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fect, still threatened an intended opera-, merchandize of English growth or manution on the high seas. This if carried facture.---An immediate explanation havinto effect, would be a flagrant violation of ing been asked from the French minister the neutral rights of the United States, of foreign relations, be confirmed, in his and as such they would be bound to answer of the 7th of October, 1807, the de
The minister of the United termination of his government to adopt States at Paris immediately applied for ex- that construction. Its first application planation on that subject; and the French took place on the 10th of the same month, minister of marine, on the 24th Dec. 1806, in the case of the Horizon, of which the seven days before the date of the above- minister of the United States was not in. mentioned note of the British government, formed until the month of November; and stated in answer, that the decree made no on the 12th of that month, he presented a alteration in the regulations then observed spirited remonstrance against that infracin France with regard to neutral navigation of the neutral rights of the United tion, or to the commercial convention of States. He had, in the meanwhile, transthe United States with France. That the mitted to America the instruction to the declaration of the British islands being in council of prizes of the 18th of September. a state of blockade, did not change the ex. This was received on the
of Deisting French laws concerning maritime cember: and a copy of the decision in the captures, and that American vessels could case of the Horizon, having at the same not be taken at sea for the mere reason of time reached government, the president, atheir being going to or returning from an ware of the consequences which would folEnglish port.—The execution of the de- low that new state of things, communicated cree comported for several months with immediately to Congress the alteration of those explanations; several vessels were the French decrees, and recommended arrested for having introduced articles of the embargo, which was accordingly laid English growth or manufacture, and among on the 22d of December, 1807 ; at which them some which being actually from Eng-time it was well understood, in this counland, and laden with English colonial pro- try, that the British orders in council of duce, had entered with forged papers as if | November preceding had issued, although coming from the United States. But no they were not officially communicated to alteration of the first construction given by our government. On the 11th of that the French government took place until the month, those orders did actually issue, demonth of September, 1807. The first con- claring that all the ports of France, of her demnation on the principle that the decree Allies, and of any other country at war subjected neutral vessels to capture on the with England, and all other ports of Europe, high seas, was that of the Horizon, on the from which, although not at war with Enge 10th of October following:--Prior to that land, the British flag was excluded, should time there could have been no acquiescence thenceforth be considered as if the same in a decree infringing the neutral rights of were actually blockaded—that all trade in the United States, because till that time it articles of the produce or manufacture of was explained, and what was more impor- the said countries should be deemed untant, executed in such a manner as not to lawful ; and that every vessel trading from infringe those rights, because until then or to the said countries, together with all no such infraction has taken place. The goods and merchandize on board, and ministers of the United States at London, also all articles of the produce or manuat the request of the British minister, com- facture of the said countries, should be municated to him on the 15th of October, liable to capture and condemnation1807, the substance of the explanations re- These orders cannot be defended on the ceived, and of the manner in which the de ground of their being intended as retalicree was executed. For they were at that ating on account of the Berlin decree, time ignorant of the change which had ta- as construed, and uniformly executed ken place. It was on the 18th of Septem- from its date to the sth of September ber, 1807, that a new construction of the 1807, its construction and execution having decree took place ; an instruction having till then infringed no neutral rights. For on that day been transmitted to the coun- certainly, tlie monstrous doctrine will not cil of prizes by the minister of justice, by be asserted, even by the Eritish governwhich that court was informed, that French ment, that neutral nations are bound to armed vessels were authorized, under that resist not only the acts of belligerent decree, to seize, without exception, in powers which violate their rights, but also neutral vessels, either Englisb property or those municipal regulations, which, howerer they may injure the enemy, are lawful, that the French decree was construed and and do not ailect the legitimate rights of executed so as not to infringe their neutral the neutral. The only retaliation to be rights, and without any previous notice or used in such cases, must be such as will intimation, denying the correctness of that operate on the enemy without infringing statement.--The Berlin Decree as expoundthe rights of the neutral. If solely intended cd and executed subsequent to the 18th as a retaliation on the Berlin decree, as September, 1807, and the British orders in executed prior to the month of September, council of the 11th November ensuing, the British orders in council should have are, therefore, as they affect the United been confined to forbidding the introduc- States, cotemporaneous aggressions of the tion into Great Lritain, of French or ene- belligerent powers, equally unprovoked my’s merchandize, and the admission into and equally indefensible on the presumed British ports of neutral vessels, coming ground of acquiescence. These, together from a French or other enemy's port. In- with the Milan decree of December, 1807, deed, the ground of retaliation on account which filled the measure, would on the of any culpable acquiescence of neutrals principle of self-defence have justified imin decrees, violating their rights, is aban-mediate hostilities against both nations on doned by the very tener of the orders; the part of the United States. They thought their operation being extended to those it more eligible in the first instance by courts from which the British flag was withdrawing their vessels from the oceais
, exclu led, such as Austria, although such to avoid war, at least, for a season, and at countries were nci ber at war withi Great the same time, to snatch their immense Britai , nor had passed any decree in any and defenceless commerce from impending way affecting or connected with neutral destruction. Another appeal has in the ri: ht3.-Vor are the orders justifiable on mean time been made, under the authority the pretence of an acquiescence on the vested in the President for that purpose, part of the United States, in the French to the justice and true interests of France decree as construed and executed subse. | and England. The propositions maile by quent to the 15th Se, t. 1807, when it be the United States and the argumenis urged came an evident infraction of their rights, | by their minisiers are before Congress. By and such as they were bound to oppose. these, the very pretext of the illegal edicis For their minister at Paris immediately was removed, and it is evident that a revomade the necessary remonstrances, and cation by either nation on the ground on the orders were issued not only without which it was asked, either must have prohaving ascertained whether the United duced, what both pretended to have in States would acquiesce in the injurious al- view, a restoration of the freedom of comteration of the French decree, but more merce, and of the acknowleriged princithan one month before that alteration was ples of the law of nations; or in case of known in America. It may even be as- retusal by the other belligerent, would serted that the alteration was not known have carried into effect, in the most efficient in England when the orders in council manner, the ostensible object of the edicts, were issued ; the instruction of the 18th and made the United States a party in the September, 1807,which gave the new and war against bim. The effort has been ininjurious construction, not having been effectual.— The propositions have been acproinulgated in France, and its first public tually rejected by one of the Belligerent cation having been made in December, | powers, and remain unanswered by the 1807, and by the American government other. In that state of things, what course itselt.— The British orders in council are, ought the United States to pursue ? Your therefore, unjustifiable on the principle of coinmittee can perceive no other alternaretaliation, even giving to that principle tive, but ahject and degrading submission ; all the latitude which has ever been avow- war with both nations; or a continuance eitty contended for.--'They are in open and enforcement of the present suspension violation of the solemn declaration made of commerce. The first cannot require by the British ministers in December, 1800; any discussion. But the pressure of the that ritaliation on the part of Great Bri- embargo, so sensibly felt, and the calamitain would depend on the execution of an ties in paralle from a state of war, natiunlawful decret, ant on the acquiescence rally create a wish that some middle course of nentral nations in such infraction of might be discovered, which should avoid their rights. And they were also issued, the evils of both, and not be inconsistent notwitlistanding the official communication with national honour and independance. matle by the mini:.ers of the United States, I That illusion must be dissipated; and it is
necessary that the people of the C'nited she would be satisfied with that favourable States should fully understand the situation state of things, or whether, considering in which they are placed. --There is no that boon as a pledge of unqualified subother alternative, but war with both nations, mission, she would, according to the tenor or a continuance of the present system. of her orders, interrupt our scanty comFor war with one of the belligerents only merce with Russia, and occasionally under would be submission to the edicts and will some new pretext, capture rather than of the other; and a repeal in whole or in purchase the cargoes intended for ber own part of the embargo must necessarily be use, is equally uncertain and unimportant. war or submission.-A general repeal with Nor can it be doubted that a out arming, would be submission to both which would supply, exclusively, one of nations.-A general repeal and arming of the belligerents, would be war with the our merchant vessels, would be war with other. Considered merely as a ques. both, and war of the worst kind, suffering tion of profit, it would be much more elithe enemies to plunder us without retalia- gible, at once to raise the embargo in relation upon them.-A partial repeal must, tion to Great Britain, as we would then, at from the situation of Europe, necessarily least, have the advantages of a direct marbe actual submission to one of the aggres- ket with the consumer. But the proposition sors, and war with the other. --The last
can only be defended on the ground that position, is the only one on which there France is the only aggresser, and, that can be any doubt ; and it will be most having no just reason to complain of Engsatisfactorily demonstrated by selecting land, it is our duty to submit to her orders. amongst the several modifications, which, On that inadmissible supposition, it would might be suggested, which that may on not only be more candid, but also more first view appear the least exceptionable ; dignified, as well as a more advantageous a proposition to repeal the embargo, so far course, openly to join England, and to only as relates to those powers, which make war against France. The object have not or do not execute any decrees would be clearly understood, an Ally injurious to the neutral rights of the United would be obtained, and the meanness of States. It is said that the adoption of that submission might be better palliated.-It proposition would restore our commerce appears unnecessary to pursue any further with the native powers of Asia and Africa, the examination of propositions, which the and with Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Rus- ditlicult situation of the United States could sia. Let ihis be taken for granted, al- alone have suggested, and which will though the precise line of conduct now prove more inadmissible, or impracticapursued by most of those nations, in rela ble, as the subject is more thoroughly lation to the United States, is not correct investigated. The alternative is paintul; ly ascertained. So far as relates to any it is between a continual suspension of advantages which would result from that commerce and war with both England and measure, if confined to its ostensible object, France. But the choice must ultimately it will be sufficient to observe, that the be made between the two; and it is imexports of articles of the domestic produce portant that we should be prepared for of the United States, during the year either the one or the other. The aggress ending the 30th September 1807, amount- sions of England and France, collectively ed to 43,700,000, and that the portion affecting almost the whole of our exported to the countries above enumerated merce, and persisted in, notwithstanding falls short of seven millions; an amount repeated remonstrauces, explanations, and too inconsiderable, when compared with propositions the most candid and unexthe bulk of our exports, to deserve atten- ceptionable, are to all intents and purposes, tion, even if a question affecting the inde- a maritime war waged by both nations pendence of the nation was to be decided against the United States. It cannot be by considerations of immediate profit.- denied, that the ultimate and only effectual But the true effect of the proposition would mode of resisting that wartare, it persisted be to open an indirect trade with Great in, is war. A permanent suspension of Britain, which, through St. Bartholomew commerce, after repeated and unavailing and Havannah, Lisbon, Cadiz or Gotten- efforts to obtain peace, would not properly burg, would receive, at prices reduced by be resistance : it would be withdrawing glutted markets, and for want of conipe from the contest, and abandoning our intition, all the provisions, naval stores, raw disputable right freely to navigate the materials for her manufactures, and other ocean. The present vasettled state of the articles which she may want. Whether world, the extraordina y situation in which
the United States are placed, and the ne- increasing pressure upon the people; and cessity, if war be resorted to, of making it every day's experience justifies a belief at the same time against both nations, and that a continuance of these laws must soon these the two most powerful of the world, become intolerable. As measures of coare the principal causes of hesitation. 'ercion, they are now acknowledged to be There would be none in resorting to that altogether impotent. They attord satisremedy, however calamitous, if a selection faction to France, and are regarded as incould be made on any principle of justice, effectual demonstrations of a hostile disor without a sacrifice of national independ. position by Great Britain. Upon our own ence.--On a question of such difficulty, in- country, their effects are becoming daily volving the most important interests of the and palpably more injurious. The proUnion, and which has not, perhaps, until duce of our agriculture, of our forests, lately, been sufficiently considered, your and our fisheries, is excluded altogether Committee think the house alone compe- from every foreign market; our merchants tent to pronounce a decisive opinion: and and mechanics are deprived of employthey have, in this report, confined them- ment; our coasting trade is interrupted selves to an exposition of the subject, and and harrassed by the most grievous embarto such introductory resolutions, as will be rassments; and our foreign trade is becomequally applicable to either alternative. ing diverted into channels, from which The first of these being merely declara- there is no prospect of its return. The tory of a determination not to submit to sources of our revenue are dried up, and foreign aggressions, may, perhaps, at a government must soon resort to direct taxfirst view, appear superfluous. It is how- ation. Our sailors are forced to expatriate ever, believed by the committee, that a themselves. Strong temptations are offered pledge by the representatives of the na- to systematical evasions of the laws, which tion, that they will not abandon its essen- tend to corrupt the spirit of honourable tial rights, will not at this critical moment commerce, and will materially injure the be unacceptable.---The misapprehensions public morals. In fact, the evils which which seem to have existed, and the mis- are menaced by the continuance of this representations which have been circulated, policy are so enormous and deplorable, respecting the state of our foreign relations, the suspension of commerce is so contrary render also such declaration expedient. to the habits of our people, and so repug. And it may not be useless that every foreign nant to their feelings and interests, that nation should understand that its aggres- they must soon become intolerable, and sions never will be justified or encouraged endanger our domestie peace and the union by any decription of American citizens. of these states. As the embargo jaw, have For the question for every citizen now is, been the cause of the public dinness v'our whether he will rally round the government committee are of opinion there tool pial, of his choice, or enlist under foreign permanent, or effectual reiei'iibt afbanners? Whether he will be for his coun- forded to the citizens of the contry or against his country?
wealth, but by the repeal of the apa laws.
They persuade themselves that the conReport of a Committee of the House of Repre- giess of the United States must be fully
sentatires of Massachusetts, upon the sub- impressed with a sense of the total ineffiject of the Emburgo, dated 15th Nov. 1805. cacy of these laws for alty valuble purThe committee appointed to consider pose, and of their direct tendency to the " Whether it will be expedient for this most serious consequences. Your comlegislature to adopt any measure with a mittee, therefore, trust, that congress will view to procure a repeal of the laws of the not fail to repcal them. In this confidence, United States, inter liet'ng to the citizens therefore, your committee are of opinion, all foreign commerce, and imposing veg- that, upon this subject, the legislature atious embarrassments on the coasting shouid, in its pr. ent session, confine itself trade; to relieve the people of the com- to a repeated disapprobation of the laws monwealth from their present distressed interdicting foreign commerce, and to instate, and to arrest the progress of that structing our senators, and requesting our ruin which threatens to involve all classes representatives in congress to use their of the community," beg leave to report : utinost exertions to procure their repeal. That the committee perceive with the Your committee might have contented most serious regret, that the distresses oc- themselves wi:h the preceding remarks, had casioned by the several laws imposing an not the late Message of the President of embargo, have borne with extreme and the United States excited the most serious
alarm ; which, in the present critical state, but the adoption of measures of the most of the country, they conceive it a duty to rigorous and hostile description. — But express. They perceive, with the most even on the precise presumption that the painful regret, that, in the estimation of course adopted by the government, in the president, our country is now presented refusing to revoke the proclamation as a with the only alternative of a continued preliminary to the adjustment of that conembargo, or a ruinous war; but they can- troversy, be sanctioned by the usages of not hesitate to express their confident nations, and the justice of our claims, your belief that the wisdom of the government Committee are still of opinion, that a puncmay yet find means to avoid the necessity tilious adherence to diplomatic forms and of electing between these great public precedents should not be maintained at the calamities. If, however, this severe ne- risk of war, by a nation whose genius and cessity exists in regard to Great Britain, policy are pacific; and which, while justly they are led by the message to presume jealous of its national honour and indepenthat it results, in a great measure, if not dance, looks principally to the substantial entirely, from the determination of the security of those blessings, and regards as executive to adhere to the proclamation insignificant those petty contentions which of July, 1807, interdicting all British originating in courtly pride and vanity, ships of war from the waters of the United frequently terminate in bloody wars : and States; which has been, and as we infer they, therefore, think that this proclamafrom the message, is still deemed by the tion ought not, in the present situation of British Goverment, a measure so inhos- Europe and this country, to remain as the pitable and oppressive, if not hostile in its only, or even as the principal, barrier to character, as to form an insuperable ob- the restoration of our amicable relations stacle to amicable adjustment.—Upon this with the British nation.—Your Committee delicate and important subject, the com- therefore ask leave to report the following mittee are far from asserting, that the resolutions:-Resolved, that the Senators of attack on the frigate Chesapeake did not this commonwealth in congress, be injustify the original issuing of this procla structed, and the representatives thereof mation, and enforcing it so long as the requested, to use their strenuous exertions injury might be presumed to have the to procure an immediate repeal of the vasanction of the British government. But rious laws imposing an embargo on the as this violation of the neutral rights was ships and vessels of the United States; as promptly and explicitly disavowed by the the only equal and effectual means of afSovereign of the aggressor, before the re- fording permanent relief to the citizens of monstrances or measures of our govern- this commonwealth from the aggravated ment could be known: as the right to evils which they now experience.-Research our national ships was expressly solved, that althrough this legislature would disclaimed, and a special envoy deputed cheerfully support the general government for the professed object of making to our in the prosecution of a just and necessary government a full, satisfactory, and public war, yet they cannot perceive the necesreparation, on the simple condition of sity intimated in the message of the Presi. a previous revocation of this proclama- dent to congress, of continuing the embartion; your committee are constrained to go, or resorting to war.
That it is not the declare their opinion, that such a revo- policy of the United States to engage in a cation, under such circumstances, would controversy with any nation, upon points not have involved any dishonourable of diplomatic usage, or equivocal right, concession, or an abandonment of any provided substantial reparation for injuries just right of pretensions, but would have can be obtained ; and that the revocation been a fair, reasonable, and magnanimous of the proclamation interdicting the British pledge of the sincerity of the wishes of ships of war from our waters ought not, in the American Government to restore the the opinion of this legislature, to be deemed accustomed relations of peace and amity an inadmissible preliminary, which should between the two countries. This course obstruct the adjustment of the controversy must have compelled the British envoy to between the United States and Great Brihave offered that ample and honourable tain. reparation, which would have been deemed by our nation and by the world, an Twenty-first Bulletin of the French Army in adequate atonement for the outrage; or
Spain. (No Date.) have justified, in the event of its refusal, The English entered Spain on the 29th not only the renewal of the proclamation, Oct. during the months of Nov. and Dee.