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COBBETT'S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.
Vol. XXVI. No. 25.] LONDON, SATURDAY, DEC. 17, 1814. [Price 1s.'
(770 LONDON COMMON COUNCIL. such a system, it is evident that, rather than un-
dergo such an exposure of their affairs, persons MEETING REGARDING THE PROPERTY in a embarrassed or insolvent state will neces. TAX.
sarily submit to any assessment, however anjust, At this Meeting the following Resolu. to the great injury of their creditss, and the
utter ruin of themselves and families. tions were agreed to, which have since been published in the usual form, and on
Resolved unanimously, That the nature and the debate on which resolutions, after in
character of such an !aquisition cannot be better
described than on the authority of the Author of serting them, I shall submit some remarks to the reader :
the Wealth of Nations, who observes, that “an
inquisition into every man's private circumBIRCII, MAYOR,
stances, and an inquisition which, in order to A COMMON COUNCIL, holden in the
accommodate the Tax to them, watched over all Ciamber of the Guildhall of the City of London, the fluctuations of b fortune, would be a solirce on Friday, the 9th day of December, 1811;
of snch continu: gund endless vexation as no Reulved unaniinously, That it appears to this Court that the Tax upon Income, cominonly
people could sui port." called the Property Tax, was, under circum
Resolved unanimously, That experience has
suficiently evinced the truth of this opinion, stances of pecriiar national difficulty, resorted
and such has been the vexation, injustice and to as a War T. only, and its enactment acconapanied with the Lost woleman provisions that the
oppression, resulting firm the arbitrary aasi ri. same should filaily cease at a limited period, tem, that it has at length become altogether
gorous e xactions under this novel and hatefulsysafter the terinination of the then existing bosiili
Resolved unanimously, That the continuance Resolveil unanimously, that this Court has
of such a system, under any modifications, more nevertheless strong reasons to apprehend that it
especially at a time when the people are is in the contemplation of his Majesty's Ministers
anxiously looking for relief from the burtheas to attevnpt the continuation or renewal of the
and privations of war, and with egnal anxiety said Tax, after its legal expiration, on the 6th
anticipating reform and retrenchment in the naday of Ipril next. Resolved unanimously, That this Court did, this Court, be hig'ily irritating, and no less din
tional expenditure, would, in the opinion of upon the first introduction of the Tax, declare, gerous to the State than harassing and oppressive and has since repeatedly expressed their abhor
to the people. rence of a systein which appeared to them no
Resolved unanimously, That a Petition be preless partial and oppressive in its operation, than seuted to the lion, the House of Commons, repugnant to the free principles of the British praying them to reject any proposition that may Constitution-partial and oppressive, inasmuch be introduced for the purpose of contivuing or as no distinction is made between Annuities, the renewing, onder any modification, the said Tax precarious and fluctuaring incomes arising from on Property. Trade and other uncertam sources, and the tu. Resolved unanimously, That this Court de comes derived from fixed and permanent pro. earnestly recominend that Meetings be held in perty--repugnant to the free priuciples of the the several Wards throughout this city, for the British Constitution, inasmuch as it establishes purpose of petitioning Parliament against the an odious and inquisitorial tribunal of Commis. continuance or' renewal of the said Tax, sioners, before whom individuals are compelled Resolved unanimously, That this Court do also to sabımit to the most dezraving exposure of recommend that Meetings he held in all the diftheir private concerns and circumstances, and ferent comnties, cities, and town: to roughout the against whose arbitrary decisions, however un- kingdom, for the same purpose. just, they have neither remedy nor appeal. And a draft of a Petition, prepared agreeably
Resolved unanimously, Thurmhout attempt to the foregoing Resolutions, was read, agreed 20% to detail the numerous As resulting fronto,
fairly transcribed, and
signed by the Town Clerk, and presented to the which jeu d'esprit exhibits pretty corHonourable House of Commons by the Sheriffs, rectly the view which the Americans will attended by the Remembrancer.
take of the matter ; I will, therefore, Resolved unanimously, That this Court doth though no admirer of doggerel, insert it request the Representatives of this City, and such by way of note*. But, my Lord, this wasother Members of this Court as have seats in Par. no act of folly in the Baronet. He knew liament, to support the prayer of the said Petio well what he was about. Sir William tion in the Honourable House of Commons. Curtis is no fool. He is, perhaps, as
much the opposite of a fool as any man in LETTER IV.
England. He knew, that this seemingly.
blundering phrase was the very thing to TO THE EARL OF LIVERPOOL,
bit the taste of the far greater part of his ON THE AMERICAN WAR.
audience ; and, while they were “laughMY LORD,- The Resolutions in the ing.” (as it is said) at it, he was, in his Common Council were moved by Mr. sleeve, laughing at them.
He sees, as Waithman, who, in a very clear and strong clearly as you and I, that there is very manner, described the principle and prac- little chance of our beating the Yankees ; tice of the Property Tax ; and Mr. Al- but he sees, that it is the folly of the day, derman Wood
horrid instance of its to speak of them with contempt, and it operation. But it was not 'till Mr. Al-answers bis purpose to indulge the sentiderman Hevgate spoke that the right ment as much as he can without prejudice string was touched. He said that the to his future election. That man, who Ancrican war was the cause of the con- gives his support to the Property Tax, tinuation of the tax; and that the peo- even at this day, and yet contrives, that ple ought to petition against that continua- those who so bitterly complain of it, shall tion. He was deceived as to the new ob- call him “ honest will Curtis,” is no fool, jects of the war. He does not appear to my Lord; but, on the contrary, an unknow any thing about those “ maritime commonly discerning and adroit fellow. rights," of which he talked. The Ame- It is now said, that we have relaxed'in ricans have denied us no maritime right; our demands on America, and that peace that is to say, nothing that any writer on is at hand. I hope it is, with all my public law; nothing that any usage of na- heart ; but we must not only relar; we tions ; nothing that any principle, any must give up all demands, before we shal! maxim, airy practice even of our own, at have peace. I foresce the likelihood of any, former period, has held forth as a our attempting to claim the accomplishment right. Therefore, the object of the war is of the object of the war, if peace be made
as good, at least, as it ever was ; without our formally giving up our claim and, indeed, it is now not in opposition to of right to impress people on board of Ameany principle of public law, it being clear, rican ships on the high seas.
Our putting that we bave a right to make conquests in this claimed right into practice was the America, if we have but the might. The sole cause of the war; and, therelore, if “Whigs," tben, must not think to shuffle peace be made, and this question be passed off to the other side, and to be thought consistent in opposing the war (which they * "THE MICE IN COUNCIL." at first pledged themselves to support), The Council of Mice (to know what to be at) upon the ground, that its object has been Resolvid that a bell should be put on the Cat ; chunged. If it has been changed, it has But, whien come to the pinch, there was no one been changed for the better ; from the
could tell right of impressment to the right of con- low to find out the heroes to put on the bell. quest.
So, when ALDERMAN Will (while bis neighbout But, my Lord, the speech, in this de
he jogy'd) bate, which is most worthy of notice, is Made a inove to resolve, " That the Yankees le that of Sir William Curtis, Knight and Nossd," Alderman; or, I believe, faith, a Baro- All those look'd about them, who relish'd the net. He sail, that he wished for
peace dash, with the Americans, but not 'till they had | To seek for the floggers to lay on the lash ; been “confoundedly well FLOGGED.” But, lowking in vain, in a short time the whole This sentiment of Sir William hias given of the Council broke up and skipt to their hole. rise to cre d'esprit of a correspondent,
over in silence, we shall, as to the result without any stipulation on the subject.
adextinguishing anarchical Government. I vice, and made peace the moment the Euthink, I shall hear these same writers as- ropean war was at an end ! Come, my Lord, sert, that all we wanted was to maintain be candid towards me, and confess, that, this maritime right; and that as the for once, I gave you good advice. By not Americans had made peace, without our following that advice, you have
into making any stipulation on the subject, we what is vulgarly called a hobble. You now had won the object of the war; and, of perceive clearly, that to continue the war, course, that the war had been just, neces- is to incur a certain enormous expence, and sary, and successful.
to expose the country to great danger of Foreseeing this; foreseeing that they further disgrace; while to make peace, as will attempt to creep out this way, I, as is the conflict now stands, is really to be the custom with vermin-catchers, shall beaten ; and, what is still worse, to have now beforehand, stop up their hole. The created, by this very war, a most formidease is this, we stopped American ships on able naval rival. the high seas, in order, as we alleged, to Let me now take another article from impress our seamen from on board of them; the Times newspaper, that oracle of all the and we not only impressed British subjects fools in England, whether high or low. It but many Republicans along with them. is full of matter for observation, refutation, Mr. Madison said we had no right to take or ridicule : it is a complete picture of the any persons whatever out of American mass of the public mind upon this subject :' ships on the high seas; and, after com- a mixture of folly, spite, error, and falseplaining, for years, in vain, he declared | liond ; and is well worthy of close attenwar against us, in order to compel us to tion. cease this our practice. We were then
“ If we could give credit to reports at war with France, and he was a neutral. “circulated yesterday with much conOur war with France has since ceased; “ fidence, we should believe that Mi. and, of course, our impressments would now " nisters had sacrificed the glory and the have ceased, though he had not gone to
“ best interests of the country' by a premawar. Oar character of belligerent and his “ ture peace with the Americans, at the character of neutral ceasing with our war
moment when the latter are on the very against France, our impressments would“ verge of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, also have ceased. If we make peace with “ however, for the credit of this assertion, him now, and are at war with nobody else, we at the same time learn, that most acwe shall, of course, not impress. The
" tive measures are pursuing for detaching tire will have ceased. That is all that he “ from the dominion of the enemy an imwants. That is all that he went to war “portant part of his territory. Accounts for. He needs no stipulation upon the “ from Bermuda to the 11th ult. inform us, subject. He has resisted the practice by “ that all the disposable shipping in that force of arms. The practice ceases, and quarter have been sent off to the Missis, he makes peace. It may be said, that we “sippi. Sir Alexander Cochrane left Hashall, under like circumstances, rivive the “ lifax at the latter end of October for the practice; and, if we do, he will revive his same destination : and a large body of resistance. He is not at war to obtain “ troops from Jamaica was expected to from us any acknowledgment that our " assemble at the same point. The Ame. practice was unjust; for he does not ad- "rican Government has openly manifested mit the point to be matter of doubt; and, “ such extravagant views of aggrandisebesides, he knows, that such acknow- ment, that our eyes ought to be opened ledgment would be of no
if to its measureless ambition ;' and we we had made peace with him, the moment ought to curb its excesses in time. It is the French peace had caused the excuse “ doubtless with a view to this just and for impressments to cease, the matter nécessary policy, that Government has would have stood just as it will now stand incurred the expence of such extepsive
"military and naval preparations: and it “ blockared in Sackett's Harbour by Sir “ cul hardly be supposed, that whilst they “James Teo; but it was not understood that " are so largely sacrificing the vational re- any attack would be made on that place
sources with one hand, they will render" by land or water before the winter sei ir. " the object of the sacrifice altogether null " Having mentioned our Naval Coni" with the other. Nevertheless, policies, “ mander on Lake Ontario, it is but rights " that peace with America would be signed " to notice that he is to be succeeded in “ before the end of the current montlı, were " comniand ly Commodore Oiven, as Sir, “ yesterday done in the city, so high as 30 George Prevost is, at the same time, to " guineas to return 100. It was even :15- • be by Sir George Murray. The compr. " scrted, though without foundation, that "ratively small magnitude of our Line “the Preliminaries had been aire:dy di squadrons may, perhaps, aifoid at leason, " gested, and received the signatures of " (or at least an odlicial argument) for noe the Commissioners on the 3d iustant.“ employing one of our first Admirals on • We have, however, some reason to be that service; but wly, one of the first " lieve that the speculations on this sub." Generals that we posse:s is not charged “ jcct are influenced, in some measure, by with the management of 30 extremely, ** secret information, issued for the most “ important a land war, it is difficult to “ unworthy purposes, from the hotel of thes. guess, The Officer thus mentioned may, “ American Legation at Glent. After " for ought we know, be a person of ability:
what has been seen of the total want of. “ certainly. his name, to those who remem" principle in American statesmen of the f“ ber Ferrol and Tarragona, cannot but le " Jeffersonian school, the world would not s rather ominous ; but the nation at large " be much astonished to bearn that one of " is really, indignant at the sort of apailz # the American negociators had turned his “ displayed on this occasion by. Generals of " situation to a profitable account, by spe-" higher rank and celebrity, who ough, “ culating both at Paris and London on not to have declined the American com" the result of the negociation. Certain it - mand, merely because it did not pronline “is that letters received yesterday from “ to be so. lucrative as some others. Non 4 the French capital, relative to the pro- ' tional gratitude las perlaps been displa: “ ceedings at Glient, contain intimations" ed with premature liberality, if those who u like those which have been circulatedhave received bonours and rewards for " here on American authority, viz. that the former services are to hold bach, in
ner proposals of the British will be ac- proud indifference, when their country ceded to on or before the beginning of the.“ once, more accu's their presence in ihic new year, provided that no better terms 66 field of honour. The American lang canere then be obtainedl.—The Liverpool grows under the pressure of a coute:
frigate is arrived at Portsmouth, from “ with the greatest naval power that is " the coast of America, as is his Majesty's" isteil! Paradoxical as this appears, it • ship l'encinpe, from Halifax, By these is a simple fact; and it proves more
conveyances, various and contradictory" than a thousand arguments the absolute “intelligence has been received: On the impossibility there is of our concluding a one hand, it was reported that an armis.“
pecce at the present moment, without "tier had taken place between the troops on rendering ourselves the contempt of our 'n both sides in America: on the other, that " antagonists, and the ridicule of all the
(:enariui Drummond ba: dcfeater Brown“ world besides. Shall we ALLOW the
and Izard with great loss, and forced“ Guerriere to get to sea with impuit" them to lvlow up Fort Erie, and retire" nity; and to bear to every part vi ? with the shattered remains of thcs" the world a visible record of our share, " forces to Sackett's Harbour. The first of " in that defeat, which entailed on us si "t!ıese reports is altogether unfounded'; many subsequent disgraceä? The new " the latter is at least premature. At the ": frigate of th:t name, mor
mounting 64 guns, " date of the last advices Fort Erié con- " is at Philadelphia, nearly ready for sta. " tinucd in possession of the enemy ;. but “The Washington, another new ship, "General Drummond, Iraving received ad- carrying 90 guns, is fitting very fast for “ ditional reinforcements, wexpected sea at Boston: and the Independence, of “ soon to make an attack on the position. 98, has been recently constructed at * Commodore Chau:icey's Hect was still " Portsmouth, in New Hampshire. The
tilast mentioned vessel is considered to be large a size, that we may make peace with
more than a match for the largest man it without seeming to yield to an inferior " ni var ever built ia England. She is force. If the words have any meaning,
manner with a full complement of 1,000 this it is. as prime sailors; and what is also of the But, my Lord, the description of the " utmost consequence, her wcight of metal new Yankee ships is false, and wilfully " is fur superior to that of any ship in our false. It comes, it is said, from Halifax,
siace her heaviest shot are not less our great naval rendezvous ; and is wel "than 65-pounders. When we have received calentated to provide beforehand for the “so many melancholy propfs of the effect result of "combats, which may take place,
produced by this sziperiumiy in wcight of or, perhaps, may not take place, with the * inetul, and when te have had no less Washington, the Inélopendence, and the “ than two years and a half to profit by Guerriere. I told your Lordship, that the " the painful lessons, it must indicate ab. Amorican papers said, that the l'ashington “solute infatuation, if we have not adopted was launched at Portsmouth, in New
some measures to place our scamcn on Hampshire ; and that she was a 74. Why "an cquality with those whom they have bave these Halifax correspondents swelled * to oppose."
up to a 90 gun ship? I have seen, in And now, my Lord, how different is this the American papers, nothing at all about language from that of the speeches, in the Irdspendences but I know, that the which the American naval forec ras de- official report of the secretary of the Amescribed as consisting of "half a dozen fir rican navy, last year, spoke of mo larger "frirates, trith bits of striped bunting at ships than 74's being on the stocks; and " their mast leads !" "Jakars said, that if the American navy-board build 90's and this war, if continued for any length of 98's, and charge the people only for '74's, time, rould create a Nary, a formidable the practice there is widely different froni Nary, in America ; and is not this crea- ours. · How many guns the Guerriere may tion going on at a great rate? Yet, "carry I knorr not; but I believe the deWhile this entry fond is exciting our scription of her to be as false as that of the alarms about the Yanhee Narr, he is cry- other tiro. But it is but too easy for the iny out against peace, liccause Mr. Madi- world to perceive the motive for these ex. son's gorceament is on the “ vort verge of acgerated descriptions of the force of the
bankruptcy.” Without stopping to ob- American ships ; and it cannot fail to proserve that this is a servile imitation of the duce a very bad impression, with regard language of “ the great Statesman now no to us, amongst the people of America, more," in the year.1794, as to the state of wliose eyes are constantly upon us, and France, just 20 years before the war with who naturally and justly seize on all atber ended, low stupid must the man lie to tempts of this sort, as subjects of the most rely upon the financial dilliculties of Ame- poignant ridicule. rica, one moment, and the next, represent As to what this foolish man says about her as creating a great navy quicker than the future command of our army, why nary was ever before created ! Pray shonld he be so very anxious to see mark the fool, my Lord. He says, that “ of our first Generals” in Canada ?. He, " the American navy grow's under the who spoke of the American army with so
pressure of the greatest naval power that much contempt ? And, besides, how does "existed.” Well, and what is his remedy? he know, that we have a better than Sir To remove the cause? To take off that George Prevost? In a late number of bis fecund pressure? No; but precisely the paper, this man observed, that a more fa. contrary; for, says be, the fact " proves mous commander was necessary to prevent
more than a thousand arguments the our men from deserting. He said :-“ Too “ absolute impossibility there is of our “deeply have we felt the disgrace of being
concluding a peare, at the present mo- “ beaten by land and water in the last “ ment, without rendering ourselves the campaign, to tolerate the chance of si
contempt of our antagonist, and the mi- milăr indignities in the next. Besides, “ dicule of all the world besides," which“ we daily see stronger reasons for a hot and being interpreted, means, that the Ameri- “ short war, when we contemplate the wastcan navy having grown bitherto under our" ingeffect of dilatoriness. Ourbattalions sufpressure, we ought to continue the pressure, " fer much from disease, but much more from in order, to be sure, to make it grow toʻ50" csertion. The temptations to this criane