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was not duly authorized to carry that flag, or that she was engaged in an illicit trade. The ordinance as to privateering, which was published on the 28th of March of the last year, prescribed to those fitting out privateers, the conduct they were to pursue, and it also fixed the responsibility to which they were subjected. The high court of admiralty watches over the execution of this ordinance, which has met the approbation of all the governments of Europe.
If there have been many vessels under the American flag brought in, it is because there have been a great number of them furnished with false papers, that evidently carried on a simulated and justly prohibited commerce. It was naturally very difficult for the courts to distinguisli at first, the navigation which was fair, and in rule (en regie) from thut which was devoted to the service of the enemy of Denmark. The conduct of the navigators who followed the latter compromitted those who had nothing to reproach themselves with; but in every case where the high court of admiralty discovered that the papers on board proved that the vessel was really American, and that the captain had not made an improper use of them to cover the property of the enemy, passing it off as American, the vessels and the cargoes have been released. There was one cause of a seizure and of process against American vessels, which in a certain degree applied to those that produced false papers or to those in whose documents there were irregularities. This wus the certificates of origin granted to American vessels by the French consuls residing in the ports of the United States. The French government caused it to be officially declared to the court of Copenhagen, on the 22d of September, that the consuls of France would not grant any more certificates of origin, and that every American vessel that had them on board, had so far false papers, and was to be treated accordingly. Taking into view the strict and happy union which subsisted between the king and his majesty the emperor of the French, his majesty could not but pay attention to this communication. He therefore ordered that the certificates of origin, which had been thus declared to be all false, should be considered by the prize courts as false documents, which would authorize the condemnation of the vessel that had them on board. The undersigned having been afterwards informed by the charge des affaires of his majesty in the United States, and more recently by Mr. Erving, that the consuls of France in the United States had not received the order of their government to abstain from granting these certificates, until the 13th of November of last year, by the Hornet, and that they had not ceased granting them until after that period, and having reported this to his majesty, he immediately directed that the certificates in question should no longer be injurious to the vessels that were furnished with them, provided that these certificates bore date prior to the 13th of November of last year.
The king has not confined himself to giving this proof of his attention to the remonstrance made to him on the part of the government of the United States. His majesty has also, having in view the representations made by the special minister of the United States, just ordered that the cases of the following vessels, under the American flag, brought into the ports of his dominion, viz. Minerva, Captain Baker,
Maria Theresa, Phelps,
Amiable Matilda, Hague,
should be reported to him by his chancery before the definitive sentence was pronounced, in case the supreme court of admiralty should find that the charges, alleged by the captors, were so well founded as to make it probable that fne sentence would be unfavourable to the vessels. Mr. Erving will be pleased to observe, that these are vessels acquitted in the first instance by the prize courts, and in whose cases appeals have been made by the captors. His majesty has also determined to cause to be reported to him in the same manner the cases of the following vessels:
Oscar Captain Cunningham,
William and Jane, Bunker,
Rachel, . . . . , Joseph,
in which the masters of the vessels have had recourse to an appeal to the decision of the supreme court. The undersigned flatters himself that Mr. Erving will find in this compliance of the king his master, an evident proof of the desire of his majesty to see that the most exact justice may be observed towards the American vessels brought into the Danish ports.
His majesty, who has seen with great satisfaction that the President of the United States properly appreciates the sentiments of justice and equity which animate him, feels gratified in manifesting to him, that he desires to preserve and to cultivate on his part, the relations of good understanding and of amity, which have always subsisted between the Danish government and that of the United States of America. It is enjoined on the undersigned to charge Mr. Erving with assuring his government that the intentions of the king, his master, are invariable in this respect.
With regard to vessels under the American flag, arrested at sea by Danish cruizers, and which were found under the convoy of British ships of war, Mr. Erving will permit the undersigned to have the honour of observing to him, that when the fact is fully proven, the .searching after, and the use made of the protection of the enemies of Denmark, in the seas which wash the shores of his majesty's dominions, or in those which environ them, cannot be viewed by the Danish government, but as having taken from these vessels their original character of neutrals. But the king, not having been willing, that the courts should attribute to vessels under the American flag, they having been placed (dc s'etre mis) under the protection of his enemies, unless the fact was proven, has very recently directed, that proofs the most evident, be required to establish the fact, that a vessel under the American flag had been (ait et6) under English convoy. The undersigned cannot but urge in favor of the principle established by the 11th article of the ordinance for privateering, the argument that he who causes himself to be protected, by that act ranges himself on the side of the protector, and thus puts himself in opposition to the enemy of the protector, and evidently renounces the advantages attached to the character of friend to him, against whom he seeks the protection. If Denmark should abandon this principle, navigators of all nations would find their account in carrying on the commerce of Great Britain under the protection of English ships of war, without running any risk. We every day see that this is done, the Danish government not being able to place in the way of it sufficient obstacles. The undersigned will add a single observation which will serve to convince Mr. Erring, that this principle is, in the view of his majesty, as just as it is invariable-. It is that every Danish vessel which should make use of English convoy is condemned, if she is convicted of it, in like manner as a foreign vessel. It is but too well known that in all times, during maritime wars, neutral navigation has been exposed to embarrassments and delays. The Danish navigation has had experience of it in its time. It is, therefore, that the king has established rules for privateering, which place the navigation truly neutral, under cover from vexations. His majesty would equally have wished entirely to have prevented captured vessels from experiencing delays of any importance, when it was found that they had their papers on board in order, (en regie) and that they had not improperly used them to carry on a simulated commerce, on account of the enemy of Denmark. He is convinced that he has taken for this purpose all the measures in his power, and he is resolved carefully to watch over their execution. These measures and the will (volonte) of the king, offer sure guarantees to the commerce of the United States, that the vessels under their flag will be able to navigate in the seas and waters visited by Danish cruizers, without any risk of being molested by them or brought in, if their papers are in order (en regie) and there is no reason to suppose that they have been improperly used. The vessel which is destined to carry into any port whatever, produce and merchandise, which are not admitted into that port, according to the laws of the state to which it belongs, will not be considered as in rule (en regie) and the navigators who may aim at employing their vessels in this way, will only have to blame themselves if their enterprise leads to their injury.
The undersigned, in acquitting himself, as he has just done, of the orders of his sovereign, cannot deprive himself of the honour of again reminding Mr. Erving that the navigation and commerce of the citizens of the United States, found a reception and an outlet for the productions of their country, in the ports under the dominion of the king of Denmark, at a time when they did not enjoy the san\e advantages in the ports of the greater part of the states of Europe. This circumstance will sufficiently prove to the American government, that that of Denmark is fully aware of the reciprocal utility of the relations of commerce and of good understanding between the two nations.
The undersigned has the honour of renewing to Mr. Erving, the assurance of his high consideration,
G. W. Erving, Esq. &c.
M. Erving to Mr. de Jiosenkranlz.
Copenhagen, June 30, 1811. The undersigned, special minister of the United States of America, has received the note which his excellency M. de Rosenkrantz, first minister of state and chief of the department of foreign affairs, was pleased to address to him on the 28th instant, in reply to the representations made by the undersigned on the 6th and 7th instant, respecting the reclamations with which he is charged. He shall immediately transmit his excellency's said note to the government of the United States, and is persuaded that the president will receive with great satisfaction, the reciprocation which his majesty has therein offered of the friendly sentiments which the undersigned was ordered to express: these dispositions and the just and liberal views of his majesty, with regard to the neutral commerce of the United States as declared in his excellency's note, since they leave not the least doubt but that his majesty has been wholly unaware of the great injuries which that commerce had lately sustained within his dominions, afford to the undersigned the happy presage of a favourable termination to the business with which he is intrusted, and a sure pledge that the harmony which has hitherto always subsisted between the two governments, will still be maintained in its full extent and perfection.
Thus assured of meeting on the part of his majesty's government with no dispositions but those which are of the most just and friendly character, it is with more than ordinary pleasure that the undersigned proceeds in the performance of his duty.
His excellency, the minister of state, after showing the causes -which have occasioned the capture of so many vessels under the American flag observes, that in all cases where the supreme tribunal of admiralty has found that the papers on board such vessels prove their American character, and where their neutrality has not been abused by any attempt to cover enemy's properly under simulated papers, both vessels and cargoes have been released. Such is undoubtedly the impression on the mind of his majesty, who has been convinced that the inquiries pointed out by his inVol. III. Arr. t N
structions have been conducted with all the impartiality by which those instructions were dictated: but it can be shown in a multiplicity of cases that the high court has entered into matter entirely irrelevant to the object of the instructions; that it has given weight to evidence entirely inadmissible, and has resorted to pretexts for condemnation entirely insufficient: it shall be shown to his majesty, that, thus contrary to his royal intention, a great mass of American property has been unjustly condemned in the high court —whether by a mis-construction or mal-application of his majesty's regulations, the undersigned will not undertake to say—perhaps it may not be important to inquire, since, be the source of this evil what it may, to the royal sense of justice only the injured now have to look, and they look with confidence for redress. The details upon this subject will be voluminous: the undersigned will here point only to one, and that a recent decision (being the first which presents itself,) by way of exemplification.
In the case of the American ship "Swift, Champlin." In the high court on the 11th March, 1811, this ship was condemned on an allegation that captain Champlin had thrown some papers overboard; which allegation had no better or other support than the oaths of seven of the privateer's men who captured her. It is to be observed on this sentence,
Firstly, as to the alleged fact. The royal instructions of March, 1810, after stating what shall be deemed causes of condemnation, in the 12th section states what shall be cause of suspicion, and subject vessels to further examination; and in the article " e" specifies the throwing overboard or destroying of papers. This throwing overboard of papers then, constitutes ground of suspicion only, and authorizes further examination with a view to ascertain whether that fact can implicate the neutral character of the vessel. Now, in the course of the further examination on this trial, the neutrality . of the ship and the fairness of her voyage were fully established; the alleged circumstance with respect to her papers therefore remained naked, and unsupported by any sort of ground or pretext for condemnation—and yet she was condemned!!
Secondly, as to the evidence. The American master objected, that it was contrary to all the principles of justice and law to admit the evidence of privatecrsmeu, who were parties interested in his condemnation; but the court decided that they were not interested, and that their evidence must be admitted! and that the evidence of the crew of the American ship should not be admitted to rebut it! The American master then went on to show that the witnesses were interested, and produced a contract made between them and the owners of the privateer (the authenticity of which was acknowledged) by which it appeared that the equipage of the privateer were to receive half of the next prize which they might take: still the court determined that they were not interested in the condemnation of this ship, and that their evidence should be admitted!! The American master then went on to prove that it was impossi