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advising resistance by force, in which the Americans of the present day will prove to the enemy and the world that.we have not onlv inherited that liberty which ou;- farthers gave us, but also the will and power to maintain it. lielying on the patriotism of the nation, and confidently trusting that the Lord of Hosts will go with us to battle in a righteous cause, and crown our efforts with success—your committee recommend an appeal to ARMS.
Soon after the above Report was read, Mr Calhoun, one of the Committee of Foreign Relations, on leave being given, presented the following Bill, declaring war between -Great-Britain and her dependencies, and the United States and their territories; which, after several day's debate, passed the Senate and House of Representatives, and was approved by the President, on the 18th day of June.
AN ACT, Declaring War between the United Kingdom of Great-Britain and Ireland, and the dependencies thereof, and the . United States of America, and their Territories. . BE IT ENACTE D by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That AVAR be, and the same is hereby declarr ed to exist, between the United Kingdom of Great-Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof,.and the United^ States of America and their Territories: and that the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorisedto use the whole land and naval force of the United States,. to carry the same into effect, and to issue to private armed vessels cf the United States, commissions, or letters of marque and general reprisal, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the Seal of the United States, against the vessels, goods, and effects of the government of the same United Kingdom of Great-Britain and Ireland, and the subjects thereof.
Approved. JAMES MADISON
June 18, 1812.
Yeas and Nags on the above Bill.
IN THE SENATE. • i
Yeas 19.—Nays 13. •" .
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. "„
JYew-Hampshire—Yeas, Dinsmore, Hall, and Harper, XS" —JNavs, Bartlett and Sullivan, 2,
THE FIRST PRISONER, Was taken in Norfok, Virginia—A gentleman, by the name of Wilkinson, arrived in that place about the first of June, and put up at the British Consul's. The citizens suspected him to be a British officer, and accordingly kept an eye upon him. On the receipt of the Deduration of War, Wilkinson, as the mail boat was about to depart, was seen to make a precipitate retreat through the bach street, which led from the Consul's to the wharf, where the boat lay, when he sprang on board, darted into the cabin, and in a few seconds was under way. It was known that a man of war was hovering on the coast, and Ins intention was to communicate the declaration of war to her. Boats, from the navy yard and fort Nelson, were immediately dispatched, which succeeded in taking Wilkinson. He proved to be a captain in the Royal Marines. THE FIRST PRIZE. Was the schooner Patriot, J, A. Brown, Master, from Guadaloupe, bound to Halifax, with a valuable cargo of sugar, taken by the revenue cutter .Jefferson, Wm. Ham, Master, and arrived at Norfolk, June 26.
To the Senate and House ofRepresentatives of the United i . . States.
I transmit, for the information of Congress, copies of letters which have passed between the Secretary of State, and the Envoy Extraordinary and minister Plenipotentiary of Great-Britain. ...
JAMES MADISON. June 15, 1812.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
Washington, June 10,1812. SIR—It has been extremely satisfactory to me, to find by your ietter dated June 6th, which I had the honor to receive yesterday morning, that it was not the wish of the American government to close all further discussion relative to the important questions at issue, between the two countries. I beg you to be assured, sir, that it never was my intention, in alluding to my letters which had remained without answer at your office, to use any expressions which could, in the most remote manner, contain any thing personal. Ishall ever be ready with pleasure to bear testimony to that frankness, candor, and good temper, which so eminently distinguish you, and have been acknowledged to belong to you, by all who have ever had the honor to discuss with you any question of public interest.
But, sir, although you were not backward in entering into full explanations with me verbally, I could not but feel, particularly as I had just had communications to make to you of the greatest importance, that I had a right to expect from you a written reply to them; and while I remembered that two of my former notes were still unanswered, the one written three months ago, containing among other important topics, a particular question which I was expressly instructed to put to you, as to whether you could point to any public act, on the part af the French government, by which they had really revoked their Decrees, and the other furnishing strong evidence of the continued existence of those very Decrees; also, when I perceived that my note, communicating the duke of Bassano's report, which you knew was to be sent to you on the 1st inst. was not waited for, but that a message was transmitted by the Executive to Congress, which it seems contained a reference to an insulated passage in the despatch on which my note was founded, that if taken unconnected with what preceded or followed, it might be liable to misconstruction, I could. not avoid apprehending that no means of further explanation might be left open to me.
1 ueg you to be assured sir, that if I was embarrassed by your demands of an explanation as to what appeared to you to be a difference between lord Castlereagh's despatch, communicated to you, and my note, it arose from the novelty of the demand, that seemed to involve an informality of proceeding, in which I could not feel myself justified in acquiescing. Had you, in.making a reply to my communication, asked me how far a repeal of the French Decrees was demanded by my government, and as to whether a special repeal, as tar as respected. America, would be sufficient, I should have had no hesitation in giving you every satisfaction.
You note of the 6th instant has, by shewing that the door was not absolutely shut to a co ti nuance ol our discussion, relieved me from further difficulty on tins |ioiiit.
I have no hesitation, sir, m saying that Great-Britain, as the case has hitherto stood, never did, nor never could engage, without the grossest injustice to herself and her allies, as well as to other neutral nat ons, to repeal her Orders as affecting America atone, lea*nig Mem in force against other states, upon condition that France would except, singly and specially. America, Irom the operation of her Decrees. You will recollect, sir, that the Orders in Council are measures of defence, directed against the system contained in those Decrees; that it is a war of trade which is carried on by Prance; that what you call the municipal regulations of France, have never been called • municipal by France herself, but are her main engines in that novel and monstrous system. It cannot, then, be expected that Great-Britain should renounce her efforts to throw back upon France the evils with which she menaces Great-Britain, merely because France might seek to alleviate her own situation by waving the exercise of that part of her system which she cannot enforce.
But, sir, to what purpose argue upon a supposed case; upon a state of things not likely to occur, since the late report and senatus consultum which have been published to the world, as it were, insultingly in the face of those wh4 would contend that any repeal whatever had taken place, of the Decrees in question.
You draw a comparison between the mode in which this instrument has appeared, and that which you call the hgh evidence of the repeal as staled in Mr. Cir.ini;iagiiy's note: and it would almost seem as if you considered the latter ;is the most authentic of the two; but, sir, you cannot seriously contend that the duke of Bassano's report, with the senatus consultum accompanying it, published in the official paj cr at Paris, is not a very different instrument from the above letter, offering a mere provisional lepeal 01 the Decrees, upon conditions utterly inadmissible: conditions too, winch realiy formed of themselves a question of paramount importance.
The condition then demanded, and which was brought forward so unexpectedlv, was a repeal of the blockade of May, 1806, which Mr. Pinkney, in the letter you have refered me to, declared to have been required by America as indispensable in the view ofheracts of intercourse and nonintercourse, as well as a repeal of other blockades of a similar character, which were maintained by G. Britain, to be founded on strict maritime rights.
The conditions now annexed to the French demand are much more extenstive, and as I have shewn, includes a surrender of many other of the most established principles of the public law of nations.
I cannot, I confess, see upon what ground you contend that the report of the duke of Bassano, affords no proof against any partial repeal of the French Decrees. The principles advanced in that report are general ; there is no exception made in favor of America, and in the correspondence of Mr. Barlow, as officially published, he seems to allow that he had no explanation respecting it. How can it, therefore, be considered in any other light than as a republication of the Decrees themselves? which, as it were to take away all ground for any doubt, expressly advances a doctrine that can only be put in practice on the high seas, namely, 'that free ships shall make free goods,' since the application of such a principle to vessels in port is absolutely rejected under his continental system.
It is, indeed, impossible to see how, under such circumstances, America can call upon G. Britain to revoke her Orders in Council. It is impossible that she can revoke them at this moment, in common justice to herself and to her allies; but, sir, while under the necessity of continuing them, she will be ready to manage their exercise, so as lo alleviate as much as possible, the pressure upon America; and it would give me great pleasure to confer with you, at any time, upon the most advisable manner of producing (hat effect. I have the honor to be, &c.
AUGUSTUS J. FOSTER.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster.
Department Of State, June 18,1812.
SIR—I am not aware that any letter of yours, on any
subject, on which the final decision of this government had
not been communicated to yon, has been suffered to remain
-without a prompt and written answer; and even in the