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disagreeable impression was left on the mind of Mr. Can. ning, it certainly was not visible. A feeling of regret was perhaps perceptible, and a hope was intimated that the time was not far distant, when I should be enabled to do what, at present, was out of my power; but nothing occurred which could be construed into a symptom of impatience, jealousy, or dissatisfaction. There was, undoubtedly, no real ground for any thing of this sort ; but it was, notwithstanding, quite possible that the importance, which it had become a habit to attach to the arrival of the Osage, from circumstances principally accidental, might have produced a disposition to think otherwise.
I thought it advisable to make use of this opportunity (although the topick was, in many views, more delicate than it had been) to suggest the propriety of yielding, as the moment was sufficiently favourable to such a course, upon the subject of the late orders in council, of which I had seen nothing to change my original opinion. There was reason to apprehend, however, that it might be worse than useless to press the suggestion, upon my own authority merely, while I could say nothing of the French decrees : and, accordingly, I forbore to do so.
An idea has evidently gone forth, since the Osage arrived, founded upon rumours of a doubtful description, that our relations with France have grown to be extremely precarious, and that we are consequently about to come to an understanding of a very friendly kind with Great Britain. It is not improbable that the government has, in some degree at least, adopted this idea.
I have the honour to enclose a copy of a notification, recently received from Mr. Canning, of the blockade of Copenhagen, and of the other ports in the island of Zealand, which I have caused to be communicated in the usual manner, to our consuls and citizens."
“There being no particular inducement for detaining the Osage, lieutenant Lewis, who will be charged with my letters, will leave town the day after to-morrow; and the ship will sail as soon after he reaches Falmouth as possible."
Mr. Canning to Mr. Pinkney. The undersigned, bis majesty's, principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, has received his majesty's command to acquaint Mr. Pinkney, that his majesty has judged it expedient to establish the most rigorous blockade of the port of Copenhagen, and of all the other ports in the island of Zealand. Mr. Pinkney is therefore requested to apprize the American consuls and merchants residing in England, that the entrances of all the ports abovementioned are, and must be considered as being in a state of blockade, and that from this time all the measures authorized by the law of nations, and the respective treaties between his majesty and the different neutral powers, will be adopted and executed with respect to all vessels attempting to violate the said blockade after this notice.
The undersigned requests Mr. Pinkney to accept the assurances of his high consideration.
GEORGE CANNING. Foreign Office, May 4, 1808.
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Pinkney to the Secretary of
State of the United States. London, June 5, 1808. * | have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th of April, by Mr. Bethune, together with the printed and other copies of papers mentioned in it.
I am to have an interview with Mr. Canning in a few days (which he will agree to consider extra official) in the course of which I intend to press, by every argument in my power, the propriety of their abandoning immediately their orders in council, and of proposing in America (the only becoming course, as you very properly suggest) reparation for the outrage on the Chesapeake. I shall for obvious reasons do this, informally, as my own act.
Your unanswerable reply to Mr. Erskine's letter of the 23d February, has left nothing to be urged against the orders in council upon the score of right; and there may be room to hope that the effect, which that reply can hardly have failed to produce upon ministers, as well by its tone
as by its reasoning, will, if followed up, hecome under àc:
be assured that I will not commit our government by any thing I shall do or say, and that, if I cannot make things better than they are, I will not make them worse.
My view of the course which our honour and our interests have required, and still require, is, as you know, in precise conformity with that of the President; but if it were otherwise, I should make his view, and not my own, the rule of my conduct.”
Extracts of a Letter from Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Madison.
London, August 4, 1808. 66 The St. Michael arrived at Falmouth on Thursday the 14th of last month, after a passage of eight days from L'Orient. Captain Kenyon delivered to me on Wednesday, the 20th (upon my arrival in town from Brighton, where I had been for a short time on account of my health) your letters of the 30th of April, and your private letter of the 1st of May, together with newspapers, printed copies of the embargo act and its supplements, and of papers laid before Congress at their last session. Mr. Hall brought me a letter from general Armstrong of the 26th of June, (of which I send an extract) and Mr. Upson brought me a private letter from him with the following postscript of the first of July. “An order has been received from Bayonne to condemn eight other of our ships."
On Friday the 22d of July, I had an interview with Mr. Canning, and renewed my efforts to obtain a revocation of the British orders of January and November, 1807, and of the other orders dependent upon them. I have al. ready informed you in my private letter of the 29th of June, that on the morning of its date, I had a long conversation with Mr. Canning, which had rendered it somewhat
probable that the object mentioned in your letter of the 30th of April, (of which I had received a duplicate by the packet) would be accomplished, if I should authorize the expectation which that letter suggests; but that some days must elapse before I could speak with any thing like certainty on the subject : and I have mentioned in another private letter (of the 10th of July) that it was understood between Mr. Canning and myself, that another interview should take place soon after the prorogation of parliament. In effect, however, Mr. Canning was not prepared to see me again, until the 22d of July,
after I had been recalled to London by the arrival of the St. Michael, and had, in consequence, reminded him of our arrangement by a pripate note.
In the interview of the 29th of June, I soon found it necessary to throw out an intimation, that the power vested in the President by Congress, to suspend the embargo act and its supplements, would be exercised as regarded Great Britain, if their orders were repealed, as regarded the United States. To have urged the revocation, upon the mere ground of strict right, or of general policy, and there to have left the subject, when I was authorized to place it upon grounds infinitely stronger, would have been, as it appeared to me, to stop short of my duty. Your letters to Mr. Erskine (which Mr. Canning has read and con-, sidered) had exhausted the first of these grounds ; and endless discussions here, in every variety of form, in and out of parliament, had exhausted the second. There was, besides, no objection of any force, to my availing myself, without delay, of the powerful inducements, which the intimation in question was likely to furnish to Great Britain, to abandon her late system ; and it seemed to be certain that, by delaying to present these inducements to Mr. Canning's consideration, I should not only lose much time, but finally give to my conduct a disingenuous air, which, while it must be foreign to the views and sentiments of the President, could hardly fail to make a very unfavourable impression upon the minds of Mr. Canning and his colleagues. I thought, moreover, that if I should reserve the suggestion for a late stage of our discussions, it would be made to wear the appearance of a concession reluctantly extorted, rather than of what it was, the spon
taneous result of the characteristick frankness and honourable policy of our government.
The intimation once made, a complete development of its natural consequences, if properly acted upon, followed of course; and taking advantage of the latitude afforded by the informal nature of a mere conversation, I endeavoured to make that development as strong an appeal as, consistently with truth and honour I could, (and there was no necessity to do more) to the justice and the prudence of this government.
It was not possible, however, that Mr. Canning could require to be assisted by my explanations. It was plain, upon their own principles, that they could not equitably persevere in their orders in council, upon the foundation of an imputed acquiescence, on our part, in French invasions of our neutral rights, when it was become (if it was not always) apparent, that this imputation was completely and in all respects an errour; when it was manifest that these orders, by letting loose upon our rights a more destructive and offensive persecution than it was in the power of France to maintain, interposed between us and France, furnished answers to our remonstrances against her decrees and pretexts for those decrees, and stood in the way of that
very resistance which Great Britain affected to incul. cate, as a duty, at the moment when she was taking the most effectual measures to embarrass and confound it; and when it was also manifest, 'that a revocation of those orders would, if not attended or followed by a revocation of the decrees of France, place us at issue with that power, and result in a precise opposition, by the United States, to such parts of her anti-commercial edicts as it became us to repel.
In a prudential view my explanations seemed still less to be required. Nothing could be more clear than that, if Great Britain revoked her orders, and entitled herself to a suspension of the embargo, her object, (if it were any thing short of the establishment and practical support of an exclusive dominion over the seas) must, in some mode or other, be accomplished, whether France followed her example, or not. In the first case, the avowed purpose of the British orders would be fulfilled, and commerce would resume its accustomed prosperity and expansion. In the last, the just resistance of the United States (more