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BOOK XI.

CHAP. VI.

1812.

“ I have not been able to ascertain yet the pose in one quarter have been compelled to canumber of our troops or of those of the enemy pitulate, and in another have been completely deengaged; ours, I believe, did not exceed the numa feated.” ber of the prisoners we bave taken; and their ad On the 4th of November, the President of the vance, which effected a landing, probably amount- United States had communicated the following ed to 1,300 or 1,400 men.

message to the congress: “ I shall do myself the honor of transmitting to “ Fellow-citizens of the senate and house of your excellency further details, when I shall representatives,--On our present meeting, it is have received the several reports of the occur my first duty to invite your attention to the prorences wbich did not pass under my own obser- vidential favors which our country has experivation, with the return of the casualties, and those enced in the unusual degree of health dispensed of the killed and wounded, and of the ordnance to its inhabitants, and in the rich abundance with taken.

which the earth has rewarded the labours be" I bave the honor to be, &c.

stowed on it. In the successful cultivation of (Signed) “R. H. SHEAFFE, major-general. other branches of industry, and in the progress “ To bis Excellency Sir G. Prevost, Bart. &c.of general improvement favorable to the national

prosperity, there is just occasion also for our mu. Major-general Roger Hall Sheaffe was ap- tual congratulations and thankfulness. pointed to the command of the troops in the up “ With these blessings are naturally mingled the per province, and to administer the civil govern- pressures and vicissitudes incidental to the state ment of the same. He humanely consented to of war, into which the United States have been a cessation of offensive hostility, on the solicitation forced by the perseverance of a foreign power, in of Major-general Van Ranseller, for the purpose its system of injustice and aggression. Previous of allowing the Americans to remove the bodies to its declaration, it was deemed proper, as a mea.. of the slain and wounded.

gure of precaution and forecast, that a considerIt was stated, by private accounts, that the able force should be placed in the Michigan terAmericans who crossed over in the night, con- ritory, with a general view to its security; and, in sisted of about 1,600 men: the whole of whom the event of war, to such operations in the upperwere killed, wounded, or taken prisoners; and most Canada as would intercept the hostile in. abo: t 500 more, who attempted to cross after- fluence of Great Britain over the savages; obtain wards, were drowred. The total numbers en the command of the lake, on which that part of gaged on the side of the English, did not exceed Canada borders; and maintain co-operating rela700 men, and their loss was not more than fifty tions with such forces as might be most conveni. killed and wounded. Major-general Sir Isaacently employed against other parts. Brock was a native of Guernsey.

Brigadier-general Hull was charged with On the opening of the imperial parliament, this provisional service, having under bis command November 30, the prince-regent in his speech a hody of troops, composed of regulars and of thus alluded to this victory:

volunteers from the state of Obio: having reach“ The declaration of war by the government of ed his destination, after his knowledge of the war, the United States of America, was made under and possessing discretionary authority to act ofcircumstances which might bave afforded a reason- fensively, he passed into the neighbouring territory able expectation, that the amicable relations be- of the enemy, with a prospect of an easy and victween the two nations would not long be inter torious progress. The expedition, nevertheless, rupted. It is with sincere regret that I am obli- terminated unfortunately, not only in a retreat to ged to acquaint you, that the conduct and pre the town and fort of Detroit, but in the surrender tensions of that government have hitherto pre of both, and of the gallant corps commanded by vented the conclusion of any pacific arrangement. that officer. The causes of this painful reverse will Their measures of hostility have been principally be investigated by a military tribunal. A distindirected against the adjoining British provinces, guishing feature in the operations which preceded and every effort has been made to seduce the in and followed this adverse event, is the use made babitants of them from their allegiance to his by the enemy of the merciless savages under their majesty. The proofs, however, which I have re influence. Whilst the benevolent policy of the ceived of loyalty and attachment from his majes- United States invariably recommended peace, and ty's subjects in North America, are highly satis- promoted civilization amongst that wretched porfactory. The attempts of the enemy to invade tion of the human race, and was making exertions Upper Canada have not only proved abortive, to dissuade them from taking either side in the but, by the judicious arrangements of the gover war, the enemy has not scrupled to call to his aid nor-general, and by the skill and decision with their ruthless ferocity, armed with the horrors of which the military operations have been conducted, those instruments of carnage and torture wbich the forces of the enemy assembled for that pur are known to spare neither age nor sex. In this

outrage against the laws of honorable war, and of the enemy, less ascertained, will be the more BOOK XI. against the feelings sacred to humanity, the Bri- felt, as it includes among the killed the comtish commanders cannot resort to a plan of reta-. manding-general, who was also governor of the Chap. VI. liation; for it is committed in the face of our ex-' province; and was sustained by veteran troops, ample. They cannot mitigate it by calling it a from inexperienced soldiers, who must daily iin

1812. self-defence against men in arms, for it embraces prove in the duties of the field. the most shocking butcheries of defenceless fa “ Our expectation of gaining the command of milies; nor can it be pretended that they are not the Lakes, by the invasion of Canada, from Deanswerable for the atrocities perpetrated, since the troit, having been disappointed, measures were savages are employed with the knowledge, and instantly taken to provide on them a naval force even with menaces, that their fury could not superior to that of the enemy. From the talents be controuled. Such is the spectacle which the and activity of the officer charged wi:h this object, deputed authorities of a nation, boasting its re every thing that can be done may be expected. ligion and morality, have not been restrained from Should the present season not admit of complete presenting to an enlightened age.

success, the progress made will ensure for the « The misfortune at Detroit was not, however, next a naval ascendancy, where it is essential, to without a consoling effect. It was followed by a permanent peace with, and a controul over the signal proofs, that the national spirit rises accord savages. ing to the pressure on it. The loss of an im Among the incidents to the measures of the portant post, and of the brave men surrendered war, I am constrained to advert to the refusal of with it, inspired every where new ardour and de the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, termination. In the states and districts least re to furnish the required detachments of militia to. mote, it was no sooner known, than

every

citizen wards the defence of the maritime frontier. The was eager to fly with his arms at once to protect refusal was founded on a novel and unfortunate his brethren against the blood-thirsty savages let exposition of the provisions of the constitution reloose by the enemy on an extensive frontier; and lating to the militia. The correspondence, which to convert a partial calamity into a source of in will be before you, contain the requisite informavigorated efforts. This patriotic zeal, which it tion on the subject. It is obvious, that if the auwas necessary rather to limit than excite, has em thority of the United States, to call into service: bodied an ample force from the states of Kentucky and command the militia for the public defence and Ohio, and from parts of Pennsylvania and Vir can be thus frustrated, even in a state of declared ginia. It is placed, with the addition of a few war, and of course under apprehensions of invaregulars, under the command of Brigadier-general sion preceding war, they are not one nation for Harrison, who possesses the entire confidence of the purpose most of all requiring it, and that the his fellow-soldiers; among whom are citizens, public safety may have no other resource than some of them volunteers in the ranks,-not less those large and permanent military establishments distinguished by their political stations than by which are forbidden by the principles of our free their personal merits.

government, and against the necessity of which “ The greater portion of this force is proceed. the militia were meant to be a constitutional bula. ing on its destination towards the Michigan ter wark. ritory, baving succeeded in relieving an important “ On the coasts, and on the ocean, the war has frontier post, and in several incidental operations been as successful as circumstances, inseparable against hostile tribes of savages, rendered indis- from its early stages, could promise. Our public pensable by the subserviency into which they had ships and private cruizers, by their activity, and, been seduced by the enemy; a seduction the where there was occasion, by their intrepidity, more cruel, as it could not fail to impose a neces have made the enemy sensible of the difference sity of precautionary severities against those who between a reciprocity of captures, and the long yielded to it.

confinement of them to their side. Our trade, “ At a recent date, an attack was made on a with little exception, has safely reached our ports, post of the enemy, near Niagara, by a detachment having been much favored in it by the course of the regular and other forcer, under the com- pursued by a squadron of our frigates, under the mand of Major-general Van Rensellaer, of the command of Commodore Rodgers; and in the militia of the State of New York. The attack, instance in which skill and bravery were more it appears, was ordered in compliance with the particularly tried with those of the enemy, the ardour of the troops, who executed it with dis- American Hag bad an auspicious triumph. The tinguished gallantry, and were for a time victo- frigate Constitution, commanded by Captain Hull, rious; but not receiving the expected support, afrer a close and short engagement, completely they were compelled to yield to reinforcements of disabled and captured a British frigate ; gaining British regulars and savages. Our loss has been for that officer, and all on-board, a praise which considerable, and is deeply to be lamented. That cannot be too liberally bestowed-not merely for

BOOK XI. the victory actually achieved, but for that prompting, although made the ground of the repeal of

and cool exertion of commanding talents, which, the British orders in council, is rendered, by the CHAP. VI. giving to courage its highest character, and to time and manner of it, liable to many objections.

the force applied its full effect, proved that more “ The final communications from our special 1812.

could have been done in a contest requiring more. minister to Denmark, afford further proofs of the

“ Anxious to abridge the evils from which a good effects of his mission, and of the amicable state of war cannot be exempt, I lost no time, disposition of the Danish government. From after it was declared, in conveying to the British Russia we have the satisfaction to receive assurgovernment the terms on which its progress might ances of continued friendship, and that it will not be arrested, without waiting the delays of a for be affected by the rupture between the United mal and final pacification: and our chargé d'af States and Great Britain. Sweden, also, professes faires at London was, at the same time, autho sentiments favorable to subsisting barmony: rised to agree to an armistice, founded upon “ With the Barbary powers, excepting that of them. These terms required, that the orders in Algiers, our affairs remain on the ordinary footcouncil should be repealed, as they affected the ing. The consul-general residing with that reUnited States, without a revival of the blockades, gency has suddenly, and without cause, been violating acknowledged rules; that there should banished, together with all the American citizens be an immediate discharge of American seamen found there. Whether this was the transitory from British ships, and a stop to impressments effect of capricious despotism, or the first act of from American ships, with an understanding that predetermined bostility, is not ascertained. Prean exclusion of the seamen of each nation, from cautions were taken by the consul on the latter the ships of the other, should be stipulated; and supposition. that the armistice should be improved into a de “ The Indian tribes, not under foreign instigafinitive and comprehensive adjustment of de- tions, remain at peace, and receive the civilising pending controversies.

attentions which have proved so beneficial to “ Although a repeal of the orders, susceptible them. of explanations meeting the views of this govern “ With a view to that vigorous prosecution of ment, had taken place before this pacific advance the war, to which our national faculties are adewas communicated to that of Great Britain, the quate, the attention of congress will be particuadvance was declined, from an avowed repug- larly drawn to the insufficiency of the existing nance to a suspension of the practice of impress- provisions for filling up the military establishment during the armistice, and without any inti ment. Such is the happy condition of our counmation that the arrangement proposed, with try, arising from the facility of subsistence, and respect to seamen, would be accepted. Whether the high wages for every species of occupation, the subsequent communications from this govern- that notwithstanding the augmented inducements ment, affording an occasion for reconsidering the provided at the last session, a partial success only subject, on the part of Great Britain, will be has attended the recruiting service. The defiviewed in a more favorable light, or received in ciency has been necessarily supplied, during the a more accommodating spirit, remains to be campaign, by other than regular troops, with all known.

It would be unwise to release our mea the inconveniencies and expences incident to sures, in any respect, on a presumption of such a them. The remedy lies in establishing more result.

favorably, for the private soldier, the proportion “ The documents from the department of state, between his recompence, and the term of his enwhich relate to this subject, will give a view also listment: and it is a subject which cannot too of the propositions for an armistice, which bave soon, or too seriously, be taken into consideration. been received here,—one of them from the autho- The same insufficiency bas been experienced in rities at Halifax and in Canada; the other from the provisions for volunteers, made by an act of the British government itself, through Admiral the last session. The recompence for the service Warren; and of the grounds upon which neither required in this case, is still less attractive than in of them could be accepted.

the other; and although patriotism alone has sent “ Our affairs with France relain the posture into the field some valuable

corps

of that descripwhich they held at my last communication to tion, those alone, who can afford the sacrifice, can

reasonably be expected to yield to the impulse. “ Notwithstanding the authorised expectation. It will merit consideration also, whether, as auxiof an early as well as favorable issue of the dis- liary to the security of our frontier, corps may cussions on foot, these have been procrastinated not be advantageously organized, with a restricto the latest date. The only intervening occur tion of their services to particular districts converence meriting attention, is the promulgation of a nient to them; and whether the local or occaFrench decree, purporting to be a definitive repeal sional services of marines, or others in the seaof the Berlin and Milan decrees. This proceed- port towns, under a similar organization, would

.

you.

not be a proper addition to the means of their

their ceeded sixteen millions and an half of dollars ; BOUK XI. defence. I recommend a provision for an increase which bave been sufficient to defray all the deof the general-officers of the army, the deficiency mands on the treasury to that day, including a Char. VI. of which has been illustrated by the number and necessary reimbursement of neartbree millions distance of separate commands, which the cause

1812. of the principal of the public debt. In these of the war and the advantage of the service have receipts are included a sum of near 8,850,000, required : and I cannot press too strongly on the received on account of the loans, authorised by earliest attention of the legislature, the import- the acts of last session. The whole sum actuance of the reorganization of the staff-establish- ally obtained on loan, amounts to eleven millions ment, with a view to render more distinct and of dollars: the residue of which being receivable definite the relations and responsibilities of its subsequent to the 30th of September, will, togeseveral departments : that there is room for im- ther with the current revenue, enable us to defray provements, which will materially promote both all the expences of this year. economy and success, in what appertains to the “ The duties on the late unexpected importaarmy and the war, is equally inculcated by the tions of British manufactures, will render the examples of other countries, and by the experi revenue of the ensuing year more productive ence of our own.

than could have been anticipated. The silua“ A revision of the militia-laws, for the purpose tion of our country, fellow-citizens, is not without of rendering them more systematic, and better its difficulties, though it abounds in animating adapting them to emergencies of the war, is at considerations, of which the view here presented this time particularly desirable. Of the addi- of our pecuniary resources is an example. With tional ships, authorised to be fitted for service, more than one nation we have serious and unsettwo will be shortly ready to sail ; a third is under tled controversies,--and with one powerful in the repair, and delay will be avoided in the repair of means and habits of war, we are at war. the residue. Of the appropriations for the pur- spirit and strength of this nation are, nevertheless, chase of materials for ship-building, the greater equal to the support of all its rights, and to carry part has been applied to that object, and the pure it through all its trials. They can be met in that chases will be continued with the balance. The confidence. Above all, we have the inestimable enterprising spirit which has characterized our consolation of knowing, that the war in which naval force, and its success, both in restraining we are actually engaged, is a war neither of amninsults and depredations on our coasts, and in bition nor vain-glory; that it is waged, not in reprisals on the enemy, will not fail to recom violation of the rights of others, but in the mainmend an enlargement upon it.

tenance of our own; that it was preceded by a “There being reason to believe that the act, patience without example, under wrongs accuinuprohibiting the acceptance of British licenses, is Jating without end; and that it was, finally, not not a sufficient guard against the use of them, for declared, until every hope of averting it was expurposes favorable to the interests and views of tinguished, by the transfer of the British sceptres the enemy, further provisions on that subject are into new hands, clinging to former councils, and highly important. Nor is it less so, that penal until declarations were reiterated, in the last hour, enactments should be provided for cases of cor through the British envoy here, that the hostile rupt and perfidious intercourse with the enemy, edicts against our commercial rights, and our not amounting to treason, nor yet embraced by maritime independence, would not be revoked; any statutory provisions.

nay, that they could not be revoked, without vio« A considerable number of American vessels, lating the obligations of Great Britain to other which were in England when the revocation of powers, as well as to ber own interests. To have the orders in council took place, were laden with shrunk, under such circumstances, from manly British manufactures, under an erroneous im- resistance, would have been a degradation, blastpression that the non-importation act would im- ing our best and proudest hopes. It would bave mediately cease to operate, have arrived in the struck us from the high rank where the virtuous United States. It did not appear proper to ex., struggles of our fathers had placed us, and have ercise, on unforeseen cases of such magnitude, betrayed the magnificent legacy which we hold the ordinary powers vested in the treasury de- in trust for future generations. It would have partment, to mitigate forfeitures, without previ- acknowledged, that on the element which forms ously affording congress an opportunity of making three-fourths of the globe we inhabit, and where on the subject such provisions as they may think all independent nations have equal and common proper. In their decisions they will

, doubtless

, rights, the American people were not an indeequally consult what is due to equitable consi- pendent people, but colonists and vassals! derations, and to the public interest.

“ It was at this moment, and with such an al. “The receipts in the treasury, during the year ternative, that war was chosen. The natiou felt ending on the 30th of September last, have ex the necessity of it, and called for it. The appeal

BOOK XI. was accordingly made, in a just cause, to the just of justice, we prosecute that war with united and powerful Being who holds in his hands the council

, and with the ample faculties of the naChap. VI. chain of events, and the destiny of nations. It tion, until peace be so obtained, and as the only

remains only, that faithful to ourselves, entangled means, under the divine blessing, of speedily 1812. with no connections with the views of other pow. obtaining it.

" JAMES MADISON." ers, and ever ready to accept peace from the hand

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CHAPTER VII.

An Indian Town destroyed.-His Royal Highness the Prince-regent's Declaration in answer to the

American Manifesto, relative to the War between Great Britain and the United States.-Madison re-elected President. His Speech.

A DETACHMENT from General Hopkins's army, Britain. That her commercial interests were on under Colonel Russell, of the 7th United States' the side of peace, if war could have been avoided regiment, succeeded in surprising one of the Pioria without the sacrifice of her maritime rights, or towns. With 400 men, the colonel, by rapid without an injurious submission to France, is a marches, approached the town, shot a straggling truth which the American government will not Indian, assailed and carried the town. It was deny. defended by about 150 warriors, who left twenty “'His royal bigbness does not, however, mean five dead, and who fled to a swamp where their to rest on the favorable presumption to which he squaws and children had previously secreted is entitled. He is prepared, by an exposition of themselves. The Americans took four prisoners, the circumstances which have led to the present sixty horses laden with the baggage of the Indians, war, to show that Great Britain has throughout and seven scalps which were taken in September, acted towards the United States of America with near fort Harrison. The town and every thing in a spirit of amity, forbearance, and conciliation; it was destroyed, which could not be brought and to demonstrate the inadmissible nature of those away, and among it several Indians who had pretensions which have at length unhappily inbeen wounded during the fall. Seven hundred volved the two countries in war. Indians of the neighbouring towns had marched “ It is well known to the world, that it has to meet General Hopkins, leaving the above 150 been the invariable object of the ruler of France in charge of the women and children. The Mar to destroy the power and independence of the shal of the United States, for the district of South British empire, as the chief obstacle to the acCarolina, had detained in custody twelve British complishment of his ambitious designs. subjects as hostages for the lives of six American “ He first contemplated the possibility of asseamen, who had been taken out of the privateer sembling such a naval force in the channel as, Sarabi Ann, at Nassau, New Providence, and combined with a numerous flotilla, should enable sent to Jamaica to he tried for treason.

him to disembark in England an army sufficient, The following declaration of the prince-regent, in his conception, to subjugate this country; and in answer to the American manifesto, relative to through the conquest of Great Britain he hoped the war between Great Britain and the United to realize his project of universal empire. States, appeared in a supplement to the London . By the adoption of an enlarged and proviGazette, January 9, 1813.

dent system of internal defence, and by the valour “ The earnest endeavours of the prince-regent of his majesty's fleets and armies, this design was to preserve the relations of peace and amity with entirely frustrated; and the vaval force of France, the United States of America having unfortu- after the most signal defeats, was compelled to nately failed, bis royal highness, acting in the retire from the ocean. name and on the behalf of his majesty, deems it “ An attempt was then made to effectuate the proper publicly to declare the causes and origin same purpose by other means-a system was of the war, in which the government of the United brought forward, by which the ruler of France States have compelled him to engage.

hoped to annihilate the commerce of Great Bri“ No desire of conquest, or other ordinary mo tain, to shake her public credit, and to destroy tive of aggression, has been, or can be, with any ber revenue; to render useless her maritime sucolour of reason, in this case imputed to Great periority, and so to avail himself of bis contiyental

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