Page images
PDF
EPUB

Palafor's Dispatch to the Central Junta.-, due observance thereof ?--Second, Can Dec. 3, 1808.

any

of the inconveniences of the present Seignor: This capital has recently given system be remedied by further modificaan additional proof of that heroic patriot- tions; and what modifications would effect ism and attachment to its sovereign which that object ? Be pleased, Sir, to accept distinguish and characterise it. On the assurances of my high consideration and 30th of Nov. in the dusk of the evening, regard, the enemy, being above 12,000 men in number, made their appearance in the Letter from Mr. Gullatin, in Answer to Mr. quarter of Torrero and Casa Blanca, hav- Giles. Duted, 21st, Nov. 1808. ing come by Muel and Muria, on the roads Sir-Indisposition has prevented an from Madrid and Valencia. Part of them earlier answer to your letter of the 14th took post on the road, on a height situated | inst.--For better preventing coasting vesbetween the hermitages of Soledad and sels regularly cleared from violating the Santa Barbara, and commanding La Casa Embargo, two measures appear necessary: Blanca ; the rest ascended, under cover of -- Ist. That the amount of the Bonds should the Ravine de la Muerre which covers be increased.—2dly. That neither capTorrero, and took possession of the Car- ture, distress, or any other accident should thusian monastery of Conception. They be admitted as a plea, or be given in evihad a considerable body at Alagon, and dence on trial.-By the first regulation we were informed that 3000 men were ad- the temptation of going to a foreign port, in vancing by way of Tauste and Castejon de hopes that the profit on the sale of the carBaldejussa a Zuera, in order to attack us go will indemnify for the forfeiture of the at four points. The whole of the garrison penalty, will be done away, By the sewere immediately ordered under arms, cond, every expectation of escaping the and the heroes of Saragossa also took up payment of the penalty under fraudulent their muskels. All the posts were occu- pretences will be disappointed ; and the pied, and- the whole of the inhabitants power of remitting the penalties in the few went out with alacrity and enthusiasm to cases of unavoidable accident which may be spectators of the glorious action which occur, will remain as heretofore, and as in was impending. On the 1st of Dec. at other cases, with the treasury.-As the obday-break, the enemy were dislodged from ject of those two regulations will be to the Carthusian monastery, and compelled make the bond a sufficient and complete to fall back through the Ravine, when security, they will have a tendency to re. they took post in five columns on the liere, in a considerable degree, the coasting heights that command Torrero, with the trade from the inconvenience resulting decided intention of making their attack from detentions. The sufficiency of the in that quarter.

They manæuvred until bond will in many doubtful cases remove 10 o'clock a. m. at which hour they com- the necessity of detaining the vessels, or menced their most decisive and vigorous what amounts to the same, of informing attack in the direction of Casa Blanca. It the owners that unless they reduce the was received on our side with a very brisk amount of their cargoes they will be defire of musketry and cannon, which lasted tained. I would also submit the propriety until two o'clock, when the whole of the of placing under the controul of the Presienemy's army in Soledad fell back, shame- dent, that power of detention vested in the fully abandoning Torrero.

collectors by the act of the 25th of April (To be continued.)

last. That subject has been a constant

source of complaint and difficulty. It has American STATES.--Letter from Mr. Giles, been the uniform practice from the esta

Member of the Embargo Committee, to Mr. blishment of the government of the United Gullatin, Sec. of the Treasury, dated 11th States, to give positive instructions to the Nov. 1808.

collectors respecting the execution of the Dear Sir. I am instructed by the Com- laws, and which they were bound to obey, mittee appointed to consider the several unless a different construction should be Embargo Laws, &c. to request you to lay established by a legal decision. This inbefore thein with as little delay as possible, deed was essentially necessary, in order to such information as your department af- secure an uniform construction and execufords upon the following questions. First, tion of the laws. But the provision now What measures would be inost effectual | alluded to makes the detention to rest on in preventing the violations or evasions of the opinion of each collector, and this must the several Embargo Laws; and enforcing necessarily produce a great diversity in the manner in which the power should be there will be no hardship, where the intenexecuted. All has been done that can be tion is fair, to require a bond similar to done to obviate that evil; and the Presi- that given for a coasting voyage. And dent being authorised to decide on the de- the collectors should likewise in such cases tentions when made, the opportunity was be expressly authorised to take such ellitaken to inform the collectors of what in cient precautions as will put it out of the his opinion should be a proper cause of de- power of such ressels to sail without warntention. This however could be given ing.–2. In order to prevent those frauonly as opinion, and operate as a recom- dulent sales of vessels by which ostensibla mendation, and not as an order. Nor does owners of no responsibility are substituted it appear practicable to establish uniform- to those from whom penalties might be ity, and to prevent partiality, and either recovered, it is necessary to provide that laxity or too great severity in practice, those owners of vessels whose names apunless the power of prescribing general pear on the register or licence, should rules in that respect by which the collec- continue to be reputed as such, and liable tors will be bound to abide, be vested in to the penalties in case of infraction of the President. I am aware that there is the laws, until the register or licence shall another mode of evasion, by regular coast- have been actually surrendered and new ing vessels, which will not be prevented by papers shall have been regularly granted either of the preceding provisions. Ein by the collector to the purchaser, and in ther whilst in port or on their way down every such case, of purchase, a sufficient our rivers and bays, coasting vessels may bond that the embarro shall not be inreceive articles not entered on their mani- fringed, to be previously required.---3. fest, which they put on board other res- The power to seize unusual deposits now sels lying off the coast for that purpose.- vested in the collectors of districts adjacent But it is not perceived that any legal pro- to the territories of foreign nations should, vision can prevent that infraction, nor that as well contemplated in the Bill passed by any other remedy can be found than the the House of Representatives, be extended vigilance of the officers. Another gene- to all the districts. That this is an arbiral regulation will, however, be suggested trary power which nothing but the unreperhaps useful as a permanent measure, mitted efforts in some places to evade the but which would at all events, under exist- law can publicly justify, cannot be deing circumstances, give additional security nied ; and it should, like that of detention, for the observance of the laws, and afford be placed under the controul of the Presisome relief to our own seamen ; to wit, a dent, and be executed only in conformity prohibition to employ any aliens either as with such general rules as he would pre. masters or part of the crew of any coasz- scribe.—4. Exclusively of the assistance ing vessel.-It is still more difficult to which may be derived from gun-boats guard against violations by vessels de- and from the armed vessels of the United parting without clearance, in open defiance States, it would be advisable to authorise of the laws. The following provisions, on the President to add ten or twelve cutters mature consideration, appear the most ef- to the present establishment.

Fast sailing ficient that can be devised against infrac- vessels of every draft of water, and requitions which it is the more necessary to re- ring only from 15 to 30 men each, are press as they may be daily expected to in- mostly wanted, an:I would, for the object crease, and threaten to prostrate the law contemplated, be as useful as the largest and government itself.--- Ist. To forbid frigates.-5. It is with regret that the neexpressly under pain of forfeiture (the pecessity of authorising, on the application of nalty now being only implied) the lading the collectors, an immediate call of the loof any vessel without the permission of the cal physical force of the country, must also collector, and without the bond for a coast- be stated. But such partial acts of violence ing voyage being previously given ;--au-as have taken place in some of the seaports, thorising the collectors to refuse permis- cannot be prevented by the circuitous mansion, unless the object be that of a lawful per in which the public force must now be coasting or fishing voyage. The great brought out in support of the laws. And number of vessels now laden and in a state no doubt exists that the mass of the citi. of readiness to depart shews the necessity zens, whether they approve or disapprove of this provision. If there be cases in of the Embargo, would in every port instanwhich the indulgences of converting vestaneously suppress any such outrage, they dels into warehouses, ought to be granted, can be called upon to act in a legal manner,

E
SUPPLEMENT to No. 4, Vol. XV.-Price 10d.

- Some other provisions appear also ne- lectors, which not only perplex faithful cessary for the purpose of carrying the oflicers, but have the effect of intimidating laws more completely into effect along others, and prevent an energetic perforour land fromiers.--1. The exportation of mance of their duties. The only provisions specie by land should be expressly prohi- which have occurred to me on the subject, bited.-2. The power of detaining depo- are to enable the collectors who may be sits should be so expressed as to leave no sued, always to remove the cause before a doubt of the authoriiy to detain waggons court of the United States; to make a and other carriages laden and actually on certificate issued by the proper authority, their way to a foreign territory. Although that there was reasonable cause of detenI cannot perceive any reason for the dis- tion, protect them against damages in cases tinction, it has been supposed in one of the of detentions, in the same manner as is now districts, that the law which authorised the provided in cases of seizures; and to prodetention of flour, beef, or potash deposited vide for the safe keeping, and restoring in a warehouse, did not extend to the case when proper, and on security being given, of their being deposited in a waggon al- the vessels and property which may be though evidently on its way to Canada.- detained.—2. Attempts have in several 3. The oflence now published by law is instances been made to wrest from the that of exportation. 'This is not consum collectors by writs of replevin issued by the mated till after the property has been ac- state courts or officers, property detained tually carried beyond the lines, where be- or seized by said collectors, or which, in ing in a foreign jurisdiction, it cannot be any other manner, is in their possession in seized : so that forfeiture, which is the conformity with some law of the Cnited most efficient penalty, can never apply to States. It is evident that such attempts, exportations by land ; and the bond beiug if submitted to, would defeat not only the required, as in the case of vessels, the only embargo but also the revenue laws of the remedy is the uncertain one of recovering United States; that whenever property penalties against apparent offenders who is by virtue of the law of the United either abscond or have no property. Ilow States in the possession of a collector, marfar it may be practicable to make the act shal, or any otheroftheir officers, no process of preparing the means of exportation pu- in rem, which will take the property away, nishable, or provide some other remedy, is whether of replevin, attachment, or any submitted to the Committee.- But it musi other, can be legally issued by a state aualso be observed, that every degree of op- thority; and that the sheriff or other perposition to the laws, which falls short of son executing the same must be considered treason, is now with but few exceptions, an as a mere trespasser, and be resisted acoftence undefined and unprovided for by the cordingly. But there is no other way at laws of the United States. Whence it fol- present io resist such illegal process but lows that such offences remain unpunished actual force. And it appears necessary when the state authorities do not interfere. at another remedy should be afforded, The necessity of defining those offences by providing a summary mode of superby law as misdemeanors, and of providing seding any such process, through the inan adequate punishment, appears obvious terference of the courts of justice of the -I will beg leave here to add that it does United States; and by making it penal not appear necessary to continue any longer for any sheriff, or other person, to execute the indulgence granted to the British mer- the same, or in any manner to attempt to chants to import for the use of the Indians take property which by virtue of any law articles of which the importation is ge- of the United States is in the collector's nerally prohibited by law, as that pri- possession.--3. In some instances where vilege is liable to great abuse, and af- vessels and cargoes libelled for infractions fords just ground of dissatisfaction to Ame of the embargo have been restored to their rican citizens. Whether it be adviseable owners on their giving security for the apto continue the permission given to those praised value, the valuations bave been so Indian traders to export furs and peltry, low as to reduce the forfeiture to an inconis a question to be decided by political siderable sum, thereby defeating altogether considerations. The last branch of the the law. It is suggested that this might subject to which I wish at present to call be prevented by a provision authorising the attention of the commillee, relates to and directing the district judges to set interruptions and certain injurious pro- aside on motion of the district attorney, ceedings attempted under colour of law.- such valuation, whenever in their opinion 1. Vexatious suits are brought against col- l falling short of the true value. On the subject of mandamus, I will only observe Report of the Embargo Committee. that, in the only instance which has taken AFTER a period of 15 years of peace hardplace, the court

, supposing they had juris- ly interrupted by transient hostilities, and diction, could not, from the manner in of prosperity unparalleled in the history of which the question was brought before nations; the United States are, for the them, having decided otherwise than they first time since the treaty which terminated did, but that it is desirable that the ques- the revolutionary war, placed in a situation tion of jurisdiction, as it relates either to equally difficult, critical and dangerous.the courts in whom the power ought to be Those principles recognized by the civilivested, or to the courts to which it should ! zed world under the name of Law of Naextend, should be precisely defined by tions, which heretofore controuled belligelaw. I have not in this communication rent powers, regulated the duties of neutaken into consideration the technical de trals, and protected their rights, are now afects of the existing embargo laws, because vowedly disregarded or forgotten by Great prosecutions do not fall within my imme- Britain and France. Each of those in o nadiate cognizance, and I do not feel com- tions captures and condemns all American petent to the task of pointing out the ne- vessels trading with her enemies or her cessary alterations. Vleasures have how enemy's allies, and every European power ever been taken to procure on that subject having become a party in the contest, the and from the proper sources, information whole of our commerce with Europe and which will hereafter be laid before the European colonies, becomes liable to capcommittee.-To the remaining enquiry of ture by either one or the other. If there be the committee, whether the inconveniences any nominal exception, it is made on a of the present system may not in some de- condition of tribute, which only adds ingree be removed, I can only answer, gene- sult to the injury. The only plea urged in rally, that a law which lays such extensive justification of ihose hostilities, is that of restrictions as the embargo, cannot be car- retaliation, grounded on a presumed acquiried into effect without imposin z serious escence of ihe United States in previous inconveniencies even on the domestic in- aggressions by the other party. Waving tercourse of the United States; and that a discussion of the correctness of the printhese must necessarily be increased in ciple of retaliation, a principle doubtful in proportion to the opposition and efforts to itself and altogether inadmisible to the evade or violate the law. It has already extent to which it has been carried, and been stated that provisions which will when operating on the neutral rather than render the bond given by coasting vessels on the enemy : it is altogether untrue that a complete security against violations of the United States have voluntarily acquiesthem, will diminish the necessity and ex- ced in the unlawful aggressions of either natent of more arbitrary restrictions. An tion ; onnitted or delayed any measures calauthority to permit on proper security culated to obtain redress, or in any respect being given such vessels when they arrive deviated from that impartiality to which in port, to keep their cargoes on board, they were bound by their neutrality. would afford some relief. And I think France has alluded to the violations of the that the credit on duties accruing on the national flag, and of the sovereignty of importation of some articles which was the United States, in the instances of allowed by the act of 10th March last, Pierce's murder, of the outrage on the Che. should be extended to all importations of sapeake, and of the destruction of the Imthe same articles made after the passing of petuous. The measures taken to obtain rethe act, those made in vessels which sailed dress in those cases are of public notoriety, under special permission only excepted. and it may be added, that with the excepWith respect to this last class of importa- tion of the last, those aggressions on the tions, as they were permitted by special sovereignty of the United States did not indulgence, as it is understood that it has atfect their neutrality, and gave no right to been impossible in many cases to prevent France either of complaint or interference. its being abused, and aš in almost all the Setting aside irregularities of less imporparties having a species of exclusive privi- cance, and equally chargeable to both nalege, have made sufficiently profitable tions, such as the British order of June voyages, the propriety, particularly in the 1803, and the decree of the French gene. existing situation of the revenue, of allow- ral Ferrand; the principal violations by ing them also the advantages of an extend- England of the neutral rights of America, ed credit on duties, is not perceived. prior to the Berlin decree of November 1806, and which if acquiesced in might | ing stated that “ they could not believe have given grounds of complaint to France, that the enemy would ever seriously atare the capture of American vessels laden tempt to enforce such a system,” the folwith colonial produce, founded on a renew- lowing declaration is expressly made, “ If, al of that pretended principle generally however, the enemy should carry these called “ the Rule of 1756," the impress threats into execution, and if neutral nament of American seamen, compelled tions, contrary to all expectation, should thereby to become the auxiliaries of Eng- acquiesce in such usurpations, bis Maland against France, and proclamation of jesty might probably be compelled, hownominal blockades, particularly that of the ever reluctantly, to retaliate in bis just decoast from the river Elbe to Brest notified in fence, &c.” The two requisites necessary May 1806.-it will not be asserted that the in the opinion of Great Britain to justify United States have ever tamely acquiesced retaliation, are stated to be the execution in either of those pretensions. It will not of the decree, and the acquiescence of neube denied, that with respect to the two first, tral nations. Yet, within eight days after, the most strenuous efforts were incessantly and in the face of that Declaration, withmade to procure an alteration of the British out waiting for ascertaining either of those system.--It is true that to the nominal pro- facts, the retaliating British order of Januclamation blockades of England, the Uni- ary 7, 1807, was issued, which, contrary to ted States had opposed only spirited and the acknowledged law of nations, subjected repeated remonsirances, and that these had

to capture, vessels of the United States not always been successful. But the mea- sailing from the port of one belligerent to a sures which a neutral nation may be suppos- port of another belligerent.-- The United ed bound to take against the infractions of States in the mean while and without delay, its neutrality, must always bear a certain had taken the necessary steps to ascertain proportion to the extent and nature of the the manner in which the French governinjury received, and to the means of oppo- ment intended to execute their decree.sition. It cannot certainly be pretended That decree might be construed merely that a hasty resort to war, should in every as a municipal law forbidding the introducsuch instance have become the duty of Ame- tion of British merchandize, and the adrica. Nor can the irregularities of England, mission of vessels coming from England. in declaring in a state of blockade, a certain Under that aspect, and it confined to that extent of coast, part of which was not and object, the neutral rights of America were the whole of which could not, even by her not affected by its operation. —A bellipowerful navy, be actually invested and gerent may, without any infraction of neublockaded, be pleaded in justification of iral rights, forbid the admission into his that decree, by which France, without ports of any vessel coming from the ports an efficient fleet, pretends to announce of his enemy. And France had undoubtthe blockade of the dominions of a power edly the same right to exclude from her which has the incontestible command of the dominions every species of British mersea, and before no port of which she can chandize, which the United States have station a single vessel.--The Milan decree exercised in forbidding the iinportation of of 1807 can still less rest for its defence on certain species. Great Britain might be the supposed acquiescence of the United injured by such regulations : but America States in the British orders of the prece had no more right to complain of that part ding month, since those orders which of the decree, than France had to object have not certainly been acquiesced in, were to the American Non-importation Act. So not even known in America at the date of far indeed as respects the United States, the decree. And it is proper here to add, they were placed by the municipal part of that the French have, particularly by the the decree in the same situation, in relation sequestration of certain ves els in their to France, in which they are placed in ports, and by burning our ships on the bigh their intercourse with Great Britain by the seas, gone even beyond the tenor of their permanent laws of that country. The own extraordinary edicts.-The allegation French decree forbids American vessels to of an acquiescence in the Berlin decree of import British merchandize into France. November 1806, by which alone the Bri- The British Navigation Act forbids Ameritish government pretends to justify the or- can vessels to import French merchandize ders in council, is equally unfounded. In into England. But that broad clause of the note on that subject addressed on the the Berlin decree which declared the Bri31st Dec. 1806, by the British govern- tish islands in a state of blockade, though went to the American ministers, after hava I not followed by regulations to that ef.

« PreviousContinue »