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strong against France. The arrival of the Wasp, which you
ay be enabled to turn them to the best account in promoting an amicable accommodation with the French government of every wrong received from it, which is sincerely desired.
You were informed by my letter of the 6th of May, of such outrages committed by a squadron which was reported to have sailed from Nantz in January last, as were at that time known here. It appears that several vessels sailing from American ports to Lisbon and Cadiz, laden with the productions of the United States, were seized and burnt at sea. The crews of these vessels were taken on board one of the French vessels, and afterwards transferred to another of our vessels engaged in the same trade, which was also seized, in which they made their way
home. These men forwarded here the evidence of these acts, copies of which have already been transmitted to you. I forward to you by this conveyance, the evidence of other aggressions, which will claim, in like manner, your particular attention. Most of these documents have been laid before congress, and referred by it to this department.
You will analize all these cases of recent spoliations, and place them in the class of aggressions to which they severally belong, on principle. In demanding of Great Britain the repeal of her orders in council, on the ground of the repeal of the French decrees, this government has, from a regard to justice, given to France all the credit to which she had any claim, believing that the notification alone of the French minister of foreign affairs, to the minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Paris, of their repeal, was sufficient to justify the demand of the repeal of the orders in council of Great Britain, on her own principles. But it was never the intention of this government to concede to France any thing on that subject, to which she was
not fairly entitled. On the contrary, it has been its intention, as is sufficiently evident by your first instructions, to exact from her a most strict and rigorous compliance with her pledge, in regard to the repeal. If any act in violation of that pledge has been committed, you will not fail to point it out, in the most distinct manner, to the French government, and to communicate to this department, without delay, any answer which you may receive from it. I have to add, admitting that the repeal of the decrees is observed with perfect good faith, that if the French government has given other orders, or permits acts of another charaeter, which violate our rights, the wrong will not be less sensibly felt or less resented by this government.
Your despatches by the Hornet were received on the 22d May. They are the last which have come to hand. I have the honour, &c. &c. (Signed)
JAMES MONROE. Joel Barlow, esq. &c. &c.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Barlow. Sir,
Department of State, July 14, 1812. Yoạr letters by the Wasp were received on the 13th instant. I make this acknowledgment in the hope that it may reach Mr. Morton at Baltimore, and be conveyed with the letters and documents with which he is already charged for you.
The president has seen with great surprise and concern that the government of France had made no accommodation to the United States on any of the important and just grounds of complaint to which you had called its attention, according to your instructions, given at the time of your departure, and repeated in several communications since. It appears that the same oppressive restraints on our commerce were still in force ; that the system of licence was persevered in ; that indemnity had not been made for spoliations, nor any pledge given to inspire confidence that any would be made. More recent wrongs, on the contrary, and of a very outrageous character, have been added to those with which you were acquainted when you left the United States. By documents forwarded to you in my letter of 21st March, you were informed of the waste of our commerce, made by a squadron from Nantz, in January last, which burnt many of our vessels trading to the peninsula. For these you were also instructed to demand redress.
It is hoped that the government of France, regarding with a prudent foresight the probable course of events, will have some sensibility to its interest, if it has none to the claims of juscice, on the part of this country.
On the French decree of the 28th of April, 1811, I shall forbear to make any observations which have already occurred, until all the circumstances connected with it are better understood. The president approves your effort to obtain a copy of that decree, as he does the communication of it afterwards to Mr. Russell. I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
JAMES MONROE. Foel Barlow, esq. &c. &c.
Message from the President of the United States, transmitting
sundry documents relating to a declaration and order in council of the British government, of the twenty-first of April, 1812.
To the House of Representatives of the United States. I transmit to the house of representatives a report of the secretary of state, containing the information requested by their resolution of the 21st of June last.
Washington, 12th July, 1813. JAMES MADISON. The secretary of state, to whom was referred the resolution of the house of representatives, of the 21st of June, requesting copies of a declaration and order in council of the British government of the 21st of April, 1812, has the honour to lay before the president copies of these papers, together with a copy of the correspondence relating to them.
JAMES MONROE. Department of State, July 12th, 1813.
Declaration and Order in Council of the British government, dated 21st April, 1812, and the correspondence relative there
Mr. Russell to Mr. Monroe. Sir,
London, 22d April, 1812. I received late last evening a note from lord Castlereagh, of which the enclosed is a copy, together with the declaration to which it refers.
I hasten to communicate to you these important documents, as they appear to manifest definitively the determination of this government to persevere in its actual system, and to support, with every of sort of pretext, the pretext of retaliation on which it was originally founded. I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) JONATHAN RUSSELL.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Russell. The undersigned, his majesiy's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, is commanded by his royal highness the prince regent, to transmit to Mr. Russell
, charge d'affaires of the government of the United States of America, the enclosed copy of a declaration, accompanying an order in council, which has been this day passed by his royal highness the prince regent in coun
The undersigned is commanded by the prince regent to request that Mr. Russell, in making this communication to his government, will represent this measure as one conceived in the true spirit of conciliation, and with a due regard on the part of his royal highness to the honour and interests of the United States ; and the undersigned ventures to express his confident hope, that this decisive proof of the amicable sentiments which animate the councils of his royal highness towards America, may accelerate the return of amity and mutual confidence between the two states.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to repeat to Mr. Russell the assurances of his high consideration. (Signed)
CASTLEREAGH. Foreign Office, 21st April, 1812.
DECLARATION. The government of France having, by an official report communicated by its minister of foreign affairs to the conservative senate, on the 10th day of March last, removed all doubts as to the perseverance of that government in the assertion of principles, and in the maintenance of a system, not more hostile to the maritime rights and commercial interests of the British empire, than inconsistent with the rights and independence of neutral nations ; and having thereby plainly developed the inordinate pretensions, which that system, as promulgated in the decrees of Berlin and Milan, was from the first designed to enforce, his royal highness the prince regent, acting in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, deems it proper, upon this formal and authentic republication of the principles of those decrees, thus publicly to declare his royal highness's determination still firmly to resist the introduction and establishment of this arbitrary code, which the government of France openly avows its purpose to impose by force upon the world, as the law of nations.
From the time that the progressive injustice and violence of the French government made it impossible for his majesty any longer to restrain the exercise of the rights of war within their
ordinary limits, without submitting to consequences not less ruinous to the commerce of his dominions, than derogatory to the rights of his crown, his majesty has endeavoured, by a restricted and moderate use of those rights of retaliation, which the Berlin and Milan decrees necessarily called into action, to reconcile neutral states to those measures, which the conduct of the enemy had rendered unavoidable, and which his majesty has at all times professed his readiness to revoke, so soon as the decrees of the enemy, which gave occasion to them, should be formally and unconditionally repealed, and the commerce of neutral nations be restored to its accustomed course.
At a subsequent period of the war, his majesty, availing himself of the then situation of Europe, without abandoning the principle and object of the orders in council of November, 1807, was induced so to limit their operation, as materially to alleviate the restrictions thereby imposed upon neutral com
The order in council of April, 1809, was substituted in the room of those of November, 1807, and the retaliatory system of Great Britain acted no longer on every country in which the aggressive measures of the enemy were in force, but was confined in its operation to France, and to the countries upon which the French yoke was most strictly imposed, and which had become virtually a part of the dominions of France.
The United States of America remained, nevertheless, dissatisfied ; and their dissatisfaction has been greatly increased by an artifice, too successfully employed on the part of the enemy, who has pretended that the decrees of Berlin and Milan were repealed, although the decree effecting such repeal has never been promulgated ; although the notification of such
pretended repeal distinctly described it to be dependent on cunditions, in which the enemy knew Great Britain could never acquiesce; and although abundant evidence has since appeared of their subsequent execution.
But the enemy has at length laid aside all dissimulation; he now publicly and solemnly declares, not only that those decrees still continue in force, but that they shall be rigidly executed until Great Britain shall comply with additional conditions, equally extravagant; and he further announces the penalties of those decrees to be in full force against all nations which shall suffer their flag to be, as it is termed in this new codes “ denationalized.”
In addition to the disavowal of the blockade of May, 1806, and of the principles on which that blockade was established, and in addition to the repeal of the British orders in council, he demands an admission of the principle, that the goods of an eneVOL. I. PART.I.