페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

ble they should have sworn truly: they had declared that ttic papers thrown overboard were of the size of about six inches square', and had been passed through a certain opening in the afterpan of the ship; the American master proved, by the examination and declaration of two Danish masters, that the privateersmen could not have seen them dropped into the water as they had stated; and further, that the hole pointed out was not large enough fer them so to have been passed through: but neither did these proofs produce any effect in favour of the American; he was predestined to condemnation. The court had no disposition to reject the evidence of the privateersmen, though the same privateersmen had produced two other men to swear that they had seen this same ship " Swift" at Liverpool—and captain Champlin proved that, one day after the day in which this evidence stated that he was at Liverpool, he spoke his majesty's gun brig the " Sea-Gull"!

The undersigned trusts that any comment whatever, upon such a sentence, would be entirely superfluous—a sentence, in direct violation of his majesty's instructions. He will only add, that the property thus condemned is valued at 100,000 Spanish dollars! The explanation which the minister of state gives, as to the objection made by the tribunals to French certificates of origin, and the order which his majesty has now been pleased to issue on that subject, though applying only to two of the cases, viz. " Nimrod" and *' Richmond," named in the lists transmitted to his excellency on the 6th instant, and both lately acquitted, cannot fail of being satisfactory: but, observing therein that the notification made by the French government was not till the 22dof September,the undersigned cannot refrain from again adverting to the conduct of the high court, which, in a sentence given on the 22d of December, in the case of the " Agents," Row, justified the capturc of that ship in the month of June, upon the ground that she had with her papers a French certificate of origin; and upon that same ground, and upon that only, decreed that a sum of 500 rix-dollars should be paid to the captors! Precisely the same decision was given, about the same time, in the case of the " Julian," Abbott.

In the order which his majesty has now issued with respect-to the eleven cases pending in the high court, and as specified in the minister of state's note, the undersigned recognizes the determination of his majesty to insure justice to the American claims; and he has the honowr to assure his excellency the minister, that the president will receive with peculiar satisfaction the declaration of his majesty accompanying this act, and charging the undersigned to communicate to his government his majesty's invariable disposition to cultivate the good intelligence and friendly intercourse which ought always to subsist between the two countries.

When on every other point there is the pleasing prospect of a perfect accord, it is with regret that the undersigned feels the necessity imposed on him of differing in opinion with his excellency M. de Rosenkrantz on the subject of the convoy cases, and of co»testing some of the doctrines which the minister has laid down as applicable to those cases.

His excellency has not thought proper to reply to the reasoning upon which the undersigned based his reclamation, which therefore remains in its entire force; nor has he produced any thing which can be deemed satisfactory in support of the principle assumed in the royal instruction to which that reasoning has been applied. The minister of state has produced in favour of the principle in question the single argument, that he who puts himself under the protection of another, does thereby take side with his protector, and renounces the advantages which belong to the quality of friend as to him against whom he seeks protection. In vain are the books examined to discover the source from which this argument is drawn; in vain are history and records of diplomacy resorted to, for authority or for any countenance given to the doctrine which it embraces: but these books and these records, have they lost their title to respect? Have they become a dead letter? His majesty certainly does not assume to acton principles unknown to them; to originate a practice at once undefined in its limits and rigorous in its character beyond all precedent; in hostility also with the ancient doctrines of Denmark, and a stranger to all her maritime codes: so much a stranger as that it is not found even in the royal instructions issued on the 14th September, 1807. His excellency the minister of state supposes an acquiescence in this new rule upon the consideration that it is applied to Danish ships as well as to strangers. Certainly the United States will never dispute the equity or propriety of any law emanating from his majesty's authority and applied to his own subjects; but it is equally certain that they found their rights upon the public law only, and cannot consent to place them at the disposition of any partial authority, or to limit them by the convenience of the belligerent powers. It is not readily conceived how Danish ships or ships of the allies of Denmark, being subject to the capture of the enemy, can be found under his convoy; vessels carrying such flags, and so found, cannot but be enemy's property; but if by whatever means his majesty's subjects do put themselves under enemy's convoy, they are doubtless guilty of a high crime, and richly merit all the punishment which his laws inflict; but is the same rule to be applied to the property and to the citizens of a neutral and independent power?

Thus much the undersigned has found it his duty to say in addition to what lias before been stated and remains unanswered respecting the principle assumed in the royal instruction of March, 1810: but he finds one part of the minister's note which as he apprehends goes much beyond that instruction and which would preclude the neutral from any kind of justification for being found under enemy's convoy.

It were a gross dereliction of the interests of the United States should the undersigned leave the least room for his excellencv to suppose that the American government will accede to the fiction propounded by his excellency, viz: " that neutral vessels found under enemy's convoy have eo facto lost their original quality of neutrals." This idea was certainly more fully and distinctly expressed in conversation, and seeing that there are parts of his excellency's note which favour a different conclusion, he eagerly seizes the hope that it is not really intended to carry the doctrine to such an extent; yet as in a matter of such importance nothing should remain equivocal, the undersigned, desirous of laying it before the president in. the most distinct manner, requests that he may be favoured with an explanation as to whatever is susceptible of misconstruction.

His excellency, pursuing the idea above cited in mentioning the instructions which his majesty has now given to his tribunals to direct their examinations on American vessels found under enemy's convoy, says, "que les preuves Ies plus evidentes seront requises pour prouver qu'un navire sous pavilion Americain ait iti sous convoi Anglois." Yet it is hoped that the words ait etc are not intended to be connected with what is above quoted, but rather that they are to be governed by the sense of the words, " s'etre mis sous la protection" found in the same sentence; by the words " la recherche et l'usage faites" in the paragraph preceding; by the words " se fait protegcr," which will bear the same construction in the paragraph following; and finally, by the words in the article " d" clause 11th, of the royal instructions of March 1810, construed " using convoy," which must be supposed to mean a voluntary use of convoy, and cannot intend vessels- which have been forced into or have accidentally found themselves in convoy. For, to condemn vessels under such unfortunate circumstances! is that the course of a power friendly to the neutral? this reflection so strengthens the above construction of the words used in the royal order of March 10th, as not to leave a possibility of supposing that his majesty intended that such innocent vessels should be affected by it.

The undersigned cannot conclude this note without expressing his full confidence that the friendly dispositions professed by his majesty will dispose him so to regulate the conduct of his tribunals upon the convoy cases as to satisfy the just claims of the United States, or without assuring his excellency the minister of state in reply to the last observation in his note, that the American government is also fully sensible to the value of the commercial and friendly relations which have always subsisted between the two countries.

No. 3.

Count Rosenkrantz to Mr. Erring, dated

Copenhagen, 9th July, 1811. The undersigned, minister of state and chief of the department of foreign affairs, has seen with very particular satisfaction from the note of Mr. trving, minister of the United States of America, under date of the 30th ultimo, that he was not disappointed in his expectation of finding that Mr. Erving would acknowledge the sentiments of justice and equity which animate the king his master, as well as the desire of his majesty to maintain a gooifunderstanding with the government of the United States. But it is not without pain that the same minister of state sees that Mr. Erving remonstrates against the sentences already definitively pronounced.—It is with the same sentiment that the undersigned finds himself charged by the orders of his sovereign to repeat to the minister of the U. States, that his majesty cannot make any general change in the regulations of the ordinance for privateering, issued on the 28th March of last year, and in consequence none in the 11th, which under the letter "d" declares that neutral vessels, that make use of the convoy or of the protection of the vessels of war of G. Britain, are to be considered as good prize if the Danish privateers capture them under convoy. The undersigned must repeat that the rule laid down by that article of the ordinance, will be followed by the prize courts whenever the proofs are clear, that the vessels under American flags as well as those of other nations are found in a convoy under the protection of the enemies of Denmark. He does not wish to repeat here what he had the honour of stating on this subject in his preceding note; but he begs Mr. Erving to be so good as to observe to his government that none of the powers of Europe have called in question the justice of this principle.

Mr. Erving has observed, that notwithstanding the Danish courts had not been directed to consider the certificates of origin granted by the French consuls in the ports of America, as false until the 22d September of last year, there has nevertheless been imposed upon two vessels acquitted by the supreme court of admiralty, a fine solely for having these certificates on board, as Mr. Erving has been informed. The undersigned, although he is not informed of these facts, will not call in question the assertion of the minister of the United States; and he must consequently suppose that the suspicion of the legality of these certificates was excited by the public declaration which was before made on the part of the French government, that the consuls of France were not authorized to grant the certificates in question, and that for that reason the courts have decided that the captors were justified in bringing in the vessels for examination.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

LETTER

From the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting his Annual Report, prepared in obedience to the act, supplementary to the act, entitled "An act to establish the Treasury Department."

SIR, Treasury Department, November 22d, 1811.

I have the honour to inclose a Report prepared in obedience to the act, entitled " An act to establish the Treasury Department." I have the honour to be,

Very respectfully, sir,

Your obedient servant,

ALBERT GALLATIN. The Hon. The Speaker of the House of Representatives.

REPORT

IN obedience to the directions of the " Act supplementary to the act, entitled 4 An act to establish the Treasury Department,' the Secretary of the Treasury respectfully submits the following report and estimates:

RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES.

1. To the end of the year 1811.

The actual receipts into the Treasury, during the year ending on the 30th of September 1811, have consisted of the following sums, viz:

CUSTOMS, sales of lands, arrears, repayments, and all other branches of revenue, amounting together, as appears by the

statement (E) to .... g 13,541,446 37 Temporary loan of 31st December, 1810 - 2,750,000

Total amount of receipts ... g 16,291,446 37 Making, together with the balance in the treasury,

on the 1st of October 1810, and amounting to g 3,459,Q29 72

An Aggregate of .... g 19,750,476 09

« 이전계속 »