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countries, and often in British vessels, disguised as neutrals by false colours and papers.
To these abuses it may be added, that illegal importations are openly made, with advantage to the violators of the law, produced by under valuations, or other circumstances involved in the course of the judicial proceedings against them.
It is found also, that the practice of ransoming is a cover for collusive captures, and a channel for intelligence advantageous to the enemy.
To remedy as much as possible these evils, I recommend:
That an effectual embargo on exports be immediately enacted:
That all articles, known to be derived, either not at all, or in an immaterial degree only, from the productions of any other country than Great Britain, and particularly the extensive articles made of wool and cotton materials, and ardent spirits made from the cane, be expressly and absolutely prohibited, from whatever port or place, or in whatever vessels the same may be brought into the United States; and that all violations of the non-importation act be subjected to adequate penalties :
That among the proofs of the neutral and national cha-, racter of foreign vessels, it be required that the masters and supercargoes, and three-fourths at least of the crews, be citizens or subjects of the country under whose flag the vessels sail :
That all persons concerned in collusive captures by the enemy, or in ransoming vessels or their cargoes from the enemy, be subjected to adequate penalties.
To shorten as much as possible the duration of the war, it is indispensable that the enemy should feel all the pressure that can be given to it, and the restraints having that tendency will be borne with the greater cheerfulness by all good citizens, as the restraints will affect those most, who are most ready to sacrifice the interests of their country in pursuit of their own.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CON
GRESS. JAN. 6, 1314.
| TRANSMIT for the information of Congress copies of a letter from the British secretary of state for foreign affairs to the secretary of state, with the answer of the latter.
In appreciating the accepted proposal of the government of Great Britain for instituting negotiations for peace, Congress will not fail to keep in mind that vigorous preparations for carrying on the war can in no respect impede the progress to a favourable result, whilst a relaxation of such preparations, should the wishes of the United States for a speedy restoration of the blessings of peace be disappointed, would necessarily have the most injurious consequences.
Lord Castlereagh to the Secretary of State. Foreign
Office, Nov. 4, 1313. SIR, I have the honour to enclose to you for the information of the President of the United States, a copy note which his Britannick majesty's ambassador at the court of St. Petersburg was directed to present to the Russian government, as soon as his royal highness, the prince regent was informed that plenipotentiaries had been nominated on the part of the American government for the purpose of negotiating for peace with Great Britain under the mediation of his imperial majesty.
His lordship having by the last courier from the imperial head quarters acquainted me that the American commissioners now at St. Petersburg have intimated, in reply to this overture, that they had no objection to a negotiation at London, and were equally desirous, as the British government had declared itself to be, that this business should not be mixed with the affairs of the continent of Europe, but that their powers were limited to negotiate under the mediation of Russia.
Under these circumstances, and in order to avoid an unnecessary continuance of the calamities of war, the prince regent commands me to transmit, by a flag of truce, to the American port nearest to the seat of vernment, the official note above mentioned, in order that the President, if he should feel disposed to enter upon a direct negotiation for the restoration of peace between the two states, may give his directions accordingly.
In making this communication, I can assure you that the British government is willing to enter into discussion with the government of America for the conciliatory ad. justment of the differences subsisting between the two states, with an earnest desire on their part to bring them to a favourable issue, upon principles of perfect reciprocity not inconsistent with the established maxims of publick law, and with the maritime rights of the British empire.
The admiral commanding the British squadron on the American station will be directed to give the necessary protection to any persons proceeding to Europe, on the part of the government of the United States, in furtherance of this overture ; or should the American government have occasion to forward orders to their commission at St. Petersburg, to give the requisite facilities, by cartel or otherwise, to the transmission of the same. I have the honour to be, &c.
[ENCLOSURE ALLUDED TO ABOVE.] Translation of a Note from Lord Cathcart to the Count de
Nesselrode. Toplilz, September 1, 1813. The undersigned ambassador of his Britannick majesty to the emperor of all the Russias, desiring to avail himself of the first occasion to renew the subject respecting America, which was brought into discussion in a conference at the moment of departure from Reichenbach, has the honour to address this note to his excellency the count de Nesselrode.
Although the prince regent, for reasons which have been already made known, has not found himself in a situation
to accept the mediation of his imperial majesty for terminating the discussions with the United States of America, his royal highness desires, nevertheless, to give effect to the beneficent wishes which his imperial majesty has expressed of seeing the war between Great Britain and America soon terminated, to the mutual satisfaction of the two governments.
With this view, his royal highness having learned that she envoys plenipotentiary of the United States for negotiating a peace with Great Britain, under the mediation of his imperial majesty, have arrived in Russia, notwithstanding that he finds himself under the necessity of not accepting the interposition of any friendly power in the question which forms the principal object in dispute be. tween the two states, he is nevertheless ready to nominate plenipotentiaries to treat directly with the American plenipotentiaries.
His royal highness sincerely wishes that the conferences of these plenipotentiaries may result in re-establishing, between the two nations, the blessings and the reciprocal advantages of peace.
If, through the good offices of his imperial majesty, this proposition should be accepted, the prince regent would prefer that the conferences should be held at London, on account of the facilities which it would give to the discus. sions.
But if this choice should meet with insuperable obstacles, his royal highness would consent to substitute Got. jenburg as the place nearest to England. The undersigned, &c.
The Secrelary of State to Lord Castlereagh. Department
of State, January 1814. MY LORD, I have had the honour to receive by a flag of truce your lordship's letter of the 4th of November last, and a copy of a note which his Britannick majesty's ambassador at the court of St Petersburg presented to the Russian government on the first of September preceding,
By this communication it appears that his royal highness the prince regent rejected the mediation offered by his imperial majesty to promote peace between the United States and Great Britain, but proposed to treat directly with the United States at Gottenburg or London, and that he had requested the interposition of the good offices of the emperor in favour of such an arrangement.
Having laid your lordship's communication before the President, I am instructed io state, for the information of his royal highness the prince regent, that the President has seen with regret this new obstacle to the commencement of a negotiation for the accommodation of differences between the United States and Great Britain. As the emperor of Russia was distinguished for his rectitude and impartiality, and was moreover engaged in a war, as an ally of England, whereby it was his interest to promote peace between the United States and Great Britain, the President could not doubt that his royal highness the prince regent would accept the mediation, which his imperial majesty had offered to them. It was the confidence with which the high character of the emperor inspired the President, that induced him, disregarding considerations, which a more cautious policy might have suggested, to accept the overture with promptitude, and to send ministers to St. Petersburg, to take advantage of it. It would have been very satisfactory to the President, if his royal highness the prince regent had found it compatible with the views of Great Britain, to adopt a similar measure, as much delay might have been avoided, in accomplishing an object, which, it is admitted, is of high importance to both nations.
The course proposed as a substitute for negotiation at St. Petersburg, under the auspices of the emperor of Russia, could not, I must remark to your lordship, have been required for the purpose of keeping the United States unconnected against Great Britain, with any affairs of the continent. There was nothing in the proposed mediation tending to such a result. The terms of the overture indicated the contrary. In offering to bring the parties together, not as an umpire, but as a common friend, to discuss and settle their differences and respective claims, in a manner satisfactory to themselves, his imperial majes