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VOL. 1.] B LTINMOKI', SATURDAY NOVEMBER 16, 1Sl. [Nn. it.
----- -, |l 'beL h.. -91d
No.-irher spe ik r t' min d'r.y i' .-
"' o keep mine honor from corruption
Bltr such an h r.:- t.r cihr.:.ni lcer."
S. hl. ~-e '. '-- IIF R'r rm- .
r pli b H. NTilt. W r-rt nr e u. m.
?rinit,.l Atid pirhlih.-l b" H. NiLr4, stl.er-strcct. ne-ar 'le Mecliant' ssl~h-..-r'u.. at m.5 pr- n.
C ', '-'',iwdtl s '' .1" li.'l':r-. Sliupplement to .7%o. 10.
i'il.i 2 i:5.1 i.t iii-.l irsieaiig be more natu-
ral 'Illn suchl n expect.m.ri i. ullicl. seemed a ne-
cessary rcoirelt"ic:ce of the di-.poiniiiil expressed
bi, 7merica to maintain he.i ne'i'r1ii ', and desi-
rable in every other point.of view. I cannot indeed
I, ;..- n 'self' ii itl k. -ir. that your c .r.lor would
all[.. i \'., .i i ,ii-i eri tion, to put any other
c ,. .1 ,i,.-".' Owi iltr ai'ti 'r .111-,i li i r. irc i,-. -
I, id iif.lcienit wei'hlt weir ;r.i ig .i e, ;11 tr, .t i ie
French decrees were still ill force, I cannot doubt
i .'. I. 'u ld h .r- agreed withme in the conclu-
i., I .-lc',: ii. ..... ld seem therefore only owing
T.. ..ir .:i' i.,: the deceitful conduct of the
Fi,..-:ii gj'.-.- ,, I. in the same light that it ap-
pea: i.:i i- ,"n i i' ', g.r.itrnihi,:nt, .i it 1i lii er. re ..
of (.piri, i i. ti- litweer, i- : o the proposal I
made, which under the c-iirictiomi entertained by
them, was surely a very just and natural one.
F,'.,, thl, il I' 1flel m't ,.f v i;.li ini elfrin.
ni.' i' ieri.'i' I'r, i tle ch .i,'e- .t i k i. i;- i li' -
I, g ".iin l', ,v j i .i 'ii 'ih- an d 'ill il.i I ,,.t \ .'i'rr ,a Ini, -
I ,k n th e llib '.-i- ..' .-' b ib :,':* ..... j ,i' .1 1, I [ l l | ,:.-
C e. i r,_ uhe b 1, I -. .u'Z l-t U.., i ,,I cii.- ld i '-, !
h11. p :' Aue t V'ni, le>'tt-r licl, n-lai.i ic.I i he exir-'i
ill llicl th :,-i'epedl of'tthe F. ne lih dcrice- a i'e-
q,,;..:. b e ii. i. i.i ii In thil- rpl'.i t.:.r. r l.ich
*.),1 el.--.b ed ..n rli. i ,.-,irt I j .,"' ih l ,t .. h 'cl lh,:
'rFin '11t ,V i i- 'e ".) ,' i l'l ik e.'.. .n 1 l
t .... I tre ,r 1 ,.r i 5, 1 I.1'J. .. i h -, c .t.:. !:i'..r
SjLu ') tr' e rr,.-, .- ,. the pil.. l. t .:'" tlliln i :..l
S ui.es on -the opening of congress in December
'810, for a proof that the demand of Great Britain
iii .Ii. esterw ii vlhiili I haT e -stated it was known
itr.,- ill' -,' ':re fl'i,:.i ,-i e] :il nhiilll, : iago. hr.s.r'w tas
I ,i. r teU':.e i.:' i'" t h The T'-L il t i ..' :i.:'c.; as
apl.l *Il to the explanation gi'''-i Ib mne, that you
c.-.il 1 .rin -th.:ri-ii e .than some really new pre-
-. i;..n.n,-. i. rpirl .f Great -Britain, such as that
Fr.ai-c ill. f li' British property to be carried
.into her po.rip i'j) the purposes of trade' If the
warmth I was b. tr'a ed i.ro is, c.il-iev..r;n to re-
fute a -;ilup '"' 4 iriiplt:Iui..li t ili., T.- eve any
offence, I I-n. .*. I -.:-tl it. s I.. I i tbeg permis-
si-:.,i h e Tr. .. -I.. :.. 'ii ;t' unconsciously I have
bt .iny of rn.-. '- iiik, le you to suppose they
conveyed any improper insinuations, asone para-
gr'.,h .i' I :, -,' irletter Iwioll1 ippe r to imply, I am
.mn-t llj..ine-nll- h, 'iy lor i. ,as I entertain the
hb.'rI.-st re-pev', ir t'ei rer-on.ill\ and for your go-
rc I'ment'. a 'Il enild onl have meant what I wrote
ir. I' -'. a' ,i ... Thi n~.t. or it'.i- i.- p.u!ii ue ol0 c-...-
trlm: 'in r 'he ,.- r .--I.--i. Ir f Frii : iii her condhlcl.
It .'-i.L the Uti, I StCres villth that of G,-cr
' icui l -
In recerting to ;Ihi, evtramoirinar-, atid uinp',.ece-
dent-'l -ilt..i.in ) t' thlin iti r i ,,ir; --n juil of lie
y.a ri t l Erpi-' rl v.iuld n.'-ir ne-ile-ni : ., rrepe.n ihe
: ..ler c- ,, I: i l, ,. ile iA. !,: .,r,.j unb:indr, d,-d
ambition ot the ruler of Prance has been -he :.. ;. :n
of it, and it cannot be a Secret to the Utriii, S- ir,'
government.tlat his pl-ii hI, tri. -,*d ai..;.dly
continues tobe, not t1o cripl> aI rite .iar.,n f2
any law, provided he- can thl-ieb ourlrimi the
maritime pi", -. -..,f Enr l nl Is it not therefore
reasonable r, I.. ,-; jr, 1. distrust an ambigu-
ous declaration of his having suddenly given up
any part6f .-.: -n- 1-, ci he Ii,.. i c ilcuij...-
toproduce Iu,:c. .in eflRct Yot ,,i i,.,.,, 'r .l..t
the decrees of Berlin .iind Milan aie rel..k~lcd -
America, as not being at war and therefore not
seeing so nearly into the views of France, may be
less scrupulous 'as to the evidence necessary to
prove th ftct; but, sir, it sur.l- c ..., be e s'..:t-
ed that Gre .- TI' ; .;1. ho is e..rr ri.li,, I.r ,:t y
thing th it .1. ,r r.i Ii. r. 'sho ld.I ir .icq ,ii'e i'..ie
proof on a point so material to her. It is undoubt-
edly a very desirable tliinig Ilr the iiime,l States to
have a free and unrestricted trade with both belli-
gerents, but tie essential security and most im-
portant interests of A uiel ic. -i. i.,,- ;,-,volve.l ii the
question as are the.- of GiL;,i Bl..,in. Flar..-:
has levelled a blow which she hopes ill pr-.' e
deadly to the resources of Great Britain, and be-
fore the British government can with safety give
up the measures of defence in consequence adopted
by them, v. .- i rone proof must exist of the ces-
sation by Fran.ce of her novel and unrpleccJl.-dj
Iconfess sir, with the s;i,-. rt. .1 -po-ition to
discover on the partof ,1 1 Ac ,-, Fr .rc i return
to the long established practice of warfare as ex-
ercised- in civilized Europe, I have been unable to
succeed; and if the French governm,-i had re Illy
meantto withdraw their obnoxious il.c reL.: t IS
inconceivable why, instead c ,il.. ,',, their inten-
tion to be guessed at or inferred, they should not
openly and in plain language have declared so-the
decrees 'i.-rr.:..iei having been clearly enough
announce-. On it leu- enactment; 'why should not
il, ;r reuication bh eqiiallt erxpllcii.
1lhl,- iio ie ei' liiin, ^r,,i. ,1 |clarati.-,o. have I.een
made on the part of France of the continued exist-
ence of the decrees, and captureslmade under them
of neutral ships have occurred, a few of the Ame-
rican vessels seized since November 1, have been
restored, and the f-rec.oinr,'. ver\ mall part of'
hi, plun.kr, l, deirred by, Rn.,.p.prie to be consider-
ed as a proof of the sinceritL of his revocation by
America; but ii mu.t be ire'.,ll10:tJ ilst b. -il._'
the object ot' i ,ii.irg the British resources by his
u..n inllu'Iriorized regulations, he has also that of
ii..lesvuring t,.. tlr;on theaidof the Ilited States
6.,.* -,.= m riie punroi.e, .uid itri: ,cu i iill, as thaad
thl. honor to rein.rk 11 a Ilrrner l'e, i-, behble to
observe the c.o:e of die ipparen'ly contradictory
iiS:gi li hell hulli bi, Itlrnmiel and his ministers.
I -ul1 bet sLeni-l' h~ppiy. to receive from you-
186 THE WEEKLY REGISTER-ORDERS IN COUNCIL.
sir, the information that in a fr.nk and unambignu- I need not repeat to you, sir, what sincere satis-
ous manner, the chief of the French government faction it would giveme if without the sacrifice of
had revoked his decrees. Why he should not do so i the essential rights and interests of Great Britain
is inexplicable if he means to revert to the ordinary I all the points in discussion between our two coun-.
rules of war, but while he exercises such despotic tries could be finally adjusted.
sway wherever his influence extends, to ruin the I have the honor to be, with the highest conside-
reso'urces of England, it cannot be expected that ration and respect, sir, your most obedienthumble
Great Britain shall not use lie means she possesses servant, AUG. J. FOSTER.
for the purpose of making him feel the pressure of To the honorable Janes. Monroe, &c. &c. fic.
his own system. There is every reason to believe -
that ere long the effects on the enemies of Great M r. MONrltOE TO MR. FOSTER.
Britain will be such as irresistibly to- produce a Department of State, Oct. 29, 1811.
change which will place commerce on its former Sin-I have had the honor to receive your letter
basis. In the mean time, sir, I hope you will not of the 22d of this month, and to lay it before the
think it extraordinary iP I should contend that the president.
seizure of American ships by France, since No- The assurance which you have given of your
member 1, and the positive and unqualified'declara- disposition to reciprocate, in our communications
tions of the French government, are stronger on the important subjects depending between, our-
proofs of the continued existence of the French governments the respectful attention which each
decrees and the bad faith of the ruler of France, has a right to claim, and that no departure from it
than the restoration of five or six vessels, too pal- was intended in your letter of the 26th July, has
pablv given up for fallacious purposes or in testimo- been received with the satisfaction due to the frank
ny of his satisfaction at the attitude taken by Ame- and conciliatory spirit in which it was made.
rica, is a proof of their revocation, or of his return I learn, however, with much reg-rct, that you
to the principles of justice. have received no instructions from your govern-
S'I'Vill only repeat, sir, in answer to your obser- ment founded on the new proof of the revocation
nations on the late condemnation of the ships taken of the Berlin and Milan decrees, which was corn-
under his majesty's orders in council, what I have municated to the marquis of Wellesley by the
already had the honor to state to you, that the delay Arrert'an charge des affaires at London, in a docu-
which took place in their condemnation was not in ment of which I had the honor to transmit to you a
consequence of any doubt existing in his majesty's copy. It might fairly have been presumed as I have
government, as to whether the French decrees before observed, that the evidence afforded by that
were revoked, as you seem to imagine, but in con- document, of the complete revocation of those de-
sequence of its being thought that the American crees, so far- as they interfered with the commerce
government, upon its appearing that they were of the United States with the British dominions,
deceived by France, would have ceased their inju- would have been followed by an immediate repeal
rious measures against the British commerce. A of the orders in council. From the reply of the
considerable time elapsed before the decision marquis of Wellesley, it was at least to have been
took place on those ships, and there is no doubt, expected that no time had been lost in transmitting
but that had the United States' government not that document to you, and that the instructions
persisted in their unfriendly attitude towards Great accompanying it would have manifested a change
Britain on discovering the ill faith of France, a in the sentiments of your government on the sub-
spirit of conciliation in his majesty's government ject. The regret therefore cannot but be increas-
wouldhave caused their release. ed in finding that the communication which I
In reply to your observations on the pretensions had the honor to make to you, has not even had
of Great Britain relative to the revocation of the the effect of suspending your efforts to vindicate
French decrees, I beg to repeat that the sum of the the perseverance of your government in enforcing
demand made by Egland is that France should those orders.
follow the established laws of warfare as practised I regret also to observe, that the light in which
in former wars in Europe. Her ruler by his decrees you have viewed this document, and the remarks
of Berlin and Milan declared himself no longer which you have made on the subject generally,
bound by them, he lias openly renounced them in seem to preclude any other view of the conditions
his violent efforts to ruin the resources of Great .on which those orders are to be revoked, than
Britain, and has trampled on the rights of indepen- those that were furnished by your former commu-
dent nations to etTect his purpose. If the French nications. You still adhere to the pretension
government make use of means of unprece- that the productions and manufactures of Great
dentedviolence to-prevent the intercourse of Eng- Britain, when neutralized, must be admitted into
land width unoffending neutrals, can it be expected the ports of your enemies. This pretension, howev-
that England should tamely suffer the establishment er vague the language heretofore held by your gov-
of such a novel system, of war without retaliation, vernment, particularly by the marquis of Welles-
and endeavoring in her turn to prevent the French ley, in his communications with Mr. Pinkney on
from enjoying the advantages of which she is un- the subject, was never understood to have been em-
lawivfily deprived? braced. Nothing indeed short of the specific de-
Having explained already the situation iri which clarations which you have made, would have indue-
the question of the blockade of May 1806, rests 'ed a belief that such was the ease.
according' to the views ofhis majesty's government, I have the honor to be, &c. &c.
and the desire of Great Britain to conduct her sys- (Siged) JAS. MONROE.
tern of blockade according- to the laws of nations, F Auuglusr J. Foster, Esq. Ue. Uc. &e.
wi.l only advert to it on this occasion for the pur-
pose of taking the liberty of acknowledging toyvou Mi. FOSTER TO XIt m osnotZ.
the very great pleasure I received from the highly Washington, October *31, 1811.
honorable mark of respect which you have taken Sir-I did not reply at great length to the obs:--
thi occ-sion to express for the illustrious stateman rations contained in your letter of the first instant
from whose counsels that hleasnure emanated. on the pretensions of Great Britain as relative to
THE WEEKLY REGISTER-OCCIVPATION OF FLORIDA.
the French system, because you seemed to me t
have argued as if but a part of the system contir
ied, and even that parthad ceased to be consider
ed as a measure of war against Great Britain. Fo
me to have allowed this, would have been at one
to allow in the fade of facts that the decrees o
Fraice were repealed, and that her unprecedented
measures, avowedly pursued in defiance of the law
of nations were become mere ordinary regulation
of trade. I therleforc thought fit to confine my an
swer to youri remarks, to a general statement of th,
sum of the demands against Great Britain, whicl
was, that France should by effectually revoking
her decrees revert to the usual method of carrying
on war as practised in civilized Europe.
Tile pretension of France to prohibit all corn
merce in articles of British origin in every part o
the continent is one among the many violent inno
nations which are contained in the decrees, and
which are preceded by the declaration of their beings
founded on a determination of the ruler of France
as he himself avowed, to revert to the principle!
which characterized the barbarism of the dark ages
and to forget all ideas of justice and even the com
mon feelings of humanity in the new method of car
trying on war adopted by him.
It is not however a question with Great Britain ol
mere commercial interest, as you seem to suppose
which is involved in the attempt by Bonaparte tc
blockade her both by sea and by land, but one o0
feeling and of national honor, contending as we dc
against the principles which he professes in his
new system of warfare. It is impossible for us tc
submit to the doctrine that he has a right to compel
the whole continent to break off all intercourse with
us, and to seize upon vessels belonging to neutral
nations upon the sole plea of their having visited an
English port, or of their being laden with articles
of British or colonial produce in whatsoever man-
This pretension, however, is but a part of that
system the whole of which, under our construction
of the letter of M. Champagny of August 5, 1810,
corroborated by many subsequent declarations of
the French government and not invalidated by any
unequivocal declaration of a contrary tenor, must
be considered as still in full force. 1
In the communication which you lately trans-
mitted to me, I am sorry to repeat that I was una-
ble to discover any facts which satisfactorily proved
that the decrees had been actually repealed, and I
have already repeatedly stated the reasons which
too probably led to the restoration of a few of the
American ships taken in pursuance of the Berlin
and Milan decrees after Nov. 1. Mr. Russell does
not seem to deny that the decrees may still be kept
in force, only he thinks they have assumed a muni-
cipal character; but in M. Champagny's declara-
tion, ambiguous as it was, there is no such division
of them into two different characters, for if the
contingency required by the French Minister took
place, the Berlin and Milan decrees were to cease
according to his expression without any qualifica-
tion. If therefore a part of them remain or be re-
vived again, as seems to be allowed even here, why
may not the whole he equally so? Where proof can
be obtained of their existence, we have it, namely,
in the ports of France, in which vessels have been
avowedly seized under their operations since No-
vember 1. Of their maritime existence we cannot
so easily obtain evidence, because of the few French'
ships of war which venture to leave their harbors.
Who can doubt however but that had the ruler of
o France a navy at his command equal to the enforce.
i- ing of his violent decrees, he would soon show
-. that part of them to be no dead letter. The prin-
r ciple is not the less obnoxious because it is from
e necessity almost dormant for the moment, nor
,f ought it therefore to be less an object to be strenu-
I ously resisted.
s Allow me, sir, here to express my sincere regret
s that I have not as yet been able to convince you, by
- what I cannot but consider the strongest evidence,
e of the continued existence of the French decrees,
h and consequently of the unfriendly policy ot your
Sgovernmentinenforcing the non-importation against
Sus and opening .the trade with our enemies. His
royal highness will, I am convinced, learn with un-
. feigned sorrow, that such continues to be still the
f determination of America, and whatever restric-
. tions on the commerce enjoyed by America in his
Majesty's dominions may ensue on the part of 'G.
.Britain, as retaliatory on ilhe refusal by your go-
vernment to admit the productions of Great Britain
While they open their harbors to those ofliis majes-
Sty's enemies, they will, I am persuaded, be adopted
. with sincere pain, and with pleasure relinquished
. whenever this country shall resume her neutral po-
sition and impartial attitude between the two belli-
S I have the honor to be, with the greatest consist
Sderation and respect, sir, your most obedent humn
f ble servant,
S AUG. J, FOSTER.
S To .th hon .Tamnes ionrce, &c. &c. &c.
OCCUPATION OF FLORIDA,
itlt; FOSTEn TO ItR. XONR.OP.
Washington, July 2, 1811.
Sm-The attention of his majesty's government
has of late been called to the measures pursued by
the United States for the military occupation of
West Florida. The language held by the president
at the opening of the late session of congress, the
hostile demonstrations made by the American forces
under captain Gaines, the actli"al summoning of the
Sbrt of Mobile, and the bill submitted to the appro.
bation of the American legislature for the interior
administration of the province, are so many direct
and positive proofs that the government of America
:s prepared to subject the province of West Florida
to the authority of the United Stales.
The Spanish minister in London addressed a note
in the month of MaVrch last to his majesty's secrecy
tary of state for foreign affairs, expressing in suffi-
cient detail the feelings of the government of Spain
respecting this unprovoked aggression on the inte-
grity of that monarchy.
Mr. Morier in his note to Yr. Smith of Decem.
ber 14, 1810, has already reminded the American
government of the intimate alliance subsisting be-
tween his majesty and Spain, and he has desired
;,uch explanations on the subject as might convince
his majesty of the pacific disposition of the United
States towards Spain. Mr. Smiid in his reply has
stated that it was evident that no hostile or un-
friendly purpose was entertained by America to.
wards Spain; and that the American minister at his
majesty's court had been enabled to make whatever
explanations might comport with the frank and
conciliatory spirit which had been invariably ma-
nifested on the part of the United States,
Since the date of this correspondence Mr. Pink.
ney has offered no explanation whatever of the
motives which have actuated the conduct of the .
United States in this transaction; a bill has been
188 THE WEEKLY REGISTER-OCCUPATION OF F LORIDA.
introduced into congress for the establishment, go- them. The president had persuaded himself that
v'ernment and protection of the territory of Mobile, the unequivocal proofs which the United States
and the fortress of that name has heen summoned have given in all their transactions with foreign
without effect. powers, and particularly with Spnin, of an upright
his royal highness theprince regent in the name and liberal policy, would have shielded them fiom
and on the behalf of his majesty, is still willing to such an unmeriled a suspicion. He is satisfied that
hope that the American government has not been nothing is wanting but a correctknowledge of facts
urged to this step by ambitious motives or by a de- completely to dissipate it.
sire of foreign conquest, and territorial aggr:.ndize- I might bring to your view a long catalogue of
ment. It would be satisfactory however to be ena- injuries which the United S.ates have received firom
bled to ascertain that no consideration connected Spain since the conclusion of their revolutionary
with the present state of Spain has induced America war, any one of which would most probably have
to despoil thatmonarchy ofavaluable foreign colony. been considered cause of war, and resented as such
The government of the United States contends by other powers. I will memion two of these only;
that the right to the possession of a certain part of the spo"lations that were committed on their com-
West Florida will be not less open to discussion in mc-rce to a great amount in hie last war, and the
the occupation of America than under the govern- piprl lion of their deposit a'. New-Orleans, just
nient of Spain. .-.I .I1,,: commencement of the present war, in
1ut the government of the United States, under vick:'ion of a solemn treaty: for neither of which
this pretext, cannot expect to avoid the reproeh,, oijuries has anvreparation oratogemen. been made.
which must attend the ungenerous and unprovok ed For injuries like those of the first class, it is known
seizure of a foreign colony', while thle p :rent s'tae ir you ti a Great Britain and France .-ide indenimi-
is engaged in a noble contest for independence, lv.' The United Sta'es, however, do not rely oht
against a most unjustifiable and violent invasion of these iejurics for justification of their conduct in
therights both ofihe'monarch Endthepeople ofSp::n this trns tion, although their claims to reparation
While I wait, therefore, for an explaiili ion from :fbr them aie In no means rel squishedd, and it is to
you, sir, as to the motives which led to this unjust be presuned, will not always be neglected.
aggression by the United States on the territories I When 1 inform you that the province of West
of his majesty's ally, I must consider it as a'y duTry Florid-. to 'he Pcrlido was a part ofLouisiana,while
to lose no time in fulfilling the orders oi Isis roy;A the whole pi ovince formerly belonged to F.,nce,
highness the prince regent by which I am c6mn- that although it was afterwards separated firo the
handed in the event of its appearing on my arrival other part, yet that both parts were again reunited
in this city that the United States still persevere by in the hind' of Spain, and by her reconvened to
menaces and active demonstration to claim the mi- France in which state the entire province of Louisi-
litary occupation ofWest Florida, notwithstanding ana was ceded to the United States in 1803, that in
the remonstrances of his majesty's charge d'aflair. accepting the cession and paving for the tcrri ory
and the manifest injustice of the act, to present to ceded, the United States understood and believed
you the solemn protest of his royal highness in the that they paid for the country as flr as ihe Perdido,
nane and on behalf of his majesty against an at- as part of Louisiana; ,and that on a eonviciion of
tempt so contrary to every principle of justice, their rights they included in their laws provisions
good faith, and national honor, and so injurious adapted to the cession in that extent-i. cannot f.il
to the alliance subsisting between his majesty and to be a cause of surprise to the prince regent, that
the Spanish nation. iieyl did not proceed to take possession of the ir-
I'have the honor to be, with the highest consider- ritory in question as soon as the treaty was ratified.
nation, sir, your most obedient humble serv:n(, There was nothing in the circumstances of Spain at
AUG. J..FOSTER. hat time, thaat could have forbidden the measure.
To the hon. James .1onm'oe, Sc. &c. Sc. In den i'lg the right of the United States to this
-territory, her government invited negotiation on
Mln. 5IIOIROE TO nIl. rFOs'ltIi. that and every other point In conmestation between
Department of ,State, Julyt 8, 1811. the parties. The United States accepted the invi.
SI-I have had the honor to receive the note station, in the h,,pe that it would secure an adjust-
which you havepresenttd, by the order of his roval ment and reparation for every injury which had
highness the prince regent, to protest, in behalf of been received, and lead to the restoration of perfect
the regency of Spain, against the possession lately harmony between the two countries, but in that
taken by the United States of certain parts of West hope they were disappointed.
cFlorida. Since the year 1805, the period of the last nego-
Although ihe precedent cannot admit the right of cia-ion with Spain, ihe province of Wesl-Florida
Great Britain to interfere in any question relating has remained in a situation altogether incompatible
to that province, he is willing to explain, in a friend- with the welfare of these states. The government
ly manner, the considerations which induced the of Spain has scarcely been felt theie; in conse-
United States to take the step against which you qiience of which the affairs of' that province had
have been ordered to protest. fallen into disorder. Of that circumstance, howe-
It is to be inferred from your view of the subject, ver, the United States took no advantage. Ii was
that the British government has been taught to be- not until the last year, when the inhl:bitants, per-
lieve that the United States seized a moment of na- ceiving that all authority over them h..d ceased,rose
tionalembarrassment towrestfrom Spain a province. in a body with intention'to take the country in their
to which they had no right, and that they were own hands, that the American government inter--
pronpted to it by their interest alone, and a know- posed. It was impossible for tle Uni:ed States to
ledge that Spain could not defend it. Nothing, behold wih indifference a movement in which they
however, is more remote from the fact, than the were so deeply interested. The president would
presumption on which your government appears to have incurred the censure of the nation, if he suf-
'have acted. Examples of so unworthy a conduct fered that province to be wrested from the United
are unfortunately too frequent in the history of States under a pretext of wresting it fiom Spain.
initions, but the United States have not followed Inataking possession of it in their name, and under
THE WEEKLY REGRSTER-OCCUPATION OF FLORIDA.
their authority, except in the part which was oce.'-
pied by the Spanish troops, who have not been di -
turbed, he defended the rig;lis and secured th-
peace of the nation, and even consulted the honor
bo Spain herself. By this event the United States
have acquired no new title to West Florida. Th1.-
wanted none. In adj ustini hereafter all the other
points which remain to be adjusted with Spain, and
which it is proposed to make bile subject of amic:.-
blenegociation as soon as hie government of'Spaini
shall be settled, her claim to this territory may also
be brought into view, and receive all the attention
wh.ch is due to it.
Aware that this transaction might be misconceiv-
ed and mn sepresenced, the President deemed it a
p'opler subject, o' insirlcan to hde ministers of the
United States at foreign courts to place it in a true
lieahi before the.n. Such an instruction was for-
warded to Mr. Pinkney, their late Minister Pleni-
potentiary at London, who would have executed
it, had not the termination of his mission prevented
it:. 'Tle president cannoL doubt that the frank and
candid explanation which I have now given, by
his order, ofthe considerations which induced the
United Stites to take possession of this country,
,will be pe:fcetly satisltctory tb his royal liii,..
the P''.nce Regent.
With great respect and consideration, I have the
honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant:
(Sigaed) JAS. MONROE.
cion to infiuse a spirit of rebellion into the subjects
of the king of Spain in those quarters, are such as
to create the livelies, inquietude, and to call for thd
most early interference on the part of the govern
mncnt of the United States.
The ,overnmnen' of the United States are well
aware of the deep interest which his royal highness
the Prince Regent takes in the securityof Florida,
ror any attempt to occupy the Eastern part of which
by the United States not even the slightest pretext
could be alleged, such as were brought forward il
the endeavor to justify the aggression on West
I conceive it therefore to be my duty, sir, in
consideration of the alliance subsisting between
Spain and Great Britain, and the interests of his
majesty's subjects in the West India I:lands, so
deeply involved in "the security of East Florida, as
well as in pursuance of the orders of my govern-
ment in case of any attempt against that country,
to lose no time in calling upon you fbr an explana-
tion of the alarmi.ig s.eps which governor Mat-
thews is stated to be taking for subverting the Sp.-
nish authority in that country, requesting to be
informed by you upon what authority he can be
.. t; .and what measures have been taken to put
a stop .o his proceedings. I have the honor to be, &c.
(Signed) AUG. J. FOSTER.
To the hon. Jmenes fonroe, &c. &c. &c.
tAugustus J. PFostsr, L'sq. Sc. c. &c. 3nB. IMUXRO TO Mn. rosTEn.
No. member 2, 1811.
MR. FOSTEiR TO str. M OaritOE. Sip-T have had the honor to receive your letter
Phiiladelphia, Sept. 5, 1811. of Sepiember 5th, and to submit it to the view of
Srn-The Chevalier d'Onis, who has beet ap- the president.
pointed minister from his Catholic majesty to tie The principles which have governed the United
United State;, has written to inform me thi:; ne States in their measures relative to West Florida,
understands by letters from the governor of s'.:, have already been explained to you. With equal
Florida, under date of the 14th ult. that governor .'-ankness I shall now communicate the part they
Matthews, of the state of Georgi., was at th;i have acted Qvith respect to.East Florida.
time at Newtown, St. Mtry's, on ilie t'rin.ics o I, 'he letter which I have the honor to address to
Florida, for the purpose of reading '-i lk :h' ina:,i- you on tin 8.h i oi July, I stated the injuries which
bitants of thatpr'ovince for its being deli- ered up to the Uni:ed States had received frimn Spain, since
the United States' government, that he wivs with their revolutionary war, and particularly by spoila.
this view using every method of seduction to eTl'ct io ns on their commerce in the last war, to a great
his purpose, .if' i ..- to each white ih11abitant -wli) a:.out and of the suppression of their right of
would side wiid him fifty acres of land and thei gu .- dclposic a: New-Orleans, just before the commence-
rantee of his religion and property; stipulating Imeot of the present war, for neither of which had
also that the American government would pay the reparation been made. A claim to indemnity for
debts of the Spanish g.vernma;t, whether due in these injuries, is altogether unconnected with the
pensions or otherwise, and that he would cause ite qluesti) i relating to WVi'st Fiorida, which was ac-
officers and soldiers of the garrisons to be conveyed quired by cession from France in 1803.
to such place as should be indicated, provided dhey The government of Spain has never denied the
did not rather choose to enter into the service of right of the United States to a just indemnity for
the United States. spoliations on their commerce. In 1802, it expli-
M. c'Onis has done me the honor to communi- city admitted this right by entering, into a cohven-
cate to me a note which he purposes transmitting tion, the object of which was to adjust the amount
to you, sir, in consequence of this detached and of the claim, wiLh a view to indemnity. The slb-
most extraordinary intelligence, and considering sequent injury by the suppression of the deposit at
the intimate alliance subsisting between Spain and New-Orleans produced an important change in the
Great Britain, as well as the circumstances under relations between the parties, which has never been
which he is placed in this country, lie has urgently accommodated. The United States saw in that
requested that I would accompany his representa- measure eminent cause of war, and that war did
tion with a letter on my part in support of it. not immediately follow, cannot be considered in any
After the solemn asseverations which you gave o: her light than as a proof of their moderation and
me in the mnonti of July, that no intentions hos- ;!': policy. The executive could not believe
tile to the Spanish interests in Florida .existed oni .. .'.. governniett of Spain would refuse to the
the part of your government, I am wholly unable United States the justice due to ihese accumulated
to suppose .hat governor Matthews can have had or- injuries, when the subject should be brought so-
ders irom the P'.esident for the conduct which ih is lenliy before it, by a special mission. I.is known
stated to lbe p birsuiig; but tile lleasures lie is bsat- .lat an envoy extraordinary was sent to Madrid in
ed to be takiiig in ; ... .ii.i \ with Ctait's, and 18J5, on this subject, and that the mission did not
in endeavoring by bribery and every art of seduc- accomplish the object intended by it.
190 THE WFEKLY REGNITFR-AFFAIR OF THE LITTLE BELT.
It is proper to observe, that in the negociation, .ct and instructed to communicate the purport of
with Spain in 1805, the injuries complained of b, it, to both governments, and to explain at the same
the United States of the first class were again sub- ime, in the most friendly manner, the motives
stantiallv admitted to a certain exient, as va.s hat which led to it. The president could not doubt
also occasioned by the suppression of the deposit .t itthat such an explanation would give all the
New-Orleans, although the Spinish government, satsfaction that was intended by it. By alate let.
by disclaiming the act, and imputing it to twie int.e- ter from the American charge d'affaires at London,
dant, sought to avoid the responsibility due irom I observe, that this explanation was made to your
it; that to make indemnity to the United States government in the month of last. 'That
for injuries oF every kind, a cession of the whoie it was not sooner made was owing to the departure
territory claimed by Spain, eastward of the Mis- of the minister plenipotentiary of the United States
sissippi was made the subject of negotiation, and before the instruction was received.
that the amount of the sum demanded for ,t was I am persuaded, sir, that you will see, in this
the sole cause that a treaty was not then formed, view of the subject, very strong proof of the just
and the territory added. and amicable disposition of the United States
The United States have considered the govern- towards Spain, of which I treated, in the confer-
meat of Spain indebted to them a greater sum for cnce, to which you have alluded. The same dis-
the injuries above stated, than the province.of East position still exists; but it must be understood that
Florida can by any fair standard between the parties it cannot be indulged longer than may comport with
be estimated at. They have looked to this province the safety, as well as with the rights .nld honor of
for their indemnity, and with the greater reason, the nation.' I have the honor to be, &c. &c.
because the government of Spain itself has coun- JAMES MONROE.
tenanced it. That they have suffered their just Augustus J. Foster. Esq. &c. &c. &c.
claims so long unsati fied, is a new and strong
proof of the moderation, as it is of their respect CORRESPONDENCE
fbr the disordered condition of that power. There BETW5'E MR, MONOE AND Mi. rOSTER ON TIE
is, however, a period beyond w-hich those claims SUBJECT or THE AP 'IU orF TnI, LITTLE BIrT.
ought not to be neglected. It would be highly Baltimore. July 26th, 1811,
improper for the United States, in their respect for Siv.-I have the honor to enclose the copy of an
Spain, to forget what they owe to their own cha- officialletter addressed to rear-admiral Sawyer, by
racte* and to the rights of their injured citizens, captain Bingham, commanding his majesty's sloop
Under these circumstances it wouldbe eq millv the Little Belt, which contains an account of the
unjust and dishonorable in the United States to suf- late engagement between that ship and the Ameri-
fer East Florida to pass into the possession or .my can frigate the President.
other power. Unjust because they would thereby In thus communicating to you, without orders
lose the only indemnity within their reach, for from his majesty's government, this document,
injuries which ought long since to have been re- which in the most essential fact differs so materially
dressed. Dishonorable, because in permitting from that of commodore Rodgers, I trust that this
.another power to wrest from them that indemnity, g-overnment will receive it as a proof of the sincere
their inactivity and acquiescence could only be desire which exists with me, to open the way to an
imputed to unworthy motives. Situated as East Flo-, amicable arrangement of the question which may
rida is, cut off from the other possessions of Spain, arise out of tl is unfortunate affair, when it shall be
-and surrounded in a gre:t measure by the territory known to his maj.:.tv's government.
of the United States; and having also an important I have the hlnor to be, with the highest respect,
bearing on their commerce, no other power could sir, your most obedient humble servant,
think of taking possession of it, with other than J. P. MORIER.
hostile views to them. Nor could any other power The hon. .Tames Afouroe, &c. Sc. &c.
take possession of it without endangering their [(Here follows the letter from captain BJingham to
prosperity and best interests, admiral Sauwyer-see page 34..]
The United Stkte hl.ave not been ignorant or inat-
tentive to what has 'been agitated in Europe, ai ini. MrnooW, SEcnzETAny or STAT, To MR. Mbo-
different periods, since the commencement of the mRIE, CHARoG D'AFFAIRES TO HIS BRITANNIC
prE sent war, in regard to the Spanish provinces in MAJESTY.
this hemisphere;inor have they been unmindfil of Department of State, June 28, 1811.
the consequences into which the disorder of Spain SIm-I had the honor to receive yesterday your
might lead in regard to the proyvice in question, letter of the 26th inst. communicating statement
without due care to prevent it. They have been from captain Bingham to admiral Sawyer, of the
persuaded that remissness on their part might in- circumstances attending tile late unfortunate en-
vite the danger, if it had not already done it, which counter between the United States' frigate the Presi-
it is so much their interest and desire to prevert.- dentandhis Britannic majesty's sloop theLittleBelt.
Deeply impressed with these considerations, and It is to be regretted that the statement made by
anxious, while they acquitted themselves to the captain Bingham should have varied in any cir.
just claims of their constituents, t. preserve friend- cumstance, from that made by the commander of
ship with other powers, -the subject was brought the American frigate. I later myself, with the
before the congress at its last session, when an act disposition of the president, when Iam authorized
was passed authorising the executive to accept pos- fo express, to make it the subject of mutual and
session of East Florida from the local authorities, friendly explanations, its disagreeable tendency
or to take it against the:attempt of a foreign power will be obviated. I am induced to express this
to occupy it, holding it in either case subject to expectation, with the more confidence, from the
future and friendly negoolation. This act therefore conciliatory manner in which you have made this
evinces the just and amicable views by which the communication. Have the honor to be, &c.
United States have been .governed, towards: Spain, :. i(Signed) JAS. MONROE,
in the measure authorized by it. Our ministers at AMr. formerr, charge td'ffaires of
iponad and Paris were immediately apprised of the his Britannic majesty.
THE WEEKLY REGISTER-AFFAIR OF THE LITTLE BELT. 19i
nR. POSTERI TO M[. MOINROE. of the outrage, and offer to his majesty every re.
Washington, duly 3, 1811. paration that can appear due.
Smi,-The assurances which you did me the It is with great pleasure, sir, that I avail myself
honor to give me yesterday verbally, that no in- ofthis opportunity to acknowledge the promptness
structions whatever had been given to commodore with which you came forward with the assurances
Rodgers which could under any construction be alluded to in the first part of this letter, and the
meant to authorize his attempting to recover by readiness which you showed to receive any commu-
force any person claimed as an impressed Xmerican nications from me in regard to the unhappy occui-
citizen from on board any of his majesty's ships of rence which forms the subject of the remainder.
war, were amply sufficient to convey to my mind I have the honor to be, &c.
every satisfaction upon that subject: the reports, AUG. J. FOSTER.
however, current in the United States, and connect- Hon. James AMonroe, .c.
ed with commodore Rodgers' conduct and pro-
ceedings, as well as the ,,-,l'.- ". which will be am. MOONOE TO MX. rnSTER.
drawn from the expressions which he used to the Department of State, Jvdy 16, 1811.
captain of his majesty's sloop Little Belt, being of Sma,-I have had the honor to receive your note
a tendency to create doubts in Great Britain as to respecting the late rencontre between the American
the nature of the authority under which he acted, I frigate the President, and his Britannic majesty's
willingly accept your offer of making me the same sloop of war the Little Belt.
statement in a more formal manner, in order that I It is very satisfactory to find that you received the
may transmit it to my government, to prevent all communication which I had the honor to make you,
possible mistakes on so important a point. in our Srst interview, on the subject of your en-
Tile question arising out of the encounter be- tuiry, reltive to that unfortunate occurrence, in
tween the United States frigate President and his the amicable spirit in which it was intended. Al-
majesty's sloop Little Belt, will thenremain limited though the excitement which had been produced
to the act itself You are alrecly, sir, in possession by previous and recent aggressions, particularly by
ofthe British commanders' statement of the circaii- the impressment of American citizens from Ameri-
stances which attended it; his account, and that of can vessels, even on the coast of the United States,
the American commodore's, differ very materially was great, yet, no order had been given by the go-
with respect to some of the most important vernment for the recovery, by force, of any citizens
features of the transaction, but in tins they agree, so impressed, from any British ship of war. The
that the chace which .. 't .:,, I.. action, com- orders given to the commanders of frigates, and
menced on the part ..1 .: .1 .i. Rodgers; for other armed vessels of the United States, were for
it cannot be maintained that the advance made by the protection of their coasts and of their com-
captain Bingham for the purpose of ascertaining if merce, within the legitimate limits.
the sail described by him was his majesty's ship I need not repeat to you, sir, the sincere regret
Gurrier, which it appears he had orders to join, was of this .. ....... .t that such an encounter took
for the purpose of chasing, even if that fact place, and more especially that it should have pro-
be urged as a plea by the American commander, for duced the unfortunate consequences which attend-
as soon as he found his signals unanswered, he bore ed it.
away, until to his infinite surprise he found himself I have the honor to be, &c.
the object of the strange vessel's eager pursuit and JAMES MONROE.
hostile attitudes. What could be commodore Rod- Jiugustus J. Foster, Esq. &c. Uc.
gers' intention is not apparent. That he could not
discover at the distance of seventy or one hundred M3. FOSTER TO MR. MONROE,
yards, that the ship before him was a flush deck fWaslhington, July 24, 1811.
sloop, though it was but a little after eight o'clock Srn-I have had the honor to receive your letter
on the 16th of May; that he could not make out dated on the 16th inst. in answer to mine of the 3d, in
her colors at half past six o'clock; that his guns which I expressed a desire to have stated, in a more
were double shotted; and that with the security he formal manner, your denial to me, of orders having
possessed from the great force and superior sailing been given to commodore Rodgers which could,
of the ship under his command, and the circum- under any construction, authorise that commander
stance of belonging to a neutral nation, he did not to attack any of his majesty's ships of war, in
rather hold off during the night if he wished to search of any person claimed as an American sea-
speak the sloop, than by running under her stern man, and in which I also demanded that an exami-
in a menacing attitude, incur the risk of provoking nation should be instituted into that officer's con-
a misunderstanding, must appear unaccountable to duct, with a view to suitable reparation being af-
the comprehension of every unprejudiced person, forded to his majesty, for what appears a wanton
and will I am sure, sir, seem to you a sufficient and unprovoked attack made by the frigate under
reason, if there were no other, to warrant my de- his command upon his majesty's sloop of war, the
rnanding that an examination be instituted into his Little Belt.
conduct, with a view to suitable satisfaction being The denial I asked for, you have given me, and I
afforded to his majesty for the loss of so many of beg to assure you, sir, that though I troubled you
his subjects so wantonly slaughtered, and for -1. -i, i, the demand, because the cxlensivencss of the
insult offered to his flag. But should captain rumor which had attributed such orders to the
Bingham's charges be brought home to commodore American government, had made it my duty so to
Rodgers, for his having refused to state tle name do; yet I never entertained an idea for one moment
ofthe nation '. 1.. 1. % .,,: 1 t.,, though asked to, d-. so l:a the government of the United States could
on their neari, .... 1h ..I.. in the dark, .i.l ra. I, issued such orders, because they must have
having fired a broad-side into the sloop without been considered as manifestations of direct intcn-
provocation, which might at once have sunk so tions of hostility, which would have been incompa-
small a vessel, I am convinced I need only appeal tible with the relations of amity subsisting between
to the justice of the American government, for the America and Great Britain.
government to see in its proper light thee rma 'itude On such a point, sir, a simple denial was all
j92 THE WEEKLY RE(riTTER-AFF.VR OF THE LITTLE BELT.
asked, and what I expected to receive. It was,
therefore with pain that I found you had connected
it with allusions to other topics, calculated to pro-
duce irritation, on which, whatever complaints you
may have to make to me, I shall be ever ready to
receive and forward them for redress to the com-
mander in chief of his majesty's naval forces at
Halifax, or to his majesty government: 'but the
mentioning of which in your note. in answer to
mine on a distinct subject, of the most serious im-
portance, you will pardon me if I must consider as
matter of regret, especially as you wished me to re.
ceive the communication you made me as given in
an amicable spirit.
Moreover from the tenor of the part of your let-
ter in which you have connected the question of im-
pressment with that of an attack on a Br;tish ship
of war, an inference is forced upon me, which you
surely never could have meant me to draw, but
which, nevertheless, the passage conveys, namely,
that, although the government of the United States
had not given orders for the recovery by fbrce of
any American citizen claimed from a British na-
tional ship, they still maintain they might have
been justified in so doing. The right of s-archling
a ship of war has been so positively disavowed ont
the part of his majesty's government, and so dis-
claimed by that of America, that I could not havi
expected any doubts would ever again, have been
thrown on the matter, and yet the language ofyouri
letter, until it is explained, will certainly authorize
such doubts, as far as relates to the American gov-
I have no answer at ldl from you, sir, to my de-
mand for an inquiry being instituted into the con-
duct of captain Rodgers. This omisson has occa-
sioned to me the more surprise, because in addition
to there appearing to be no cause why the govern-
ment of America should'decline to listen to so just
a demand on my-part, there seemed to be every
reason why they should even for tl.eir own satisfkc-
tion have desired to clear up the circumstances of'
his most extraordinary proccediing. I will indi-ed
frankly own to you that I did think on reaching
this city to have fund itht officer's conduct alrea-
dy, by the spontaneous act of the government om
the United States, undergoing an examination, in-
stead of hearing that he had been sent immedi-
ately to sea again, which seemed to denote an ap-
probation of his behaviour; and I thoughh. 1 could
the more rely on this being the course the presi-
dent would have pursued, from a consideration of
that which his majesty's government had taken in
the case of the Chesapeake when every reparation
priciicable at the instant the intelligence reached
London of the unfortunate event, was made to you,
sir, promptly and unasked for.
I feel the more regret, sir, at the course taken
by your government in this tdfa.r, because I have
been necessarily obliged in consequence to suspend
carrying into; execution that part of my inmsruc:ions
by which I was directed ininediaTely on my arrival
herd to offer such further reparation for the attack
on Ite Chesapeake frigate as would, I am convinc-
ed, have proved satisfactory. I had the honor to
state to you, in our first interview, that I had such
instructions, although I omitted to mention it in
my note, because, as you may remember, I express-
ed to'you at the time, it seemed to me the American
government might feel more free to act as the jus-
tce of the case required, if ihe two subjects were
kept uneonnected; and in this opaupn I thoughtyou
,appeared to concur.
I have the honor to be, with the greatest consi-
deration and respect, sir, your most obedient hum-
ble servant, AUGUSTUS J. FOSTER.
The hon. James .Aonroe, Secretary of .tate.
MR. FOSTER TO 3MR. MONROE.
Philadelphia, Sept. 4. 1811.
Sin-I have now by ar express messenger from
England received the coiiri,..-]i ,I hii, ri.. .i .higih-
ness the prince regent, acting in the name and on
the behalf of his majesty, relative to the late vio-
lent aggression committed by the United States
frigate, the President, on his majesty's ship Little
Belt, and I have the honor of communicating to
you the enclosed documents, which have been trans-
mitted to me by my government to be laid before
that of the United States, comprehending a copy
of a 'htter from lord James Townshend, command-
ing officer at Halifax, dated May 30, 1811, enclos-
ing a statement of the action by the officers of the
Little Belt-the report of the commissioner of his
majesty's navy board at lHliLf x, in respect to the
damage done the Little Bel'; a copy of rear admi-
ral Sawyer's letter, enclosing his instructions to
captain Bingham, as well as a lis of killed and
wounded on board the sloop of war-and finally a
copy of" the correspondence on the subject which
took place between the marquis Wellesiey and Mr.
Smith, the Amnerican charge d'affaires, in London;
of idat of captain Bingham's official letter you're
already in possession.
In commmunMating to you, sir, these documents,
I am particularly directed to call your alteution to
the instructions of admiral Sawyer, which furnish-
es the strongest evidence of the pacific and friendly
intentions of his majesty's government towards
this country.. The very pointed manner in which
the commander in chief on the I-Hliiax station had
enjoined captain Binglihm to avoid giyvng oiffence
to the government or subjects of the United States,
in* officers statement, eve. if there were not such
strong evidence as appears from -he deposition of
lie different officers on board his ninmje:sy's ship as
io the action having been cominenced by captain
Hi,- majesty's government were entitled to ex-
pect, as I have already had the honor to observe to
:ou, sir, in my fon mer letter, that the American go-
vernment would have maniilesed a prompt disposi-
Lion to obviate, by an early disavowal and by just
rexpra ion, the necessary tendency of such an event
to disturb the i ., !' p bubsising between the
two states, and thi < p. cl .i .n was the more natu-
ral fi'on the exampi afforded by his majesty's go.
vet nment in the case of the Chesapeake.
Such, however, not having been the case, I am
commanded by his royal highness to lose no time
in commnnicAting to you the papers enclosed, which
expLiin in the fullest manner the circumstances of
tie traiis:ction and the very great extent of theout-
rage committed, by which so many valuable lives
weire sacrificed, and in d, ...... ....; the immediate
disavowal on the part. of it.. i., i.-. States of the
act of aggression committed against his majesty's
ship; as also in requiring a just reparation of the
I have the honor to be, &c.
AUG. J. FOSTER.
To the honorable James .toni'oe, &c.
There appears to be an error in the printing of
this paragraph in the Intelligencer, from which the
documents .re copied.
THE WEEKLY REGISTER-AFFAIR OF THE LITTLE BELT. 193
Ma. MONIROE TO MR. FOSTER.
Department of State, Sept. 14, 1811.
Srn-I have had the honor to receive your letter
of the 4th instant respecting the encounter between
the United States' fiigate the President and his Bri
tannic majesty's ship Little Belt, which I have laid
belbre the president of the United States.
In the first interview which took place between
us, after your arrival at Washington, I stated expli-
citly that no instructions had been given to take
any seamen from on board a British ship of war,
nor any order whatever of a hostile nature. I made
the same declaration afterwards, at your request, in
a more formal manner; and it is with the same
frankness that I now again repeat it.
Such a declaration was deemed proper in order
to obviate misapprehensions which might obstruct
any conciliatory and satisfactory propositions with
which you might be charged. It was in conformity
also with the candor and friendly policy which have
been shown by this government in all its transac-
tions with Great Britain.
If the answer to your former letter was limited
to this disavowal of hostile intentions pn the part
of this government, it need scarcely be remarked,
that no further view of the subject could then nor
as yet can be entered into on the demand of the Bri-
tish government, without forgetting an essential
preliminary to such a demand.
It might be added that with the circumstances
of the transaction, as officially before this govern-
ment, the true ground on which it claimed atten-
tion was that of a violent aggression by a British
on an American ship, in a situation and manner
authorising the strongest appeal to the British
government for redress. If an,instant representa-
tion and demand to that effect were not made, it
was a proof only that this government permitted
the event of the encounter to temper the feelings
and retard .the complaint, prompted by the origin
and character of it.
captain Bingham made the attack and without a
That commodore Rodgers pursued a vessel which
had at first pursued him, and hailed her as soon as
he approached within a suitable distance, are cir-
cumstances which can be of no avail to captain
Bingham. The United States have a right to know
the national character of the armed ships which
hover on their coast, and whether they viait it with
friendly or illicit views. It is a right inseparable
from the sovereignty of every independent state,
and intimately connected with their tranquility and
peace. All nations exercise it, and none with
more rigor, or at a greater distance from the coast
than Great Britain herself, nor any, on more jus-
tifiable grounds, than the United States. In addi-
tion to the considerations which have recommend-
ed these precautions to other powers, it is render-
ed of the more importance to the United States, by
the practice of armed vessels from the West Indies,
investing our coast for unauthorised and even pi-
ratical purposes. Instances have also occurred, in
which the commanders of British ships of war, af-
ter impressing seamen from American vessels, have
concealed their names, and the names of their
ships, whereby an application to their government
for the reparation due for such outrages, with the
requisite certainty, is rendered impracticable. For
these reasons the conduct of commodore Rodgers,
in approaching the Little Belt to make the necessa-
ry inquiries, and exchange a friendly salute, was
The president, therefore, can regard the act of
captain Bingham no otherwise than as a hostile ag-
gression on the flag of the U States, and he is per-
suaded that his Britannic majesty, viewing it in the
same light, will bestow on it the attention which it
merits. With great respect, &c.
Jlug-susueJ. Foster, Esq. &c. &c. &c.
It is not seen without surprise that tile case ot Mn. FOSTrT. TO IRn. roinOTnF.
the Chesapeake is cited as an example supporting Washington, Octob-e 26, 1811.
a demand of reparation in the present case. No Srn-I have had the honor to receive vour letter
other remark will be made than that the fifth year of the 11lh instant, inclosing a copy of the pro-
is now elapsing without reparation in that case, al- ceedings ofa court of inquiry held by order of -ei
though so palpably and even confessedly due to the president of the United States, on the conduct of
rights of the U. States and the honor of their flag. corn. Rodgers in the late encounter between a fii-
In the instruction to captain Bingham thus frank- gate of the United States, the President, n.nd his
ly communicated, the president sees a token of ami- majesty's ship the Little Belt, fixing on capt. Biing-
ty and conciliation, which, if pursued in the extent ham the charge of having commenced the engage-
corresponding with that in which these sentiments meant, and claiming in consequence the attention of
are entertained by the United States, must hasten his majesty's government towards it, as to an act
a termination of every controversy which has so of hostility on the part of the Bri'ish officer.
long subsisted between the two countries. I may be permit ted to remind you, sir, that afecr
I have the honor to be, &c. I had ascertained from you that no hostile intentions
(Signed) JAS. MONROE. on the part of the government of the U. States were
AJugstus J. Foster, Esq. &c. &c. &c. connected with the proceeding of captain Rodgers,
-- all I asked in the first instance was, that the presi-
Mnt. MONRorF TO ari. POSTFR. dent of the United States would be pleased to order
Department of State, October 11, 1811. an inquiry into his conduct, which had tended so
Srn-I have the honor to transmit to you a copy seriously to interrupt the harmony subsisting be-
of the proceedings of a court of inquiry, held by tween our two countries; and which having hither;
order of the president on the conduct of commo- to receii ed no palliation whatever from any evidence
dore Rodgers, in the late encounter between a fri- in contradiction of captain 3Jingham's statement, as
gate of the United States, the President, and his officially transmitted to his majesty's government,
Briiannic majesty's ship the Little Belt. must have continued to them to be utterly incapa-
The i -sult of this inquiry, which was conducted ble of receiving any.
in public, in a manner the most fair and impartial, Tie document you have now done me the honor
and established by the concurrent testimony of all to communicate to me, with a copy annexed of
the officers of the American ship, and of others captain Rodgers' letter, (for the first time officially
whom it was proper to summon, cannot, it is pre. before me) is however so tiar satisftctory .s it shows
sunned, leave a doubt in the mind of any one that that captain Rodgers has endeavored to exculpate
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.t T', ii
THE WEEKLY REGISTER
Letters of A r. Pinkney, our late minister to Great
Britain, to the secretary of state, and of j.r. Rus-
sel, our late charge d'affaires in JFrance to Ai'.
MR, PINKNET TO MR. SMITH.
London, January 17, 1811.
SR-I had the honor to receive on the 6th inst.
while I was confined by a severe illness, your let.
ters of the 15ih of November, and as soon c- I .
able, prepared a note to lord Wellesley in ..:.rt.,r.-
mity with it.
On the 3d instant, I had received a letter from
lord Wellesley, bearing date on the 29th ultimo, on
the subjects of the orders in council and the Bri.
tish blockades, to which I was anxious to reply, at
the same time that I obeyed the orders of the
president signified in your letter abovementioned.
I prepared an answer accordingly, and sent it in
with the other note, and a note on the 15th respect-
ing two American schooners lately captured on
their way to Bordeaux, for a breach of the orders in
council. Copies of all these papers are enclosed.
My answer to lord Wellesley's letter was written
under the pressure of indisposition and the influ-
ence of more indignation than could well be sup-
pressed. His letter proves, what scarcely required
proof, that if the present government continues,
we cannot be friends with England. I need not
analyse it to you.
I am still so weak as to find it convenient to make
this letter a short one, and will therefore only add,
that I have derived great satisfaction from your in-
structions of the 15th of November, and have de.
termined to return to the United States in the
Essex. She will go to L'Orient for Mr. Grayson,
and then come to Cowes fbr me and my family. I
calculate on sailing about the last of February.
The choice of a charge d'affaires embarrasses me
exceedingly, but I will do the best I can. The
despatches by the Essex, were delivered to me by
*lieutenant Rodgers on Sunday. I have the honor
to be. &c. WM. PINKNEY.
Robert Smith, Esq. Ec. &lc.
LOID VELLESLEY TO 3IM. PINKNET.
Foreign Ofice, December 29, 1810.
SIR-In acknowledging the receipt of your letter
of the 10th instant, I must express my regret that
you should have thought it necessary to introduce
into that letter any topics which might tend to in-
terrupt the conciliatory spirit in which it is the
sincere disposition of his majesty's government to
conduct every negotiation with the government of
the United States.
From an anxious desire to avoid all discussion of
that tendency, I shall proceed without any further
observation to communicate to you the view which
his majesty's government has taken of the principal
question, which formed the object of my enquiry
during our conference of the 5th instant. The let-
ter of the French minister for f .... 1 ',;, tothe
American minister at Paris, of the i, \,'.:ust,1810,
did not appear to his majesty's government to con-
tain such a notification of the repeal of the French
decrees of Berlin and Milan as could j .-i,1 his
majesty's government in repealing the British or-
ders in council. That letter states, "That the
"decrees of Berlin and Milan are revoked, and that
'from the first of November, 1810, they will cease
'to be in force, it being understood that in, couse-
"guence of this declaration the English shall revoke
"their orders in council and renounce the new
"principles of blockade, which they have attempt-
fed to establish "
-ORDERS IN COUNCIL, &e. 195
The purport of this declaration appeared to be
that the repeal of the decrees of Berlin and Milan
would take effect from the 1st of November, provid-
ed that Great Britain antecedently to that day,
and in consequence of this declaration, should re-
voke the orders in council, and should renounce
those principles of blockade which the French go-
vernmcnt alleged to be new. A separate condition
,I.--i-," i.'. \A n. rica seemed also to be contained in
r ] .1..1'-.~i i, t1..n, by which America might under-
stand that the decrees of Berlin and Milan would
be actually repealed on the 1st of November, 1810,
provided that America should resent any refusal of
the British government to renounce the new princi-
ples of blockade and to revoke the orders in coun-
By your explanation it appears that the Ameri.
can government understands the letter of the Fiench
minister as announcing an absolute repeal on the
1st of November, 1810, of the French decrees of
Berlin and Milan, which repeal, however, is not to
continue in force, unless the British government
within a reasonable time after the 1st ofNovember,
1810, shall fulfil the two conditions stated distinctly
in the letter of the French,.minister. Under this
explanation, if nothing more had been required
from Great Britain for the purpose of securing the
continuance of the repeal of the French decrees
than the repeal of our orders in council, I should
not have hesitated to declare the perfect readiness of
this government to fulfil that condition. On these
terms the British government has always been sin-
cerely disposed to repeal the orders in council. It
appears, however, not only by the letter of the
French minister but by your explanation, that the
repeal of the orders in council will not satisfy either
the French or the American government. The
British government is further required by the letter
of the French minister to renounce those princi-
ples of blockade which the French government al-
ledges to be new. A reference to the terms of the
Berlin decree will serve to explainthe extent of this
requisition. The Berlin decree states that Great
Britain "extends the right of blockade to com-
mercial unfortified towns, and to ports, harbors
and mouths of rivers, which according to the prin-
ciples and practice of all civilized nations is only
applicable to fortified places." On the part of the
American government, I understand you to require
that Great Britain should revoke her order of bloc-
kade of May, 1806. Combining your requisition
with that of the French minister, I must conclude
that America, demands the revocation of that' order
of blockade as a practical instance of our renuncia.
tion of those principles of blockade which are con-
demned by the French government. Those prin-
ciples of blockade Great Britain has asserted, to be
ancient and established by the laws of maritime
war, acknowledged by all civilized nations, and on
which depend the most valuable rights and interests
of this nation. If the Berlin and Milan decrees
are to be considered as still in force, unless Great
Britain shall renounce these established founda-
tions of her maritime rights and interests, the pe-
riod of time is not yet arrived, when the repeal of
her orders in council can be claimed from her, ei-
ther with reference to the promise of this govern-
ment or to the safety and honor of the nation.-
I trust that the justice of the American govern-
nent will not consider, that France by the repeal
of her obnoxious decrees under such a condition,
has placed the question in that state which can
warrant America in enforcing the non-intercourse
act against Great Britain and not against France,
196 THE WEEKLY REGISTER-ORDERS IN.COUNCIL, &,e.
In reviewing the actual state of this question Ame- than a perseverance in oppressive novelties, as
rica cannot fail to observe the situation in which the obviously incompatible with such a disposition in
commerce of neutral nations has been placed by those who enforce them, as in those whose patience
many recent acts of the French government.- they continue to exercise.
Nor can America reasonably expect that the system Upon the commencement of the .second para-
of violence and injustice now pursued by France graph I must observe, that the forbearance, which
with unremitted activity, (while it serves to illus- it announces, might have afforded some satisfac-
trate the true spirit of her intentions) should not tion, if it had been followed by such admissions as
require some precautions of defence on the part of my government is entitled to expect, instead of a
Great Britain. further manifestation of that disregard of its de-
Having thus stated my view of the several consi- mands by which it has so long been wearied. It has
derations arising from the letter of the French never been my practice to seek discussions of which
minister, and from that with which you have honor- the tendency is merely to irritate; but I beg your
ed me, it remains only to express my solicitude, lordship to be assured thatI feel no desire to avoid
that you should correct any interpretation of either them, whatever may be their tendency, when the
which you may deem erroneous. If either by the rights of my country require to be vindicated
terms of the original decree to which the French against pretensions that deny and conduct that
minister's letter refers, or by any other authentic infringes them.
document you can prove, that the decrees of Berlin If'I comprehend the other parts of your lordship's
and Milan are absolutely repealed, and that no fur- letter they declare in effect that the British govern-
ther condition is required of Great Britain n tha the meant will repeal nothing but the orders in council,
repeal of her orders in council, I shall receive any and that it cannot at present repeal even them, be-
such information with most sincere satisfaction, cause, in the first place, the French government
desring you to understand that the British govern- has required, in the letter of the duke of Cadore to
ment retains an anxious solicitude to revoke the or- General Armstrong of the 5th of August, not only
ders in co1unil, as soon as the Berlin and Milan de- that Great Britain shall revoke those orders, but
crees shall be effectually repealed without condo- that she shall renounce certain principles of block-
tions injurious to the maritime rights and honor of ade (supposed to be explained in the preamble to the
the munned kingdom. Berlin decree) which France alledges to be new;
I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect and, in the second place, because the American
and consideration, sir, your most obedient humble government has (as you conclude) demanded the
servant, revocation of the British order of blockade of May
(Signed) WELLESLEY. 1806, as a practical instance of that same reunicia-
-- ion, or, in other words, has made itself a party.
Mn. plrixuI.T TO LOnn wapmLEStr. not openly indeed but indirectly and covertly, ,to
Great Ciumberland Place, 14th .an. 1811. the entire requisition of France, as you understand
Mr Lonn,-I have received the'letter which you that requisition
did me the honor to address to me on the 29th of last It is certainly true that the American government
month, and will not fail to transmit a copy of it to has required, as indispensable in the view of its acts
my government. In the mean time, I take the h- of intercourse and nonintercourse,. the annulment
berty .to trouble vou with the following reply, of the British blockade of May 1806, and further
which a severe indisposition has prevented me from that it has through me declared its confident expec-
preparing sooner, station that other blockades of a similar character
The first paragraph seems to make it proper for (including that of the Island of Zealand) will be
me to begin by saying, that the topics introduced discontinued. But by what process of reasoning
into my letter of the 10h of Dec. were intimately your lordship has arrived at the conclusion, that the
connected with its principal subject, and fairly government of the United States, intended by this
used to illustrate and explain it; and consequently requisition, to become the champion of the edict of
that, if they had not the good fortune to be accept- Berlin, to fashion its principles by those of France,
able to your lordship, the fault was not mine. while it affcted to adhere to its own, aid to act
It was scarcely possible to speak, with more mo- upon some partnership in doctrines, which it would
deration, than my paper exhibits, of that portion of fain induce you to acknowledge but could not pre.
a long list of invasions of the rights of the United vail upon itself to avow, I am not able to conjec-
States, which it necessarily reviewed, and of the ture. The frank and honorable character of the
apparent reluctance of the British government to American government justifies me in saying that,
forbear those invasions in future. I do not know if it had meant to demand of Great Britain an ab-
that I could more carefully have abstained from juration of all such principles as the French govern-
whatever might tend to disturb the spirit which ment may think fit to disapprove, it would not
your lordship ascribes to his majisty's government, have put your lordship to tie trouble of discover-
if, instead of being utterly barren and unproduc- ing that meaning by the a.d of combinations and
tive, it had occasionally been visible in some prac- inferences discountenanced by the language of its
tical result, in some concession either to friendship minister, but would have told you so in explicit
or to justice. It would not have been very surpris- terms. What I have to request of your lordship,
ing, nor very culpable, perhaps, if I had wholly for- therefore, is, that you will take our views and prin-
gotten to address myself to a spirit of conciliation, ciples from our own mouths, and that neither lhe
which had met tlhe most equitable claims with Berlin decree, nor any other act of any foreign
steady and unceasing repulsion; .which had yield- state, may be made to speak for us what we have
ed nothing that could be denied; and had answer- not spoken for ourselves.
ed complaints ofinjury by multiplying their causes. The principles of blockade which the American
With this forgetfulness however I am not chargeable; government professes, and upon the foundation of
fur, against all the discouragements suggested by which it has repeatedly protested against the order
the past, I hIve acted still upon a presumption, that of May 1806, and the other kindred innovations of
the ;,siiosition to conciliate, so often professed, these extraordinary times, have already been so
Should finally be proved by some better evidence clearly explained to your lordship, inx my letter of
THE WEEKLY REGISTER-ORDERS IN COUNCIL, &c. 197
the 21st of September, that it is hardly possible to besiege~l.place is the evidence by which we decide
read that letter and misunderstand them. Recom- whether the siege which may be commenced, raise,
mended by the plainest considerations of universal ed, recommended and raised again, is continued or
equity, you will find them supported by a strength not; that of course a mere notification to a neutral
of argument, and a ve.'Lht .: authority, of which minister shall notbe relied upon, as affecting, with
they scarcely stand in need, in the papers, which knowledge of the actual existence of a blockade,
will accompany this letter, or were transmitted in either his government or its citizens, that a vessel,
that of September. I will not recapitulate what I cleared or bound to a blockaded port, shall not be
cannot improve; but I must avail myself of this considered as violating in any manner the blockade,
opportunity to call your lordship's attention a unless on her approach towards such port she shall
second time, in a particular' manner, to one of the have been previously warned not to enter it;
papers to which mv letter of September refers. I that this view of the law, in itself perfectly cor-
.allude to the copy of an official note, of the 12th of rect, is peculiarly important to nations situated
April 1804, from Mr. Merry to Mr. Madison, re- at a great distance from the belligerent parties,
specting a pretended blockade of Martinique and ~and therefore incapable of obtaining other than
Guadaloupe. No comment can add to the value of tardy.intformation of the actual state of their ports;
that manly and perspicuous exposition of the law that whole coasts and countries shall not be de-
of blockade, as made by England herself, in main- dared (for tliey cannever be more than declared) to
tenance of rules, which have been respected and up- be in a state of blockade, and thus the right ofblock-
held, in all seasons and on all occasions, by the go- ade be converted into the means of extinguishing
vernm6nt of the United States. I will leave it, the trade of neutral nations; and lastly, that every
therefore, to your lordship's consideration, with blockade should be impartial in its operation, or in
only this.remark, that, while that paper exists, it other words, shall not open and shut for the con-
will be superfluous to seek in any French document venience of the party that institutes it, and at the
for the opinions of the American government on same time repel the commerce of the rest of the
the matter of it. world, so as to become the odious instrument of an
The steady fidelity of the government of the unjust monopoly, instead of a measure of honorable
Uniicd States.to its opinions on that interesting war.
subject is known to every body. The same princi- These principles are too moderate and just to
ples, which are found in the letter of Mr. Madison furnish any motive to the British government for
to Mr. Thornton of the 27th of October 1803, al- hesitating to revoke its orders in council and those
ready before you, were asserted in 1799, by the A- analogous orders of blockade which the United
merican minister t this court, in his correspondence States expect to be recalled. It can hardly. be
with lord Grenville, respecting the blockadeofsome doubted that Great Britain will ultimately accede to
of the ports of Holland; were sanctioned, in a letter them in their fullest extent; but if that be a san-
of the 20th of September 1800, from the Secretary guine calculation, (as I trust it is not) it is still in-
of State of the United States to Mr. King, of which controvertible, that a disinclination at this moment
an extract is enclosed; were insisted upon in re- to acknowledge them, can suggest no rational in-
peated instructions to Mr. Monroe, and the special ducement for declining to repeal, at once, what eve-
r; ssion of 1806; have been maintained by the ry principle disowns, and what must be repealedat
United States against others, as well as against last.
England, as will appear by the enclosed copy of in- With regard to the rules of blockade which the
structions, dated the 21st of October 1801, from French government expects you to abandon, I do
Mr. Secretary Madison to Mr. Charles Pinkney, not take upon meto decide whether they are such
then American minister at Madrid; and finally as your lordship supposes them to be or not. Your
were adhered to by the United States when bellige- view of them may be correct; but it may also be
rent, in the case of the blockade of Tripoli. erroneous; and it is wholly immaterial to the case
A few words will give a summary of those prin- between the United States and Great Britain whe-
ciples; and when recalled to your remembrance, I their it be the one or the other.
am not. without hopes that the strong grounds of As to such British blockades as the United States
law and right on which they stand, will be as ap- desire you to relinquish, you will not, I am sure,
'parent to your lordship as they are to me. alledge, that it is any reason for adhering to them
It is by no means clear that it may not fairly be that France expects you to relinquish others. If
contended, on principle and early usage, that a our demands are suited to the measure of our own
maritime blockade is incomplete with regard to rights, and of your obligations as they respect those
states at peace, unless the place which it would af- rights, you cannot think oi'founding a rejection of
icct is invested by land as well as by sea. The Uni- them upon any imputed exorbitance in the theories
ted States. however, have called for the recognition of French government, for wh:ch we are not respin-
of no such rule. They appear to have contented sible, and with which we have no concern. If,
themselves with urging in substance, that ports no,t when you have done justice to the United States,
actually blockaded by a present, adequate, station- your enemy should call upon you to go farther,
ary force, employed by power which attacks them what shall prevent you from refusing? Your fice
shall not be considered as shut to neutral trade ia agency will in no respect have been inuaired. Your
articles not contraband of war; that, though it is case will be better, in truth, and in the opinion of
usual for a belligerentto give notice to neutral na- mankind, and you will be therefore, stronger in
tions when'he intends to institute a blockade, it is maintaining it; provided that, in doing so vou re-
possible that he may not act upon his intention at sort only to legitimate means and do not once
all, or that he may execute it insufficiently, or that more forget the rights of others while you seek to
he may discontinue his blockade, of which it is not vindicate your owni. Whether France will be sa-
customary to give any notice; that consequently, tisfied wiih what you n;av do, is not to be known
.the presence of the blockading force is the natural by anticipation, and ought not to be a subject of
.criterion by which the neutral is. enabled to ascer- enquiry. So vague a speculation has nothing to do
tain the existence of the blockade at any given pe- with vour duties to nations at peace; and, if it had
riod, in like manner as the actual investment of a would anmikil.ateathem. It cannot serve your int,
198 THE WEEKLY REGISTER-ORDERS TN COUNCIL, &e.
rests; for it tends to lessen the number of your I do not mean to grant, for I do not think, that
friends, without adding to your security against the edict of Berlin did at any time lend even a color
your enemies. You are required, therefore, to do of equity to the British orders in council with re-
right and to leave the consequences to the future, ference to the UVp'..i tIres. l.ut it might reason-
when by doing right you have every thing to gain ably have been .-xpec i.;d th:t ih.l. who have so
and nothing to lose. much relied upon; i. aa justhIf,.-.. r, would have
As to the orders in council, which professed to suffered it and them to sink. together. How this
be a reluctant departure from all ordinary rules, is forbidden by your safety or your honor remains to
and to be justified only as a system of. retaliation be explained; and I am not willing to believe that
for a pre-existing measure ofFrance, their .7:.uil e;th.l? the one or the other is inconsistent with the
'tion (such as it was) is gone the moment that, mea- observance or substantial justice, and with the
sure is no longer in operation. But the Berlin de- prosperity and rights of peaceful states.
.cree is repealed; and even the .ilan. decree, the Although your lordship has slightly remarked
successor of your orders in council, is repealed also. upon certain recent acts of I!,. F!rench .-go rrniient,
Why is it, then, that your orders have out-lived and has spoken in general tei;,i t" "'the l..'11 ..
those edicts, and that they are still to oppress and violence and irij'irti :.u n.' i..,. '.:.,1 bL Fra.,..'" as
harrass as before? Your lordship answers this ques- requiring "sonri I.t': .It.'in i;.t I,-lncc on i hI. p rt
tion explicitlyenough, but not satisfactorily. You of Great Britain," 1 ,o) not p-rccine thl iii u l.d-
do not alledge that the French decrees arc not re- duce any consequence from these observations, in
pealed; but you imagine that the repeal is not to favor o- a pr-.r ci-.i'. in the orders in council. I
remain in force, unless the British government am not n),,.It"f.a ...- tny edicts of France which,
shall, in addition to the revocation of its orders in now that the Bc i;ll .r.l Mi;lai decrees are repealed,
council, abandon its system of blockade. I am affect the rights of neutral commerce on the seas.
not conscious of having stated, as your lordship And you will yourselves admit that if any of the
seems to think, that this is so; and Ibelieve in fact acts of the French government, resting on territo-
that it is otherwise. Even if it were admitted, rial sovereignty, have injured, or shall hereafter in-
however, the orders in council ought nevertheless jure, the United States, it is for them, and for them
to be revoked. Can "the safety and honor of the only, to seek redress. In like manner it is for
British nation" demand that these orders shall con- Great Britain to determine what precautions of
tinue to outrage the public law of the world and defence those measures of France, which you de-
sport with the undisputed rights of neutral comr nominate unjust and violent, may render it expedi-
inerce, after the pretext which was at first invented ent for her to adopt. The U'l ..i.l t I :- I li only
for them is gone? But youi are menaced with a re- to insist that a sacrifice of -Ih.,r ri'c, r hail I. I be
vival of the French system, and consequently may among the number of those precautions.
again be furnished with the same pretext! Be it so; In replying to that passage in your letter, which
yet still, as the system and the pretext are at pre- adverts to the American act of non-intercourse, it
sent, at the end, so of course should be your orders, is only necessary to mention the proclamation of
Ac;e:.' li;rg to your mode of reasoning, the situa- the president of the United States of the 2d of No-
ticn ...; i.i_,tral trade is hopeless indeed. Whether vemher !ast, andthe act of congress, which my let-.
',the Berlin-decree exists or not, it is equally to jus. ie .it Ie .21st of September communicated, and to
tify your orders in council. You issued them be- add, that it is in the power of the British govern-
fore it was any thing but a shadow, and, by doing ment to prevent the non-intercourse from being en-
so, gave to it all the substance it could ever claim, forced against Great Britain.
It is at this moment nothing. It is revoked, and Upon the concluding paragraph of your letter I
has passed away, according to your own admission, will barely observe, that I am not in possession of'
You choose, however, to look for its re-appearance, any document which you are likely to. consider as
and you make your own expectation equivalent to authentic, shewing that the French decrees are
the decree itself. Compelled to concede that there "absolutely revoked upon the single condition of
is no anti-neutral French edict in operation upon the revocation .of the British orders in council;"
the ocean, you think it sufficient to say that there but that the information, which I have lately re-
will be such an edict you know not when, and in the ceived from the American legation at Paris, con-
mean time you do all you can to verify your own firms what I have already stated, and I think prov-
prediction, by giving to your enemy all the provo- ed, to your lordship, thatthose decrees are repealed
cation in your power to resume the decrees which and have ceased to have any effect. I will now
he has abandoned. trespass on you no farther than to suggest, that it
For my part, my lord, .I know not what it is that would have given me sincere pleasure to be enabled
the British government requires, with a view to to say as much of the British orders in council, and
what it calls its safety and its honor, as an induce- of the blockades, from which it is impossible to dis-
ment to rescind its orders in council. It does not, tinguish them.
I presume, imagine that such a system will be suf- I have the honor to he, with great respect and
feared to ripen into law. It must intend to relin- consideration, my lord, your lordship's most obe-
quish it sooner or later, as one of those violent dient humble servant, WM. PINKNEY.
.-experiments for which time can do nothing, and to Phe mos; noble the marquis Wellesley, Uc. Fc. 2c.
which submission will be hoped in vain. Yet, even (To nE COxTIiNUED.)
after the professed foundation of this mischievous
system is taken away, another and another is in- Affair of the Chesapeake.
dustriously procured for it; so that no man can
tell at what time, or under what circumstances, it Message to the senate and house of representatives of
is likely to have an end. When realities cannot be the United States.
found, possibilities supply their place, and that, I communicate to congress copies of a correspon-
which was originally said to be retaliation for ac- dence between the ri...', e',rr., l.nt-r;, and minis-
tual injunr, becomes at last,.(ir such a solecism can ter pl.:i.r,:.icritir I.. I irca il r, uid the secre-
be endur .1 jor ;... ;, .1 retaliationfor apprehended tar.: :.,' r.-: r he- ; -, .:. committed.
injuries, 1ic, i.1. .1- ni ny: m or maymaynot produce, by a British ship of i.' .r.n I. i. i,,,.l States fri-
but vwhch it is certain have no exi.tence ncr-,. gate Chesapeatke by T. hir '. i!l I., sern that that
THE WEEKLY REGISTER-AFFAIR-OF THE CHESAPEAKE. 199
subject of difference between the two countries, is
terminated by an offer of reparation which has
been acceded to. JAMES MADISON.
IWashington, JNovember 13, 1811.
MR. rOSTER TO MR. noltoBE.
fVashington, October 30, 1811.
SIR-I had already the honor to mention to you
that I came to this country furnished with instruc-
tions from his royal highness the prince regent, in
the name and on behalf of his majesty, for the pur-
pose of proceeding to a final adjustment of -1.-
differences which have arisen between G. Britin
and the United States of America in the affair of the
Chesapeake fi-igate, and I had also that of acquaint-
ing you with the necessity under which I found
myself of suspending the execution of those in-
structions in consequence of my not having per-
ceived that any steps whatever were taken by the
American government to clear up the circumstan-
ces of an event which threatened so materially to
interrupt the harmony subsisting between our two
countries, as that which occurred in the-'month of
last May, between the United States ship President,
and his majesty's ship Little Belt, when every evi:
dence before his majesty's government seemed to
shew that a most evident and wanton outrage had
been committed on a British sloop of war by an
A court of inquiry, however, as you informed
me in your letter of the 11th inst. has since been
held by order of the President of the United States
on the conduct of commodore Rodgers, and this
preliminary, to further discussion on the subject,
being all that I asked in the first instance as due to
the friendship subsisting between the two states, I
hIve now the honor to acquaint you that I am ready
to proceed in the truest spirit of conciliation to lay
before you the terms of reparation which his royal
highness has commanded me to propose to the
United States' government, and only wait to know
when it will suit your convenience to enter upon
I have the honor to be, with the highest conside-
ration and respect, sir, your most obedient humble
servant AUG. J. FOSTER..
The hon. James JMfonoe, &c. Sc.
FROM MRt. MONROE TO MR. YOSTER.
Department of State, Oct. 31, 1811.
Snt-I have just had the honor to- receive your
letter of the 30th of this month.
I am glad to find that the communication which
I had the honor to make to you on the 11th instant
relative to the court of enquiry, which was the sub-
ject of it, is viewed by you in the favorable light
which you have stated.
Although I regret that the proposition which
you now make in consequence of that communica-
tion, has been delayed to the present moment, I am
ready to receive the terms of it whenever you may
think proper to communicate them. Permit me to
add, that the pleasure of finding them satisfactory
will be duly augmented, if they should be introduc-
tory to a removal of all the differences depending
between our two countries, the hope of which is so
little encouraged by our last correspondence. A
prospect of such a result will be embraced, on my
part, with a spirit of coriciliacion, equal to that
which has been expressed by you.
I have the honor to be, &c.
.! J. Foster, Esq. &c. & c,
Mn. TOSTER TO Mn. MoSrniE.
Washington, JVov. 1, 1811.
Sin-In pursuance of the orders which I have
received from his royal highness the prince regent,
in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, for
the purpose of proceeding to a final adjustment of
the differences which have arisen between Great
Britain and the United States in the affair of the
Chesapeake frigate, I have the honor to acquaint you
-First, that I am instructed to repeat to the Ame-
rican government the prompt disavowal made by his
I;.: \' and recited.in Mr. Erskine's note of April
17, 18,09, to Mr. Smith,) on being apprized of the
unauthorised act of the officer in command of his
naval forces on the coast of America, whose recall
from an highly important and honorable command
immediately ensued as a mark of his majesty's dis-
Secondly, that I am authorised to offer in addi-
tion to that disavowal, on the part of his royal high-
ness, the immediate restoration, as far as circumstan-
ces will admit, of the men who in consequence of
admiral Berkley's orders were forcibly taken out
of the Chesapeake to the vessel from which they
were taken; or if that ship should be no longer in
commission to such seaport of the United States as
the American government may name for the pur-
Thirdly, that I am also authorised to offer to the
American Egovernment a suitable pecuniary provi-
sion for the sufferers in consequence of the attack
on the Chesapeake, including- the families of those
seamen who unfortunately fell in the action, and
of the wounded survivors.
These honorable propositions, I can assure you,
sir, are made with the sincere desire that they may
prove satisfactory to the government of the United
States, and I t: ii ti. ill meet with that amica-
ble reception ci I. hi conciliatory nature enti-
tles them to. I need scarcely add how cordially I
join with you in the wish that they might prove in-
troductory to a removal of all the differences de-
pending between our two countries.,
I have the honor to be, with the greatest consi-
deration and respect, sir, your most obedient hum-
AUG. J. FOSTER.
To. the hon. James .1[onroe, &?c. c.
Mi. MONRIO TO .MR. FOSTER.
November 12, 1811.
SIn-I have had the honor to receive your letter
of the lst November & to lay it before the President.
It is much to be regretted that the reparation due
for such an aggression as that committed on the
United States frigate the Chesapeake, should have
been so long delayed; nor could the translation of
the offending officer from one command to anuthcr,
be regarded as constituting a part of a reparation
otherwise satisfactory; considering however the
existing circumstances of the case and the early and
amicable attention paid to it by his royal highn'ess
the prince regent, the President accedes to the pro.-
position contained in your letter, and in so doing
your government will, I am persuaded, see a prooi
of the conciliatory disposition by which the Presi-
dent has been actuated.
The officer commanding' the Chesapeake now
lying in the harbor of Boston, will be instructed to:
receive the men who are to be restored to that ship,
I have the honor, &c.
.2ug. JT. Foster, c. Uir. S&c.
THE WEEKLY REGISTER-CONGRESS, &e.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.
Our sketch of the proceedings of congress for the
toeek last past, must necessarily be short-but as yet
nothing of great interest has been done.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Friday November 8.-On motion of 3dr. Dawson,
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to bring in
shbill for the apportionment of representations among
the several states, according to the third enumeration.
Some private petitions were received and referred
-and also a message from the president, inclosing
tos letters from our present plenipotentiary in France,
Sc. -which shall be duly noticed. ('he house acdjoumed
monday, Vovember 11.-The following members
for the several standing committees, &c.
Committee of ways and means.
Messrs. nlcon, Cheeves, Smilie, Bibb, Burwell,
Johnson and Pitkin.
Committee of commerce and manufactures.
Messrs. Newton, Lownes, Mitchell, M'Kim, Tall-
mtadge, Seybert and Tallman.
Committee of claims.
Messrs. Bassett, Butler, Shaw, Brown, Mosely,
Standford and Archer.
Committee of public lands.
Messrs. Morrow, M'Kce, Gold, Breckenridge,
Blackledge, Boyd, Smith, of Penn.
Committee for the district of Columbia.
Messrs. Lewis, Ringgold, Piper, Peai;son, Baker,
Stow and Ormsby.
Committee of revisal and unfinished business.
Messrs. Seybert, Jackson and Ely.
Committee of accounts.
Messrs. Turner, Blount and Little.
Committee of the appointment of the representatives.
Messrs. Dawson, Williams, Grundy, Hall, (of
ew-Hampshire,) Quincy, Potter, Mosely, Strong,
Porter, Condit, Milnor, Wright, Ridgeley, Alston,
Bibb, Morrow and M'Kee.
Committee of poet-ofces and post-roads.
Messrs. Rhea, Porter, Lysle, Dinsmour, Tag-
gert, Potter, Law, 'Chitteuden, Hufiy, Ridgeley,
Kent, Sheffey, King, Earle, Hall, (of Georgia,)
Desha and Morrow.
November 12.-The house -ans chiefly occnupiedin a
committee of the whole in a desultory debate arising-
from certain resolutions offered by A3r. Smilie,for re-
ferring different sections of the President's message to
different committees, which -rere agreed to.
Sundry petitions -were received and a good deal of
minor business done.
November 13.-A message was received from the
president covering the correspondence between Jl1r.
Jfl.nroe and .r,. Foster respecting the attack on the
.Chesapeake-(see preceding page,) and also a return
of tlhe late census of the United States.
The folloMingy gentlemen have been namedupon the
select committees appointed yesterday:
Committee of foreign relations.-Messrs. Porter,
Calhoun, Grundy, Smilie, Randolph, Harper, Key,
Desha and Sever.
On the .Rnmy, c.-- essrs. Williams, Wright,
Macon, Nelson, Stow, Maxwell and Talmage.
On the naval force, &c.-Messrs. Cheeves, New-
ton. Minor, Quincy, Cook, M'Kiim and Fisk.
On the Spanish American colonies.-Messrs. Mit-
chell, B3ibb, I'i :kie.i .-.. Taggart, Champion But-
ler and Shaw.
On the manufacturing of cannon, small arms, &c.
Mes:;rs. Seybert, Little, Goodwin, Tracy & Sturges.
On, Indian affairs.-Mess:'s. M'Kee, Sever, Mor-
'row, Sheffey and Brown.
A resolution was agreed to instructing the com-
mittee of commerce and manufactures to enquire
into the expediencyofencouraging the manufacture
of iron, either by imposing additional duties, or pro-
hibitting the importation of certain kinds of iron.
TaF. SESATE have also referred the message to
several distinct committees. On the 12th inst. gen.
Smith brought in a bill to make further provision
for the corps of engineers; which, on the 13th was
read a second time and referred-same day he offer;
ed a resolution to request information of the presi.
dent, whether tobacco of the.United States "may be
purchased by the Regie, to the full consumption of
France," and, also to obtain a tariff of the duties
imposed by France on sundry articles the produce
or manufacture of the United States, &c.
The JVational Intelligencer, from' which we have co-
pied the documents, has noticed the following errors,;
-which the reader will please to correct:
EnnATA.--In our paper of W ..ir, --Ly, owing to
great haste, two or three slight errors occurred: In
Mr; Munroe's letter to Mr. Foster, dated Oct. 1, the'
following words occur at the end of a paragraph
near the conclusion of the letter, viz. "They -mere
"liable to it by the law of nations. It should be "they
"were liable to it according to the law of nations as
"asserted by Great Brlitain."
An error in punctuation in another part of the same
letter materially changes the sense of the sentence.
The following is.the sentence as it was printed:-
"An explanation of the cause of that supposed silence
"is not less due to myself, than to the true character of
"the transaction with the minister with whom I had
"the honor to treat. I may add, that an oficialfor.
"mal complaint was not likely to be resorted to,
"because friendly communications were invited and
The first sentence should have ended at the word
"transaction." The other sentence would then reader
"With the minister with whom Ihad the honor to treat,
"Imnay add that an official complaint was not likely
"to be resorted to, &?c.
The general interest excited by the documents
accompanying the president's message, and an ear-
nest desire to lay them before our readers in a com-
pact and regular form as soon as possible, has in..
duced us to issue an additional supplement to No. 10,
and compelled us to exclude almost every thing
else. They will repay the reader for the labor of
perusing them-among ile document, s is to be found
an account of the "adjustment of the affair of the
We had several things to mention this week of
some concern to the public and ourselves-but must'
postpone them. It is probable we may issue another
supplement next week, by which we shall get
through the press of documents, and afford room for
a considerable portion ofmiscelliaeous matter.
(y, The exertion made to lay the documents be-
fore ihe readers of the Register has prevented the
editor from completing the second edition of his four
first numbers; but they will soon be ready for deli-
very, And carefully transmitted to all the new sub.
scribers who have not r.-c .i% .J hilr .i
On hand-"Cebes," N'.. ,cl valuable "ac-
count of the manners and customs of the ancient in.
habitants of Louisiana-government-history, &c.
&c. from nrackenridge's sketches, corrected and
amended.by the author, and politely transmitted by
himn from St: Louis: