« PreviousContinue »
(Mr. Craig of Philadelphia) in the course of three or four weeks, with the result of my endeavours.
In the mean time such use can be made of my communication of the 27th ultimo, as you may deem advisable. I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smith. London, May 2, 1910.
Sir, I had the honour to inform you in my letter of the 9th of last month, that I had, upon full reflection, thought it necessary to prepare a letter to lord Wellesley, reciting the French minister's official statement to general Armstrong, of the conditions on which the Berlin decree would be recalled, and inquiring whether there exists any objection on the part of the British government to a revocation, or to a precise declaration that they are no longer in force, of the blockade of May, 1906, and of that of Venice, especially the former,
I have now the honour to transmit a copy of the letter which, in pursuance of that determination, I have just sent to lord Wellesley. I am not able to say what will be the nature of the answer to it; but if it should be satisfactory, I will lose no time in communicating it to general Armstrong I have the honour to be, &c.
Mr. Pinkney to Lord Wellesley. Great Cumberland Place,
April 30, 1810. MY LORD,—The French minister for foreign affairs, has stated in an official note to general Armstrong, the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris, " that the only condition required for the revocation, by the French government, of the decree of Berlin, will be the previous revocation by the British government of her blockades of France or part of France, (such as that from the Elbe to Brest, &c.) of a date anterior to the date of the aforesaid decree."
I had supposed that the blockades of France, instituted by Great Britain before the date of the Berlin decree,
were already withdrawn, virtually, though not formally, by reason of the restrictions which they established having been provided for and comprehended in certain orders in council issued after the date of that decree; and your lordship's letter to me of the 26th of last month certainly seems to confirm that supposition, with regard to the blockade of May, 1806; although it proves it to be erroneous, with regard to the only other blockade which falls within the description of the French minister's communication, namely, the blockade of Venice, established in July of the same year.
As I am anxious to neglect nothing which may have a tendency to produce the repeal of the Berlin decree, and of such other decrees and orders as the government of the United States has from time to time complained of, I beg to inquire of your lordship, with a view to the terms of the above mentioned note to general Armstrong, whether there exists any objection on the part of his majesty's government, to a revocation (or to a declaration that they are no longer in force) of the blockades in question, especially that of May, 1806 ? I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smith. London, May 3, 1810.
Sir, I enclose a copy of a letter which I am about to send to lord Wellesley, concerning the forgery, in England, of American ships' papers for the purpose of giving to English vessels the character of American bottoms.
In conformity with your letter of the 3d of November last, which came to hand on the 10th of January, I mentioned the subject to lord Wellesley as soon as I thought it expedient to do so. He gave no opinion upon it; but when I observed that it would perhaps be better to lay the matter before him at once in writing, he expressed his approbation of that course. As there is nothing in the subject itself or in your letter to forbid it, I shall send him my pape to-day or to-morrow. I bave the honour to be, &c. &c.
Mr. Pinkney to Lord Wellesley. Great Cumberland Place,
May 3, 1810. MY LORD,—I have the honour to call your lordship's attention, in pursuance of the instructions of my government, to a practice which has for some time past prevailed in this country, of forging American ships' papers for the purpose of giving to English vessels the character of American bottoms.
It appears from various sources of information, that these fabrications are carried to a great extent, particularly in London, and that the fraudulent papers are purchased as a regular article of traffick, and used in numerous instances, so as to bring into suspicion the genuine documents on which the safety of American commerce depends, and to subject that commerce to serious vexation and loss,
I am confident, my lord, that it is only necessary to suggest to his majesty's government the existence of these abuses, so injurious to the United States and so pernicious in their general tendency, to induce it to cause immediate inquiry to be made with a view to an efficacious remedy. I have therefore only to add, that I am in possession of some papers which throw considerable light on this subject, and which (with such other information as I have obtained or may obtain) I shall be happy to communicate to your lordship whenever your lordship thinks proper. I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smith. London, May 18, 1810.
Sir, I have the honour to enclose a copy of a communication made to me on the 14th instant by lord Wel. lesley, concerning a partial relaxation of the blockade, notified some time ago, of the coast and ports of Spain between Gijon and the French territory. I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
Lord Wellesley to Mr. Pinkney. Foreign Office, May 14,
1310. The undersigned, his majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, has received his majesty's commands to inform Mr. Pinkney, that the king has judged it expedient to signify his orders to the lords commissioners of the admiralty, to give the necessary directions to the officers employed in the blockade of the coast and ports of Spain, from Gijon to the French territory, that they permit, notwithstanding the said blockade, Spanish or neutral vessels laden with cargoes the produce of Spain only, to sail from any port included in the limits of the said blockade, subject, nevertheless, (as to the ports to which they trade) to the restrictions of his majesty's orders in council of the 26th of April, 1809, and of the 7th of January, 1807.
The undersigned requests Mr. Pinkney to accept the assurances of his high consideration.
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smith. Lon
don, June 13, 1810, “I have not yet obtained from lord Wellesley an answer to my letter of the 30th of April, concerning the British blockades of France before the date of the Berlin decree. In a short conference on Sunday last, (the 10th instant) I pressed for a prompt and favourable reply, and shall, perhaps, receive it in the course of a few days. I had requested an interview on this subject on the i8th of last month, in consequence of a letter brought by Mr. Lee from general Armstrong, dated 2d of May, but the state of lord Wellesley's health prevented its taking place sooner than the 10th instant.
“ I have sent Mr. Craig, (a young gentleman of Philadelphia) as a messenger to general Armstrong. He carries a newspaper copy of the late act of Congress, respecting commercial intercourse.
“I have prepared an official letter to you on the affair of the Chesapeake; but as Mr. Erving leaves town for Liverpool in the morning, there is not time to copy it. It shall
be forwarded, however, by Mr. Morier, who is about to sail in the British frigate Venus, for New York ; or sent to Liverpool to the care of Mr. Maury. In the mean time it will be sufficient to state to you, that I am expecting every day lord Wellesley's written overture in that affair, and that in our conferences, which resulted in an understanding that he would make such an overture, no objection was made by him to an engagement to restore the men to the ship from which they were forcibly taken, without the offensive reservation prescribed to Mr. Rose and Mr. Erskine, and contained in Mr. Jackson's project; to offer a suitable provision, without any reservation, for the families of the sufferers, as a part of the terms of satisfaction; to forbear all reference, in the papers leading to or containing the arrangement to the President's proclamation, or to any thing connected with it; to adopt in those papers a style and manner not only respectful, but kind to our government; to recite in them (as in Mr. Erskine's letter to you in April
, 1809) that admiral Berkeley had been promptly disavowed, and as a mark of his Britannick majesty's displeasure, recalled from an important command. I have met on this occasion with nothing of a discouraging nature, except on the impracticable point of the trial and punishment of the offending ollicer. On that point it is impossible to prevail; but there will be no objection to my declaring, in a reply to the overture, the expectation of the American government, that the officer shall be tried and punished, or to a rejoinder, (if I wish it) on the part of lord Wellesley, suggesting in a friendly way the reasons for not fulfilling that expectation.”
Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smilh. London, June 26, 1810.
SIR, Lord Wellesley's answer to my letter of the 30th of April, concerning the British blockades of France anterior to the Berlin decrce, being still delayed, I have sent him the letter of the 23d instant,) of which a copy is now transmitted. I have the honour to be, &c.