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West India islands, so now, under one disguise or another, the New England ships brought to Halifax and other ports the needed provisions, and from one point or another gathered cargoes to import into Boston and other open ports. In fact, war proved to have less effect on New England commerce than the embargo had had. South of Cape Cod the blockade was so far from being of the “paper” variety that practically no trade could go on without the assent of Great Britain. Her armies in Spain, however, must be fed, and they continued to draw their supplies from the ample granaries about the Chesapeake, brought to them in American vessels equipped with special licences. Privateering, moreover, was not much more hazardous than were many other branches of the trade which Americans had been pursuing. Many merchants strengthened their craft, enlarged their crews, and scoured the seas for British merchantmen. The national balance of captures and losses was not very unequal, about seventeen hundred captures of merchant vessels being credited to the Americans as against about fourteen hundred losses; but wealth changed hands rapidly. Fortunes running over a million were won. The losses made less impression because, owing to various kinds of insurance, they actually did not fall with corresponding heaviness upon individuals.

Most avenues of trade, however, were closed, and particularly the ordinary unromantic routes. The severest blow was the cutting-off of the coast trade, Changed con

ditions in 1814 which had been steadily growing since the end of the Revolution, and which alone had escaped the dead hand of the embargo. The Newfoundland fisheries also were closed. With the fall of Napoleon in the spring of 1814, England, on the day after her final peace with France, shut up the United States so completely that during that summer her commerce was represented on the ocean by nothing but some forty or fifty privateers.

1G. S. Kimball, Correspondence of William Pitt ... with Colonial Gooernors, 2 vols., New York, etc., 1906.


To the West, which had wanted the war, it brought both satisfaction and disappointment. The Indians were thorWestern cam

oughly and, as it proved, finally overwhelmed, paigns

both to the south in the battle of Horseshoe Bend, and to the north in the battle of Thames. This latter result, however, was not due to the unassisted efforts of the frontiersmen themselves, as Clay had boasted that it would be. The navy, which after a brilliant and important struggle had been driven from the ocean, sent of its personnel to the lakes, where, in the battles of Lake Erie and Lake Champlain, it established a control, which it continued to maintain, over all the border lakes except Ontario, where neither side obtained supremacy. Even with this assistance Upper Canada remained unconquered. The western leaders had overlooked one element in the situation,-the people of the region which is now Ontario. The nucleus of this sturdy population consisted of American loyalists and their descendants. Hearty in their hatred of the United States, they were situated nearer the strategic points than were the Americans, and they afforded a substantial support to the British troops, which until 1814 were none too numerous. After the release of Wellington's veterans by the closing of the European wars, conquest by the Americans was of course out of question. In fact, in that year the British held points on American soil all along the northern boundary.1

While these events were taking place negotiations for peace were in progress. It was displeasing to the czar that, Russia offers just when Napoleon was invading Russia to mediation

close her ports to American trade, the United States should go to war with Great Britain, his friend and leading ally. He, therefore, September 21, 1812, offered 1C. P. Lucas, The Canadian War of 1812, Oxford, 1906.

For the peace negotiations, the Memoirs of J. Q. Adams, and the Writings of Gallatin are the most valuable and interesting sources, taken, of course, in connection with the official dispatches in the American State Papers, Foreign Relations. The best historical account is that in the last chapter of Mahan's Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812.



mediation, and Adams at once sent word of the offer to Washington. It reached there with the news of Napoleon's reverses. We had bet on the wrong horse. We had carefully refrained from allying ourselves with Napoleon, but the fact that he too was fighting England had undoubtedly lent us courage. Madison did not relish the idea of carrying on the war alone. Indeed, there was no reason why he should not negotiate, or why he should not accept the mediation of Russia, whose useful friendship our commerce had experienced. The offer was therefore accepted, March 11, 1813, and a mission was appointed consisting of Albert Gallatin and Adams of the administration party, and James A. Bayard, a Federalist.

When Gallatin and Bayard reached Europe they found the offer of mediation rejected by England. Although Great Britain and Russia were united in fighting Russia versus Napoleon, their ideas did not harmonize on

Great Britain many other subjects. Particularly on those involved in the dispute between Great Britain and the United States were they poles apart, Russia clinging to the pronouncements of Catharine's Armed Neutrality, England to the principles that had so long controlled her conduct. “Maritime law!" said Lord Walpole at one time to Adams. “Why, Russia may fight us till she sinks, and she will get no maritime law from us; that is no change in the maritime law. Maritime law submitted to the Congress! What can there be upon earth more absurd?” Alexander, moreover, became less intent upon pressing the matter as the allies became more successful and it was seen that the weight of America was not sufficient to prevent the balance tipping against Napoleon. Mediation failed.

On July 13, 1813, Castlereagh offered to negotiate directly. This offer, made while victory in Europe was still undetermined, was eagerly accepted by Madison after the defeat of Napoleon in the campaigns of that year had become patent. He added to the American commission Henry Clay to represent the West, and Jonathan Russell, who had served in France. After some troublesome preliminaries it was arOpening of ne- ranged that the negotiations take place at Ghent. gotiations The two commissions were well chosen and representative. On the British side Lord Gambier was an admiral, Henry Goulburn was member of Parliament and undersecretary for the colonies, and William Adams was a doctor of law. Expert and skilful as they were, however, they were no match for the American commissioners. Three of these, Gallatin, Bayard, and Clay, were without diplomatic ex perience, but Gallatin and Clay, with Adams, were among the ablest half-dozen men of our country. They were thoroughly at home in handling American questions; they were used to dealing with men; and they had an intellectual power and a driving force which utterly overshadowed that of their opponents. England was at the disadvantage of having her best talent diverted to the more important Congress of Vienna, but even her delegation there could not have overmatched the Americans at Ghent. Though Adams was the head of the American commission, Gallatin was its most influential member. A French Swiss by birth and education, and of noble family, he was regarded by Europeans as one of themselves, familiar with their standards and mode of life, a solace in their intercourse with the, if not untutored at least differently tutored, Americans. At the most critical moment of the negotiation the duke of Wellington did not hesitate to write to him privately of his wish for peace. Gallatin acted as mediator between the members of the commission and between the commission as a whole and European public men.

Our best efforts were indeed needed. England was at her pinnacle. The Times, in June, 1814, when Gallatin and Bayard were in London, said: "Having disposed of all our enemies in Europe, let us have no cant of moderation. There

1 A Great Peace Maker, the Diary of James Gallatin, New York, 1914,

was an

is no public feeling in the country stronger than that of indignation against the Americans. As we urged the principle of no peace with Bonaparte, so we English opinmust maintain the doctrine of no peace with

ion James Madison.” The same paper, announcing the American victory at Plattsburg, said, October 14, 1814: “This is a lamentable event to the civilized world. The subversion of the whole system of the Jeffersonian school ... event to which we should have bent and yet must bend all our energies. The present American government must be displaced, or it will sooner or later plant its poisoned dagger in the heart of the parent state.” Again it declared, “Mr. Madison's dirty swindling maneuvers in respect to Louisiana and the Floridas remain to be punished.” The British were at this time in Spanish Florida; they threatened Mobile; and throughout the negotiations news was awaited of the fleet and the army under Pakenham which was advancing upon New Orleans. Louisiana had as yet but a small American population, it was isolated from the settled West, and the loyalty of its creoles was in doubt. It seemed possible, therefore, that the mouth of the Mississippi might be lost and all the attendant problems once more arise.

More definite was the danger to the northward. The Canadian Gazette insisted that the United States surrender the northern part of New York State, so as The "buffer to give Canada both banks of the St. Lawrence and of the Niagara. It insisted also on a guaranteed buffer Indian country, bounded toward the United States by a line from Sandusky to Kaskaskia. This old idea, which Hammond had been instructed to act upon in 1792, was now being continually urged upon the British ministry. Tackle wrote to Lord Bathurst, November 24, 1812, suggesting that the Indian territory extend to the Maumee and the Wabash. “It would be, in my feeble judgment,” he urged, “if occupied exclusively by Indians, an all important barrier to the designs of the United States against the influence,



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