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fship-loads to France, a great part of ere intercepted by English ships of war ateers, brought into England, where the were detained, paying to the owners pretwhat our government thought proper. s an extension of the rights of belligerents neutrals, such as had never been heard of the PRESIDENT of AMERICA had issued mation, declaring those states neutral; government, whenever it suited its purt that neutrality at defiance. The same as done with regard to the maritime comf the United States in their intercourse e French West India islands as long as ained in possession of the French. When , owing to the invasion of the French, pelled to join in the war against England, trading with it and with its islands, were in the same manner. The French were g on a sweeping and successful war upon tinent, and England the same sort of war

e seas.

The United States remonstrated; negoendless were going on; their policy was in at peace if possible; but, though they go to war, they incessantly remonstrated this disregard of the laws of neutrality, on, all the while, making preparations for fence in case of the dire necessity arriving. They acknowledged, and I trust they and

all the world will always be compelled to acknow ledge, our right, when at war, to stop merchant ships on the high seas, to search them, to ascer tain whether they be bound to our enemy's port, and, if so, whether they have on board articles contraband of war, that is to say, arms, ammunition, horse-furniture, and other things used in war; and, if bound to a port which we are block. ading, if they have provisions on board; and, in such cases, to take out the provisions, to take out the munitions of war, to bring the ship into port for that purpose, in some cases to condemn both ship and cargo; and, in all cases, where the property on board be found to be the property of an enemy, to seize and confiscate that property. Further, the rights of a belligerent with regard to neutrals extend to a prohibition, after due notice, to enter any port of any enemy of that belligerent which is placed in a state of efficient blockade.

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145. These are the rights of England upon the seas when she is at war; and these rights she can never give up, and can never relax in the enforcement of, without a surrender of her character and her power.

146. But far were our ministers from being content with the enjoyment of these rights. BUONAPARTE had issued two decrees, one dated at Berlin, and the other at Milan, prohibiting all British goods from entering any port under the control of France, which then embraced almost


e of the Continent; and, not only British ut any goods of any country coming last y British port at home or abroad. s called retaliation for this, our ministers all the ports of all the countries under rol of France to be in a state of blockich was, to be sure, the most monstrous of the rights of a belligerent ever before 1 of in the world. For many years the _ns endured this. By false papers, by rtificates of origin, by clandestine invoices, ses obtained here in England; by one r another, they contrived to carry on still a ecommerce, always, however, protesting, remonstrating, and frequently menacing, he lips or the pens of their negociators. however, our ministers began to do that ch the BERLIN and MILAN decrees could no excuse, and for which nothing could palliation; that is to say, they began to seamen on board the American ships on h seas, under the pretence that they were ojects of the king and deserters from his

If they had confined these impressments ish subjects, the thing would have been a ovelty; but this was impossible in a case all spoke the same language; all had the anners; all were of the same nation, exy the mere accident of locality and birth.

naval officers, seldom remarkable for

moderation in the exercise of their power, being once authorised to stop American ships on the high seas, and to take British subjects out of them; and having the physical power to take out of them whom and as many as they pleased; these officers, being thus authorised, would, as a matter of course, consider every man whom they wished to take, to be a British subject; and, under this pretence, they impressed hundreds upon hundreds of native Americans, compelled them to serve on board English ships of war, had them flogged for disobedience or neglect, placed them in battle like the rest of the sailors, where many of them were wounded and many of them killed.

147. This was too much, not perhaps for the cool politicians of the American government to endure, but too much for the people of America to endure. The people took the matter in hand; letters and certificates from impressed American seamen were authenticated and published, con'taining all the horrid details of the cruelties that had been endured by the suffering parties; the American newspapers were filled with these bloodstirring details, and the whole country, from one end to the other, cried "War, loss of commerce, invasion, extermination, rather than endure this!" The American government did everything in its power to assuage this anger: it called upon the people to wait the result of the negociations then going on upon the subject. Dur

e negociations, they offered terms so fair ills one with indignation to think that this had to suffer from a war in consequence ction of those terms. They offered to pass mposing a penalty on any American captain ould take on board a British subject as a ; they offered to agree that any British offi 1 or military, duly authorised by the govern→ hould be permitted to go on board of any cile American ship in any port, whether the British dominions, or any other domind cause to be taken any American seaman a magistrate, being any usual magistrate lace or port; and if that magistrate deterthat the man claimed was a British subey agreed to give him up at once on the ecision of that magistrate; but they extheir determination to encounter all rather than suffer foreigners to stop their pon the high seas, and to take out of them s of any description whatsoever under pref those persons being foreign subjects. Nocould be more reasonable or more just than et the proposition was haughtily rejected se insolent and feeble-minded creatures, ere afterwards beaten single-handed in a aggression, of invasion, and extermination, against this free and happy people under se and moderate government.

. These terms having been rejected, the

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