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I make this acknowledgment in the hope that it may reach Mr. Morton at Baltimore, and he conveyed with the letters and documents with which he is already charged
The President has seen with great surprise and concern that the government of France had made no accommodation to the United States on any of the important and just grounds of complaint to which you had called its attention, according to your instructions, given at the time of your departure, and repeated in several communications since. It appears that the same oppressive restraints on our commerce were still in force; that the system of license was persevered in ; that indemnity had not been made for spoliations, nor any pledge given to inspire confidence that any would be made. More recent wrongs, on the contrary, and of a very outrageous character, have been added io those with which you were acquainted when you left the United States. By documents forwarded to you in my letter of 21st March, you were informed of the waste of our commerce, made by a squadron from Nantz, in January last, which burnt many of our vessels trading to the peninsula. For these you were also instructed to demand redress.
It is hoped that the government of France, regarding with a prudent foresight, the probable course of events, will have some sensibility to its interest, if it has none to the claims of justice, on the part of this country.
On the French decree of the 28th of April, 1811, I shall forbear to make many observations which have already occurred, until all the circumstances connected with it are better understood. The President approves your effort to obtain a copy of that decree, as he does the communication of it afterwards to Mr. Russell. I have the honour, &c. &c.
JAMES MONROE. Joel Barlow, Esq. &c.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. JULY 12, 1813. I TRANSMIT to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of State, containing the information requested by their resolution of the 21st of June last.
REPORT. The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 21st of June, requesting copies of a declaration and order in council of the British government of the 21st of April, 1812, has the honour to lay before the President, copies of these papers, together with a copy of the correspondence relating to them.
JAMES MONROE. Department of State, July 12, 1813.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Monroe. London, April 22, 1812.
SIR, -I received late last evening a note from lord Castlereagh, of which the enclosed is a copy, together with the declaration to which it refers.
I hasten to communicate to you these important documents, as they appear to manifest definitively the determination of this government to persevere in its actual system, and to support, with every sort of pretext, the pretext of retaliation on which it was originally founded. I have the honour to be, &c.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Russell. The undersigned, his majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, is commanded by his royal high
ness the prince regent, to transmit to Mr. Russell, charge d'affaires of the government of the United Stales of America, the enclosed copy of a declaration, accompanying an order in council, which has been this day passed by his royal highness the prince regent in council.
The undersigned is commanded by the prince regent to request that Mr. Russell, in making this communication to his government, will represent this measure, as one conceived in the true spirit of conciliation, and with a due regard on the part of his royal highness to the honour and interests of the United States; and the undersigned ventures to express his confident hope that this decisive proof of the amicable sentiments which animate the councils of his royal highness towards America, may accelerate the return of amity and mutual confidence between the two states.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to repeat to Mr. Russell the assurances of his high consideration.
CASTLEREAGH. Foreign Office, April 21, 1812.
DECLARATION. The government of France having, by an official report communicated by its minister of foreign affairs, to the conservative senate, on the 10th day of March last, removed all doubts as to the perseverance of that govern ment in the assertion of principles, and in the maintenance of a system, not more hostile to the maritime rights and commercial interests of the British empire, than inconsistent with the rights and independence of neutral nations ; and having thereby plainly developed the inordinate pretensions, which that system, as promulgated in the decrees of Berlin and Milan, was from the first designed to enforce, his royal highness the prince regent, acting in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, deems it proper, upon this formal and authentick republication of the principles of those decrees, thus publickly to declare his royal highness' determination still" firmly to resist the introduction and establishment of this arbitrary code, which the
government of France openly avows its purpose to impose by force upon the world, as the law of nations.
From the time that the progressive injustice and violence of the French government made it impossible for his majesty any longer to restrain the exercise of the rights of war within their ordinary limits, without submitting to consequences not less ruinous to the commerce of his dominions, than derogatory to the rights of his crown, his majesty has endeavoured by a restricted and moderate use of those rights of retaliation, which the Berlin and Milan decrees necessarily called into action, to reconcile neutral states to those measures, which the conduct of the enemy had rendered unavoidable, and which his majesty has at all times professed his readiness to revoke, so soon as the decrees of the enemy, which gave occasion to them, should be formally and unconditionally repealed, and the commerce of neutral nations be restored to its accustomcd course.
At a subsequent period of the war, his majesty, availing himself of the then situation of Europe, without abandoning the principle and object of the orders in council of November, 1807, was induced so to limit their operation, as materially to alleviate the restrictions thereby imposed upon neutral commerce. The order in council of April, 1809, was substituted in the room of those of November, 1807, and the retaliatory system of Great Britain acted no longer on every country in which the aggressive measures of the enemy were in force, but was confined in its operation to France, and to the countries upon which the French yoke was most strictly imposed, and which had become virtually a part of the dominions of France.
The United States of America remained, nevertheless. dissatisfied; and their dissatisfaction has been greatly increased by an artifice, too successfully employed on the part of the enemy, who has pretended that the decrees of Berlin and Milan were repealed, although the decree effecting such repeal has never been promulgated; although the notification of such pretended repeal distinctly described it to be dependent on conditions, in which the enemy knew Great Britain could never acquiesce; and although abundant evidence has since appeared of their subsequent execution.
But the enemy has at length laid aside all dissimulation ; he now publickly and solemnly declares, not only that those decrees still continue in force, but that they shall be rigidly executed until Great Britain shall comply with additional conditions, equally extravagant; and he further announces the penalties of those decrees to be in full force against all nations which shall suffer their flag to be, as it is termed in this new code, “denationalized."
In addition to the disavowal of the blockade of May, 1806, and of the principles on which that blockade was established, and in addition to the repeal of the British orders in council, he demands an admission of the principles, that the goods of an enemy, carried under a neutral flag, shall be treated as neutral ; that neutral property, under the flag of an enemy, shall be treated as hostile ; that arms and warlike stores alone (to the exclusion of ship timber, and other articles of naval equipment) shall be regarded as contraband of war; and that no ports shall be considered as lawfully blockaded, except such as are invested and besieged, in the presumption of their being taken (en prevention d'etre pris,] and into which a merchant ship cannot enter without danger.
By these and other demands the enemy in fact requires, that Great Britain, and all civilized nations shall renounce at his arbitrary pleasure, the ordinary and indisputable rights of maritime war; that Great Britain in particular, shall forego the advantages of her naval supe, riority, and allow the commercial property as well as the produce and manufactures of France and her confederates, to pass the ocean in security, whilst the subjects of Great Britain are to be in effect proscribed from all commercial intercourse with other nations; and the produce and manufactures of these realms are to be excluded from every country in the world, to which the arms or the influence of the enemy can extend.
Such are the demands to which the British government is summoned to submit ; to the abandonment of its most ancient, essential, and undoubted maritime rights. Such is the code by which France hopes, under the cover of a neutral flag, to render her commerce unassailable by sea; whilst she proceeds to invade or to incorporate with her own dominions all states that hesitate to sacrifice their VOL, IX,