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suce a result, will be embraced, on my part, with a spirit of conciliation, equal to that which has been expressed by you. I have the honor to be, &c.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1st, 1811. SIR-In pursuance of the orders which I have received from his royal highness, the prince regent, in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, for the purpose of proceeding to a tinal adjustment of the differences which have arisen between G. Britain and the U. States, in the affair of the Chesapeake frigate, I have the honor to acquaint you— First, that I am instructed to repeat to the American gove ernment the prompt disavowal made by his majesty, (and recited in Mr. Erskine's note of April 17, 1809, to Mr. Smith,) on being apprised of the unauthorized act of the officer in command of his naval forces on the coast of America, whose recall from an highly important and honorable command, immediately ensued, as a mark of his majesty's disapprobation
Secondly, that I am authorised to offer, in addition to that disavowal, on the part of his royal highness, the imme. diate restoration, as far as circumstances will admit, of the men who in consequence of admiral Berkley's orders, were forcibly taken out of the Chesapeake, to the vessel from which they were taken ; or if that ship should be no longer in commission, to such sea-port of the U. States as the American government may name for the puspose.
Thirdly, that I am also authorised to offer to the American government a suitable pecuniary provision for the sufferers in consequence of the attack on the Chesapeake, including the families of those seamen who unfortunately fell in action, and of the wounded survivors.
These bonorable propositions, I can assure you, sir, are made with the sincere desire that they may prove satisfactory to the government of the U, States, and I trust they will meet with that amicable reception which their concilia tory nature entitles them to. I need scarcely add how cordially I join with you in the wish that they might prove introductory to a removal of all the differences depending between our two countries. I have the honor to be, &c.
AUGUSTUS J. FOSTER.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Foster.
WASHINGTON Nov, 12, 1811. SIR-I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 1st November, and to lay it before the President.
It is much to be regretted that the reparation due for such an aggression as that committed on the U. States Frigate, the Chesapeake, should have been so long delayed ; nor could the translation of the offending officer from one command to another, be regarded as constituting a part of a reparation otherwise satisfactory ; considering, however, the existing circumstances of the case, and the early and amicable attention paid to it by his royal highness the prince regent, the President accedes to the proposition contained in your letter, and in so doing, your government will, I am persuaded, see a proof of the conciliatory disposition by which the President has been actuated.
The officer commanding the Chesapeake, now lying in the harbor of Boston, will be instructed to receive the men who are to be restored to that ship. I have the honor to be, &c.
MESSAGE, To the Senate and House of Representatives of the U. States.
I communicate to Congress a letter from the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of G. Britain, to the Secretary of State, with the answer of the latter.
The continued evidence, afforded in this correspondence, of the hostile policy of the British government agajnst our national rights, strengthens the considerations recommending and urgiug the preparation of adequate means for maintaining them.
JAMES MADISON. Washington, Jan. 16, 1812.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Monroe.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 1811. SIR-I did not mean to have written to you at this moment on the subject of our late correspondence, but that I have had the mortification to perceive statements, circulated from highly respectable sources, which give a view of the pretensions of G. Britain relative to the U. States not war
ranted by any of the letters which I had the honor to ad.
I beg permission, sir, to declare that neither of these demands have been made by me, and that my meaning must not have been understood, if such was conceived to have been its import. I could not have demanded the passage of such a law as above stated, because my government does not pretend to interfere with the internal government of a friendly power, nor did I mean to demand that America should force France to receive our manufactures.
All I meant to say, was, that the admission of French commerce, while that of England has been excluded from the U. States' ports, was regarded by G. Britain as highly unfriendly in America, and that a continuation of such policy would be retaliated upon by G. Britain with similar restrictions on her part, which was so far merely an offering of like for like. But while the American non-importation act excludes British trade from the U. States' ports, it must be recollected that it goes still further and excludes also British armed ships from American ports, while it admits those of the enemies of G. Britain. • A neutral nation is responsible for the equality of its rules of conduct towards the belligerent powers ;' (to use the words of an American Secretary of State in the year 1796,) and therefore that part of the law which establishes an inequality was justly an object of more serious complaint on the part of G. Britain. You are aware, sir, of the advantage which his majesty's enemies have derived from this state of ineqnality, which enables them, though possessing no port in this hemisphere, continually to prey on the trade of his majesty's subjects, cecure of a refuge for their cruizers and their prizes.
The prohibition of entry to his majesty's ships under these circumstances might perhaps justify G. Britain in asserting, that whatever reason she may have for repealing or modifying her Orders in Council, so as to lessen, or entirely remove the pressure now unavoidably laid on the trade of America, as a neutral nation, she might yet refuse to enter into any discussion on that subject with the U. States, until either by the revocation of the prohibition above stated, or the placing all the belligerents under the same probibition, America should cease to violate the duties of a neutral nation,
With respect, however, to the supposed demand that America should force the entry of British manufactures into France, it is most particularly necessary that I should explain myself, as a total misconception appears to have taken place upon this point. The question of retaliation on the French Decrees, is directly one between England and France. In consequence of the extraordinary blockade of England, we have in our de ence been obliged to blockade France, and prohibit all trade in French articles, in return for the prohibition by France of all trade in English articles. This ineasure of retaliation, it is wished, should operate on France alone, but from the trade carried on with France by America, it unavoidably operates also on her ; it is a measure to destroy the French trade in return for the similar measure of France on which it is retaliatory, and its acting on neutrals is an incidental effect of it, conse, quent upon the submission of neutrals to the original measures of the enemy against G. Britain. It is indeed melancholy that the unnatural situation of Europe should produce such a result, but I cannot see how this can be considered as war ou American commerces, when all other American trade but that which is carried on with our enemy's ports in defiance of a blockade authorized by the laws of retaliation is unaffected by i.. We complain that America does not resist the regulations of the Berlin and Milan Decrees, and object to permitting the French to trade with her during their continuance against the commerce of England; but this is not exacting, is has been represented, that America should force British manufactures into France; it is pursuing only a just course of retaliation on our enemy. If America wishes to trade with France, if French coma
merce is of importance to her--we expect she should exact of France to trade with her as she has a right to demand in her quality of neutral; but if she does not choose to exercise this right, all we ask is, that she should abstain from lending her assistance to the trade of France, and not allow her commerce to be a medium of undermining the resources of G. Britain.
I have thought it necessary thus to endeavor to set ihese two points in their true light: the repeal of the law was asked, as being an unfriendly measure, j artial in its operation against G. Britain, and a prospect of retallation was held out on its commercial operation, if continued. This is no demand on the U. States to admit British manujactures; they are at liberty to coutinue that law, only as it is of an untriendly nature, some restriction of a similar kind was to be expected from England ; and with respect to the alleuged demand for forcing British goods, the property of neutrals, iuto French ports, if the U.States are wilnog to acquiesce in the regulations of the French Decrees onlaufully atferuing England through ihem, ihey cannot surely be surprised if we consider ourselves as at liberty to refuse permission to the French to profit by that acquiescence.
I will now, sir, take the opportunity of stating to you, that I have received from his majesty's Secretary of Siate, the correspondence of which you did me the honor to transmit to me a copy, in your letter dated Oct 17. My government have not been able to see in it satisfactory proof of the repeal of the French Decrees, and doubt whether the trade carried on by licences etween France and America, will not be regarded, even here, as proof of the continuation of them in their fullest extent, for if they were to any extent repealed, to that extent at least no licence should be necessary, a licence being given to allow what, but for that licence, would be prohibited.
The continued absence hitherto of any instrument by which the repeal has been effected, is a natter also of surprise, for if there were any fair dealing in the transaction, no reason can be given by France for not producing it; it is very desirable that it should be produced, if such an instrument be in existence, in order that we may know to what extent the Decrees have been repealed, if they reaily have been so in any respect. Mr. Russeil however, does