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service fund, $50,000. Henry's letter of disclosure to Mr. Monroe was dated the 20th of February, 1812, at Philadelphia, he having been at Washington and received his money. Mr. Madison did not communicate the disclosures to congress till the 9th of March, after Henry had sailed for Europe.

In the British parliament, on the 5th of May, lord Holland moved an address to the prince regent for the production of all the correspondence between Sir James Craig and the British government, relating to the employment of Henry. In the debate on this motion, some of the lords vindicated the conduct of Craig, who, when he had heard that the points in controversy between the two governments had been adjusted by Mr. Madison and Mr. Erskine, recalled Henry; which proved that his instructions had been given in contemplation of hostilities between the two countries. Others reprobated, as dishonorable, the endeavor to seduce American subjects from their allegiance to their own country, while the two governments were employed in amicable negotiation for peace. They thought the honor of their country, and satisfaction to the American government, required an absolute denial on the part of ministers, or a condemnation of the measure by parliament. It does not appear from this debate, that the scheme was known by the British

gov. ernment, until after Henry's return from the United States. The excitement produced by these disclosures soon subsided.

At an early period of the session, November 29, 1811, the committee on foreign relations, Peter B. Porter, of New York, chairman, made a report stating that France had repealed the Berlin and Milan decrees, so far as concerned the United States; and that Great Britain," instead of retracting that unjustifiable attack on neutral rights, in which she professed to be only the reluctant follower of France, had advanced with bolder and continually advancing strides, demanding as a condition of her revoking her orders, that France and her allies should admit into their territories the products and manufactures of Great Britain.” The committee reported resolutions recommending the increase of the military force; the fitting up of the vessels belonging to the navy and worthy of repair ; and allowing merchant vessels to arm in self-defense. After considerable debate, in which Mr. Randolph took a prominent part against the resolutions, they were all adopted, December 19.

The debates on the bill carrying these resolutions into effect indicated the existence of strong parties in both houses in favor of war, although it is doubtful whether war was thus early intended by the administration. Certain it is, that there were many republicans who considered that a war at that time would be premature. Indeed, such was the reluctance of Mr. Madison to engage in a war-with whom Mr. Galla

for war.

tin, secretary of the treasury, concurred—that the congressional caucus to nominate a candidate for president at the approaching election, was for a time delayed, as the war party was unwilling to support him unless he should determine to go

Mr. Monroe was preferred by the most zealous friends of the war. In New York the war party was in favor of De Witt Clinton, who, notwithstanding the nomination of Mr. Madison, was subsequently nominated by the republican members of the legislature of that state.

The 1st of April, 1812, the president sent to congress a confidential message, recommending the immediate passage of an act laying a general embargo, for sixty days, on all vessels in port, and thereafter arriving. A bill for that purpose was forthwith introduced by Mr. Calhoun. In the course of the debate it was declared by Mr. Grundy and Mr. Clay, both ardent supporters of the bill, to be a preliminary war measure. The bill was passed the same day. It was amended in the senate so as to extend the period of its operation to ninety days; the amendment was concurred in by the house; and the bill was approved by the president on the 4th. This act was succeeded, on the 8th, by an act to increase the military force; on the 10th, by another authorizing a detachment of 100,000 men from the militia of the United States; and on the 14th, by an act to prohibit the exportation of specie or goods during the existence of the embargo. On the 18th of May, the republican caucus was held.

It was attended by 17 senators and 65 representatives. Mr. Madison having consented to recommend war, received the nomination unanimously. For vice-president, John Langdon of New Hampshire received 64 votes, and was nominated. He, however, declined the nomination on account of age and infirmity; and Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, who had received sixteen votes in the caucus, was afterward substituted. A few days after the congressional nomination, De Witt Clinton was nominated by the republican members of the legislature of New York.

About the last of May, dispatches arrived from Mr. Barlow, our minister at Paris. Nothing definite had been accomplished by him. There was, however, some prospect, so he wrote, of the conclusion of a treaty of commerce, on principles of reciprocity; although a letter from him to the Duke of Bassano of some six weeks' later date (March 12, 1812), calling his attention to a case of plundering and burning an American vessel, complained that he was “obliged so frequently to call the attention of his excellency to such lawless depredations.” In one of his letters to the secretary of state, he said Mr. Russell (at London) had written him again for additional proofs of the repeal of the decrees; and he had sent him a list of vessels which had been restored by the

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emperor. No encouragement had been given of indemnity for French spoliations on our commerce.

Ön the 1st of June, 1812, the president sent to both houses of congress a confidential message recommending war with Great Britain. In setting forth the grounds or causes of war, the impressment of our seamen was first mentioned. Persons sailing under the American flag had been seized and carried off, not in the exercise of a belligerent right founded on the law of nations against an enemy, but of a municipal prerogative over British subjects. Under the pretext of searching our vessels for her own subjects, thousands of American citizens had been taken, and forced to serve on British ships of war.

British cruisers, said the message, had also violated the rights and peace of our coasts. They hovered over and harassed our entering and departing commerce, and had wantonly spilled American blood within our own territorial jurisdiction. Our commerce had also been plundered under her pretended blockades, in the face of the definition, by her own government, of a legal blockade; viz., that “particular ports must be actually invested, and previous warning given to vessels bound to them not to enter." Next came the sweeping system of blockades under the name of orders in council, which had been moulded and man. aged to suit her political views, her commercial interests, and the avidity of British cruisers. Our remonstrances against the injustice of this innovation were met with the reply, that these orders had been reluctantly adopted as a necessary retaliation on the decrees of her enemy, which proclaimed a general blockade of the British isles, at a time when the force of that enemy dared not issue from his own ports. Great Britain had been reminded that her own prior unsupported blockades were a bar to this plea. And when the ground of this plea had been removed by the repeal of the decrees of her enemy prohibiting our trade with Great Britain, instead of a corresponding repeal of her orders, had avowed the determination to persist in them until the markets of her enemy should be opened to her products. And farther, she required, as a prerequisite to the repeal of her orders, a needless formality (an official publication or promulgation) to be observed in the repeal of the French decrees, and the extension of the repeal to other neutral nations. Thus it had become sufficiently certain, that the commerce of the United States was to be sacrificed, as interfering with a monopoly which Great Britain coveted for her own commerce and navigation. She carried on a war against the lawful commerce of a friend, that she might the better carry on a commerce with an enemy—a commerce polluted by the forgeries and perjuries which were for the most

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part the only passports by which it could succeed ; (alluding to the forged papers granted to vessels under the American name.) ·

The president adverted to the arrangement made with Mr. Erskine, the British minister at Washington, in 1809. Had not the British government disavowed the act of its minister, a lasting reconciliation would probably have been effected. He considered that there was on the side of Great Britain a state of war against the United States, and on the side of the United States, a state of peace toward Great Britain. Had Great Britain revoked her blockades and orders, the way

would have been opened for a general repeal of the belligerent edicts; and if France had refused to repeal her decrees, the United States would have been justified in turning their measures exclusively against France.

The president also expressed the opinion, that the recent renewal of hostilities by the north-western Indians had been instigated by British influence.

Two days after the receipt of this message, the committee on foreign relations, through Mr. Calhoun, made a report to the house in favor of war. This report gave a review of the controversy, declaring the British blockade of May, 1806, to be the first aggression on our commerce; and the first on the part of France was the decree of Berlin of November 21st, 1806. It embraced the same points as the message, to which it may

be considered as an affirmative response. At the time of the communication of the message, and of the preparation and presentation of the report, as also the proceedings on the bill reported by the committee declaring war, all of which was done with closed doors, a correspondence was going on between Mr. Foster and Mr. Monroe. With his letter of the 30th of May, Mr. Foster communicated a copy of a report of the French minister of foreign relations to king Napoleon, communicated to the conservative senate, at the sitting of March 10, 1812, and which Mr. F. considered as confirming the assertions of his government, that the Berlin and Milan decrees had never been revoked. The doctrines asserted in that report were pronounced repugnant to the law of nations. They were as follows:

“ The maritime rights of neutrals have been solemnly regulated by the treaty of Utrecht, which has become the common law of nations; having been expressly renewed in all the subsequent treaties between the maritime powers.

“The flag covers the property. Enemy's property under a neutral flag, is neutral; as neutral property under an enemy's flag is enemy's property. The only articles which the flag does not cover, are contraband articles; and the only articles which are contraband, are arms and munitions of war.

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"A visit of a neutral vessel by an armed vessel can only be made by a small number of men, the armed vessel keeping beyond the reach of cannon-shot.

“ Every neutral vessel may trade from an enemy's port to an enemy's port, and from an enemy's port to a neutral port. The only ports excepted are those really blockaded; and the ports really blockaded are those which are invested, besieged, and in danger of being taken, and into which a merchant ship could not enter without danger."

This report also declared that the Milan decree denationalized every vessel which had submitted to English legislation, known to have touched at an English port, known to have paid a tribute to England, and which had thereby renounced the independence and the rights of its flag. All the merchandise of the commerce and of the industry of England were blockaded in the British isles; the continental system ex'cluded them from the continent. And it declared farther, that “ long as the British orders in council are not revoked, and the principles of the treaty of Utrecht in relation to neutrals put in force, the decrees of Berlin ought to subsist for the powers who suffer their flag to be denationalized. The ports of the continent ought to be opened neither to denationalized flags nor to English merchandise."

Mr. Monroe said, in reply, that this report of the French minister evidently referred to the continental system, by the means relied on to enforce it; it afforded no proof that the French government intended by it to violate its engagement to the United States, as to the repeal of the decrees.

Letters also passed between these gentlemen on the subject of impressed seamen. Mr. Foster cited cases in which British seamen had been encouraged to desert his majesty's service, and of others who had been detained against their will on board American ships of war; but says his sovereign (then the prince regent) would continue to give the most positive orders against the detention of American citizens on board his majesty's ships.

Mr. Monroe objected to the attempt to show the analogy between the American practice and the British. They were quite different. The regulations of the United States prohibited the enlistment of aliens into their vessels of war. No such regulations existed on the side of Great Britain. Enlistments by force or impressment were contrary to the laws of the United States. This mode of procuring crews from public ships was practiced by Great Britain, not only within her legal jurisdiction, but was extended to foreign vessels on the high seas. As to the orders against the detention of American citizens on board British ships of war, they would afford no adequate remedy. Orders should be given

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