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part unjustly declared against his majesty, and all his subjects, I have caused this proclamation to be published. Given under my hand, at Halifax, the 16th day of Now vember, 1813.
JOHN BORLASE WARREN,
mander in Chief, &c. &c. &c.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, TO BOTH
HOUSES OF CONGRESS. DEC. 7, 1813. Fellow Citizens of the Senate, and
of the House of Representatives, In meeting you at the present interesting conjuncture, it would have been highly satisfactory if I could have eommunicated a favourable result to the mission charged with negotiations for restoring peace. It was a just ex. pectation from the respect due to the distinguished sovereign who had invited them by his offer of mediation, from the readiness with which the invitation was accepted on the part of the United States, and from the pledge to be found in an act of their legislature, for the liberality which their plenipotentiaries would carry into the negotiations, that no time would be lost by the British government in embracing the experiment for hastening a stop to the effusion of blood. A prompt and cordial acceptance of the mediation on that side was the less to be doubted, as it was of a nature not to submit rights or pretensions on either side to the decision of an umpire, but to afford merely an opportunity, honourable and desirable to both, for discussing, and if possible, adjusting them for the interest of both.
The British cabinet, either mistaking our desire of peace for a dread of British power, or misled by other
fallacious calculations, has disappointed this reasonable anticipation. No communications from our envoys having reached us, no information on the subject has been received from that source. But it is known that the mediation was declined in the first instance, and there is no evidence, notwithstanding the lapse of time, that a change of disposition in the British councils has taken place, or is - to be expected.
Under such circumstances, a nation proud of its rights, and conscious of its strength, has no choice but an exertion of the one in support of the other.
To this determination, the best encouragement is derived from the success with which it has pleased the Almighty to bless our arms, both on the land and on the water.
Whilst proofs have been continued of the enterprise and skill of our cruisers, publick and private, on the ocean, and a new trophy gained in the capture of a British by an American vessel of war, after an action giving celebrity to the name of the victorious commander; the great inland waters, on which the enemy were also to be encountered, have presented achievements of our naval arms, as brilliant in their character as they have been important in their consequences.
On lake Érie, the squadron under command of captain Perry, having met the British squadron, of superior force, a sanguinary conflict ended in the capture of the whole. The conduct of that officer, adroit as it was daring, and which was so well seconded by his comrades, justly entitles them to the admiration and gratitude of their country; and will fill an early page in its naval annals, with a victory never surpassed in lustre, however much it may have been in magnitude.
On lake Ontario, the caution of the British commander, favoured by contingencies, frustrated the efforts of the American commander to bring on a decisive action. Captain Chauncey was able, however, to establish an ascendency on that important theatre; and to prove, by the manner in which he effected every thing possible, that opportunities only were wanted, for a more shining display of his own talents, and the gallantry of those under his command.
The success on lake Erie having opened a passage to the territory of the enemy, the officer commanding the north western army transferred the war thither; and rapidly pursuing the hostile troops fleeing with their savage associates, forced a general action, which quickly terminated in the capture of the British, and dispersion of the savage force.
This result is signally honourable to major general Harrison, by whose military talents it was prepared ; to colonel Johnson and his mounted volunteers, whose impetuous onset gave a decisive blow to the ranks of the enemy; and to the spirit of the volunteer militia, equally brave and patriotick, who bore an interesting part in the scene; more especially to the chief magistrate of Kentucky at the head of them, whose heroism, signalized in the war which es. tablished the independence of his country, sought, at an advanced age, a share in hardships and battles, for maintaining its rights and its safety.
The effect of these successes has been to rescue the inhabitants of Michigan from their oppressions, aggravated by gross infractions of the capitulation which subjected them to a foreign power; to alienate the savages of numerous tribes from the enemy, by whom they were disappointed and abandoned; and to relieve an extensive region of country from a merciless warfare which desolated its frontiers, and imposed on its citizens the most harassing services.
In consequence of our naval superiority on lake Ontario, and the opportunity afforded by it for concentrating our forces by water, operations, which had been provisionally planned, were set on foot against the possessions of the enemy on the St. Lawrence. Such, however, was the delay produced, in the first instance, by adverse weather of unusual violence and continuance, and such the circumstances attending the final movements of the army, that the prospect, at one time so favourable, was not realized.
The cruelty of the enemy, in enlisting the savages into a war with a nation desirous of mutual emulation in mitigating its calamities, has not been confined to any one quarter. Wherever they could be turned against us, no exertions to effect it have been spared. On our south
western border, the Creek tribes, who, yielding to our persevering endeavours, were gradually acquiring more civilized habits, became the unfortunate victims of seduction. A war in that quarter has been the consequence, infuriated by a bloody fanaticism recently propagated
It was necessary to crush such a war before it could spread among the contiguous tribes, and before it could favour enterprises of the enemy into that vicinity. With this view a force was called into the service of the United States from the states of Georgia and Tennessee, which, with the nearest regular troops, and other corps from the Mississippi territory, might not only chastise the savages into present peace, but make a lasting impression on their fears.
The progress of the expedition, as far as is yet known, corresponds with the martial zeal with which it was espoused; and the best hopes of a satisfactory issue are authorized by the complete success with which a well planned enterprise was executed against a body of hostile savages, by a detachment of the volunteer militia of Tennessee, under the gallant command of general Coffee ; and by a still more important victory over a larger body of them, gained under the immediate command of major general Jackson, an officer equally distinguished for his patriotism and his military talents.
The systematick perseverance of the enemy in courting the aid of the savages in all quarters, had the natural effect of kindling their ordinary propensity to war into a passion, which, even among those best disposed towards the United States, was ready, if not employed on our side, to be turned against us. A departure from our protracted forbearance to accept the services tendered by them, has thus been forced upon us. But, in yielding to it, the retaliation has been mitigated as much as possible, both in its extent and in its character; stopping far short of the example of the enemy, who owe the advantages they have occasionally gained in battle, chiefly to the number of their savage associates, and who have not controlled them either from their usual practice of indiscriminate massacre on defenceless inhabitants, or from scenes of carnage without a parallel, on prisoners to the British arins, guarded by all the laws
of humanity and of honourable war. For these enormi ties, the enemy are equally responsible, whether with the power to prevent them they want the will, or with the knowledge of a want of power they still avail themselves of such instruments.
In other respects the enemy are pursuing a course which threatens consequences most afflicting to humanity:
A standing law of Great Britain naturalizes, as is well known, all aliens complying with conditions limited to a shorter period than those required by the United States; and naturalized subjects are, in war, employed by her government in common with native subjects. In a con. tiguous British province, regulations promulgated since the commencement of the war, compel citizens of the United States, being there under certain circumstances, to bear arms; whilst of the native emigrants from the United States, who compose much of the population of the province, a number have actually borne arms against the United States within their limits; some of whom, after having done so, have become prisoners of war, and are now in our possession. The British commander in that province, nevertheless, with the sanction, as appears, of his government, thought proper to select from American prisoners of war, and send to Great Britain for trial, as criminals, a number of individuals who had emigrated from the British dominions long prior to the state of war between the two nations, who had incorporated themselves into our political society, in the modes recognised by the law and the practice of Great Britain, and who were made prisoners of war under the banners of their adopted country, fighting for its rights and its safety.
The protection due to these citizens requiring an effectual interposition in their behalf, a like number of British prisoners of war were put into confinement, with a notification that they would experience whatever violence might be committed on the American prisoners of war sent to Great Britain.
It was hoped that this necessary consequence of the step unadvisedly taken on the part of Great Britain, would have led her government to reflect on the inconsistencies of its conduct, and that a sympathy with the British, if not with