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decision of this court in the case of the Amistad, and to the principle applied by the British ministry to the ship Creole. This is the true rule of international law, and it is sanctioned by right reason and the precepts of the Gospel.
SECTION THIRTY-FIRST. OF FOREIGN DEBTS AND PROPERTY.
Another national duty of hospitality is to secure to foreigners the right of collecting their debts and retaining their property in case of war. Our treaty of peace of 1783, with Great Britain, by its 4th Article, and the tenth Article of that of 1794, secure mutually to creditors a right to collect debts before contracted, and exempt from confiscation debts, bank shares and money in funds. Our treaty with Sweden of April, 1783, by the 22d Article, and our treaty with Prussia of 1785, by Articles 13th and 23d, and other similar treaties of our republic, aim to secure debts and private property.
The 10th Article of our aforesaid Prussian treaty guarantees the safety and transmission of the property of the citizens and subjects of the parties dying in the dominions of the other by testament and otherwise. This provision is included in many of our treaties.
SECTION THIRTY-SECOND, OF RELIGION,
The 11th Article of our Prussian treaty of 1785, guarantees also freedom of worship to foreign residents, Prussian and American, and burial in usual burial grounds. Many of our treaties secure these rights. President Adams, in giving through Mr. Secretary Clay instructions to our Ministers to Panama, urges them to procure this principle to be incorporated in the American code of international law.
SECTION THIRTY-THIRD, OF WRECKS.
Many of our treaties provide for mutual assistance in case of shipwreck, or distress or danger from tempests or pirates, and for the same treatment to be applied to American property or vessels as to those of other nations and same salvage. This is true hospitality, and is the rule of American conduct. It is a rule of public law.
SECTION THIRTY-FOURTH. OF NEGOTIATION.
Another duty is to deal courteously, justly and fairly. In negotiation candor and plain honest dealing are required. Chicanery and indirect practices are prohibited by reason and conscience. John Jay attributes to the Prime Minister of France, in 1782 and 1783, practices which fall within our prohibition. All like practices are disallowed by reason and sound ethics. The diplomatic character of Metternich as drawn by the English historian Allison, and that of Talleyrand, are disapproved by sound ethical principles.
SECTION THIRTY-FIFTH. OF BELLIGERENT RIGHTS.
The right of self-defence is the only well founded ground for war, the only basis of belligerent right. If the duties above enjoined were honestly observed, no nation would be injured or assaulted by another, and no occasion for self-defence would arise. But ambition, avarice and the passions of men are fertile sources of aggression even among nations called Christian. According to the exposition of the precepts of the Gospel by John Jay, former Chief Justice of the United States, in his published works, self-defence is allowed by Jesus Christ. The learned Wheaton, in his Elements of International Law, affirms this self-evident doctrine in these words: “Of the absolute international rights of States, one of the most essential and important, and that which lies at the foundation of all the rest, is the right of self-preservation. It is not only a right with respect to other states, but a duty,” &c.
“This right necessarily involves all other rights which are essential as means to give effect to the principal end: among these is the right of self-defence.” Lord Ashburton, and Daniel Webster, Secretary of State of the United States, in their negotiation relative to the Caroline, admit this obvious principle. Horne in his Introduction, (vol. 1st, p. 163,) says: “The Christian religion makes no alteration in the natural rights of mankind, nor does it forbid necessary self-defence, or seeking legal redress of injuries, in cases where it may be expedient to restrain violence and outrage.” President Van Buren, nobly illustrating this doctrine in his annual Message to Congress in December, 1837, declared that it has been the settled policy of our republic from the days of Washington to resist force and unjust aggression, but not to seek acquisitions by force. If the persons or property of any individuals of a state are invaded in a soreign country or on the high seas, it becomes the duty of the nation to which they belong to see the wrong righted and justice done. The first step is negotiation and a presentation of the case to the foreign state for redress, and appealing to its sense of justice. The second is to accept of the mediating offices of a third power, a common friend of the differing nations, if offered; and the third last peaceful remedy is an offer to submit to a third
friendly power the matter in dispute, and to agree to the decision of the umpire. Unless the injury is one affecting the national sovereignty and independence, war ought not to be resorted to, as it could not be called awar of self-defence; for if my neighbor throw a small apple at me and I throw a large stone back at him, it would not be an act of self-defence. When a nation treats another as Britain did the United States before the war of 1812, searching our ships on the high seas by force, and kidnapping seamen from on board, many of them being native Americans, and many more naturalized citizens, compelling our ships trading with France and her allies, to pay tribute to Britain and persisting that she had the right because she had the power to do these acts of atrocity, when a nation thus assaults a peaceful neutral, presenting, as President Madison well said, the singular spectacle of war on the one side and peace on the other, selfdefence becomes an imperative duty. No submission of such questions can properly be made. In carrying on such defensive war no more injury must be done than full and complete defence requires. For example, we have said that no nation can acquire title by conquest, but for the purpose of self-defence and obtaining the reparation of past wrongs and the prevention of future ones;
hence a nation may conquer any part or portion of