to your Royal Highness the reasons nue the war to the last extremity, is being upon which this opinion is founded. much less disgraceful to submit to actual
The dispute wiih regard to the Orders in force, than to submit to menaces. Council I look upon as being at an end; My opinion is, however, decidedly in for, though all is not quite clear in that re- the negative; and I will not disguise froma spect, an arrangement seems to be matter your Royal Highness, that I never felt surof little difficulty. But, as I am sure your prise more complete (to give my feelings Royal Highness will do me the honour to no stronger appellation) than that which I recollect, I took the liberty to warn the experienced at reading the followiug paspublic, the very week that the Orders in sage in the letter of Lord Castlereagh to Council were done away, that that measure Mr. Russell of the 29th of August last : alone would do nothing towards preventing
" I cannot, however, refrain on one A %
"single point from expressing my surprise ; | impunity in deception, or, rather, encou
namely, that, as a condition, preliminary ragement to deceive, which such writers “ even to a suspension of hostilities, the have so long experienced in England, I " Government of the United States should will not take upon me to determine ; but, 66 have thought fit to demand, that the Bri- I know well, that it is a most audacious 66 tish Government should desist from its falsehood; I know that America has never " ancient and accustomed practice of im- expressed even a wish to make us give up
pressing British seamen from the mer- " the right of search ;” and, if her go"chant ships of a Foreign Slate, simply onvernment were to attempt to accomplish U the assurance that a law shall hereafter such an end by war, I am quite sure that “ be passed, to prohibit the employment it would soon lose the support of the people. “ of British seamen in the public or com- But, “ the right of search” is not, and “mercial service of that State. The never has been, for a moment, by any " British Government now, as heretofore, writer on public law, considered as a right " is ready to receive from the Government to search for persons, except, indeed, mi“ of the United States, and amicably to litary persons, and those, too, openly “ discuss, any proposition which professes employed in the enemy's service. “ to have in view either lo 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 6 but they cannot consent to suspend the ship going to an enemy's port; because, 6 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 56 until they are fully convinced that means
the This right has been further ex6 can be devised, and will be adopted, by tended to any goods, belonging to an ene" which the object to be obtained by the my, found on board a neutral vessel ; be
exercise of that right can be effectually cause, by becoming the carrier of his goods, 66 secured.”
the neutral does, in fact, screen his goods, Being no Secretary of State for Foreign as far as possible, from capture, and does Affairs, I shall, I trust, be excused if I am thereby also aid the enemy. This is what found to underst and less of the "ancient is called “ the right of search;" a right, 6 and accustomed practice" of Great Bri- however, which, as far as relates to goods, tain as to this matter; but, Sir, I have has been often denied by neutral powers, never before heard, except from the Lon- and which we actually gave up to the don news-papers, that Great Britain did threats of Russia, Sweden, and Denmark, ever, until now, attempt to take persons of towards the end of the last American war. any description out of neutral vessels sailing But, of this right, of no part of this upon the high seas; and very certain I am, right, do the Americans now complain. that such a practice is not warranted, nay, They yield to the exercise of this right in that it never was thought of, by any of those all its rigour. But, they deny that we authors who have written upon public law. have any right at all; they deny that we I do not recollect a single instance in which have a pretence to any right to stop thefr we have exercised what is here called a vessels upon the high seas, and to take right; and, if in the abandonment of the out of them any persons whatever, unless, practice, we give up no known right of indeed, military persons in the service of England, such abandonment can be no dis- our enemy; and, I repeat it, Şir, that I honour; unless, which would be a mon- know of no usage of nations; that I know strous proposition, it be regarded as disho- of no ancient usage of our own even ; that nourable to cease to do any thing, because I know of no law, maxim, principle, or the doing of it has been the subject of com- practice, to sanction that of which the plaint and the object of resistance. 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 aMiction 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 Lord Castlereagh talks of our right to 66 search." Whether this falsehood has " impress British seamen from the mer. arisen from sheer ignorance, or from that "chant ships of a foreign state." [m
pressment may take place in our ports and very name of war was too hateful to be harbours'; and, there, if confined to our endured. 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 Heet. 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 fourleen 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 feet, 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 Ameserious 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, with the loss of health or of limbs, and, 66 the calamities of war. It has therefore 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 remainder - stice to commence at or before the exe of their days, feelings towards England “piration of sixty days after the signature which I need not attempt to describe. 66 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 al" inmediately given to discontinue the impeople, who are not only the children of “ pressment of persons from American ves. Englishmen, but of those Englishmen who " sels, and to restore the citizens of the preferred freedom in a wilderness across “ United Stales already impressed; it bethe ocean to slavery in their native land. 6 ing moreover well understood that the
This it is, Sir, that has, at last, kindled “ British Government will assent to enter the fame of war in a country where the “ into definitive arrangements as soon as " may be,' on these and every other dif. knowledged, that we had Americans un“ ference, 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 66 an impartial consideration of existing letter, with regard to some English sea66 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 10 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) lo pro- United States, were English. Nay, it is " kibit the employment of British seumen 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 Americana Really, Sir, it is not possible, it appears ships of war are English seamen. If this to me, to suggest any thing more reason be true, it is another, and a most cogent able than this. I can form an idea of no- reason, for acceding to the terins of Amething more strongly expressive of a desire rica, and putting an end to the war; for, to put an end to the war. . What! shall it the longer the war continues the longer be said that England wages a war, when will continue a connexion from which such she might terminate it by such means? I fearful consequences may ensuc. trust not, and that we shall not have to At any rate, it appears to me, that our weep over a much longer continuation of own safety, if the war is to be continued, this unfortunate contest.
will dictate the discharging of all the imI know, that there are persons who pressed Americans whom we may have on treat the idea of a law, passed by the Con- board of our ships. Fight against their gress, with contempt. But, if this is to country they will not, unless, they be be the course pursued, the war will not forced, and who is to foresee and provide soon have an end. We must treat Ame- against the contagion of such an example ? rica with respect. We must do it; and Against this evil, however, and against the sooner we begin the better. Some of numerous others, which I forbear to menthe impudent hireling writers in London, tion, the measure proposed by the Preaffect to say, that no credit is to be given sident would completely guard us; and, to any act of the American government; the respect, which it is my duty to enterthat our officers ought not to believe the tain towards your Royal Highness, bids passports and certificates produced by the me hope that that proposition will finally be American seamen.' If this is to be the accepted. tone, and if we are to act accordingly, there
I am, &c. &c. is no possibility of making peace with Ame
WM. COBBETT. rica. Peace implies trealy and confidence; but, what confidence are we to have in a
Bolley, 29th Dec, 1812. nation such as our hirelings describe America to be? This arrogant, this insolent tone must be dropped, or peace is im.
SUMMARY OF POLITICS. possible.
NORTHERN WAR. -And, he is not The fact of our impressing of native dead! He is not dead! And all the Americans is affected to be denied, and Lloyd's men are baffled! Napoleon, Lord Casılereagh does not notice the pro- after having conducted his army out of position to restore those whom we have danger, has himself returned to. Paris, already impressed. But, Sir, if the fact where, it appears he has been received were not perfectly notorious, that thou- with as much joy as if he had met, in his sands have been released by us, the letter absence, with no reverse at all.- - The of CAPTAIN DACRES, of the Guerriere, 29th Bulletin dves him more honour than removes all doubt upon the subject; for, in any one he has ever published. It is a that letter, intended to account for his de- candid exposition of his own disappointseat by the Constitution, he says, that ment and of the sufferings of his army. It PART OF HIS CREW WERE NA- contains internal evidence of its truth, and TIVE AMERICANS, and, they not leaves, in my mind, no doubt at all, not choosing to fight against their country, he only of his design, but of his full ability, suffered them to be inactive spectators. to recommence his attack on Russia in the Now, here we have the fact clearly ac- spring. I will, on some future occasion, review the accounts of « his defeat,' hour through the British Envoy here, that which have been published in Loudon ; 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
peace over his corpse?!'- -The dream our fathers had placed us, and have betrayis already over, and we awaken to the ed the magnificent legacy which we hold in reality of endless war. - The "three trust for future generations. It would have 6 arnies in his front and two armies in his acknowledged, that on the element which “ rear" "could not, it seems, arrest his forms three-fourths of the globe we inhabit, progress. In short, either alipost the and where all independent nations have whole of what we heard of his perils was equal and common rights, the American false, or he has now gained a thousand people were not an independent people, times more glory than he ever before was but colonists and vassals. - It was at this 'entitled to. For my part, I am quite moment, and with such an alternative, that struck dumb at the credulity of those who war wes chosen. The nation felt the necesbelieve him to be a fallen man. It fills sity of it, and called for it. The appeal one with despair to see any portion of the was accordingly made in a just cause, to public so besotted. Far be it from me to the just and powerful Being who holds in blame any Englishman for wishing to see his hands the chain of events and the destiNapoleon down; but, to believe that he is ny of nations. It remains only, that faithso, when they see him return to his capital ful to ourselves, entangled with no conamidst the acclamations of the French nexions with the views of other Powers, people, is, one would suppose, too much and ever ready to accept peace from the for any people in their senses.- - In a few hand of justice, we prosecute that war weeks, however, we shall see reflection with united council, and with the ample return. Kutosow's adventures have been a faculties of the nation, until peace be so sort of honey-moon to us. When that is obtained, and as the only means under the quite passed, we shall become as mopish divine blessing of speedily obtaining it. as gib-cats. We shall look back with shame
James Madison, to our ecstasies and deliriums; and, about that time too will come the landlord with
Nov. 4, 1812.
ARMIES OF SPAIN.
Paris, Dec. 11.
Copy of a Leller wilten to the Minister at OFFICIAL PAPERS.
War by Marshal Jourdan, Chief of his
Catholic Majesty's Staff. AMERICAN PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE.
Salamanca, Nov. 21. (Continued from page 830, vol. 22.) I have the honour to address to your Exmaintenance of our own; that it was pre-cellency the account of the prisoners of war ceded by a patience without example, under and deserters which have entered Salamanca
-I am wrongs accumulating without end; and that from the 16th up to this evening.– it was finally not declared, until every hope ignorant whether the Duke of Dalmatia, of averting it was extinguished by the whose head-quarters ought to be at Salva transfer of the British Sceptres into new tierra, has any-still with him. When I shall hands, clinging to former Councils, and be informed on that head, I shall have the until declarations were reiterated in the last honour to render you an account thereof.
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER AT WAR.