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ed and explained by the practical comments of more than eighteen months, is denied to afford convincing evidence of the repeal of the French Decrees, while fall proof of their continuance is inferred from a report, which, from its very nature, must contain the mere opinions and speculations of a subject which is destitute of all authority until acted upon by the body to which it was presented, which has found its way hither in no more authentic shape than the columns of the Moniteur, and for the proper understanding of which not a moment has been allowed.—But even were the cause thus assigned to the report just, it is still difficult to discover what inference can be fairly deduced from it incompatible with the previous declarations and conduct of the French government exempting the United States from the operation of its Decrees. The very exception in that report with regard to nations who do not sufier their flag to be denationalized, was undoubtedly made with reference to the U. States, and with a view to reconcile the general tenor of that report with the good faith with which it became France to observe the conventional repeal of those Decrees in their favor. However novel may be the terms employed, or whatever may be their precise meaning, they ought to be interpreted to accord with the engagements of the French government, and with justice and good faith.
Your lordship wili, I doubt not, the more readily acknowledge the propriety of considering the report in this light, by a reference to similar reports made to the same conservative senate, on the 13th of Dec. 1810, by the duke of Cadore (the predecessor of the present French minister of exterior relations) and by the count de Simonville. In these reports they say to the emperor, (which proves that such reports are not to be considered as dictated by mm) Sire, as long as England shall persist in her Orders in Council, so long your majesty will persist in your Decrees,* and the Decrees of Berlin and Milan are an answer to the Orders in Council. The British Cabinet, has, thus to speak, dictated them to France. Europe receives them for her code, and this code shall become the palladium of the liberty of the seas' Surely, this Inguage is as strong as that of the report of the 10th of March, and still more absolute; or there is no qual fication in it in favor of any nation; this language has both, by an explanation of the
duke of Cadore to me at the same time, and by the uniform conduct of the French government since, been reconciled with the repeal of these Decrees, so far as they concerned the U. States:
Had the French Decrees originally afforded an adequate foundation for the British Orders in Council, and been continued after these reports, in full force, and extent, surely, during a period in which above a hundred American vessels and their cargoes have fallen a prey to these Orders, some one solitary instance of capture and confiscation must have happened under those Decrees. That no such instance has happened incontrovertibly proves, either that those Decrees are of themselves harmless, or that they have. been repealed; and in either case they can afford no rightful plea or pretext for G. Britain, for these measures of pretended retaliation, whose sole effect is to lay waste the neutral commerce of America.
With the remnant of those Decrees, which is still in force, and which consists of municipal regulations, confined in their operation within the proper and undeniable jurisdiction of the States where they are executed, the U. States have no concern; nor do they acknowledge themselves to be under any political obligation, either to examine into the ends proposed to be attained by this surviving portion of the continental system, or to oppose their accomplishment. Whatever may be intended to be doue in regard to other nations by this system, cannot be imputed to the U. States, nor are they to be made responsible, while they religiously observe the obligations of their neutrality for the mode in which belligerent nations may choose to exercise their power, for the injury of each other. When, however, these nations exceed the just limits of their power by the invasion of the rights of peaceful states on the ocean which is subject to the common and equal jurisdiction of all nations, the U. States cannot remain indifferent, and by quietly consenting to yield up their share of this jurisdiction, abandon their maritime rights.-France has respected these rights by the discontinuance of her Edicts on the high seas, leaving no part of these Edicts in operation to the injury of the U. States; and of course, no part in which they can be supposed to acquiesce, or against which they can be required to contend. They ask G. Britain, by a like respect
for their rights, to exempt them from the operation of her Orders in Council. Should such exemption involve the total practical extinction of these Orders, it will only prove that they were exclusively applied to the commerce of the U. States, and that they had not a single feature of resemblance to the Decrees, against waich they are professed to retaliate.
It is with patience and confidence that the United States have expected this exemption, and to which they believed themselves entitled, by all those considerations of right and promise, which I have freely stated to your lordship. With what disappointment, therefore, must they learn that G. Britain, in professing to do away their disaffection, explicitly avows her intention to persevere in her Orders in Council, until some authentic act hereafter to be promulgated by the French government, shall declare the Berlin and Milan Decrees are expressly and unconditionally repealed. To obtain such an act, can the United States interfere? Would such an interference be compatible either with a sense of justice, or with what is due to their own dignity? Can they be expected to falsify their repeated declarations of their satisfaction with the act of the 5th of August, 1810, confirmed by abundant evidence of its subsequent observance, and by now affecting to doubt of the sufficiency of that act, to demand another, which in its form, its mode of publication, and its import, shall accord with the requisitions of G. Britain? And can it be supposed that the French government would listen to such a proposal made under such cir cumstances, and with such a view?
While, therefore, I can perceive no reason, in the report of the French minister, of the 10th of March, to believe that the U. States erroneously assumed the repeal of the French Decrees, to be complete in relation to them; while aware that the condition of which the Orders in Council is now distinctly made to depend, is the total repeal of both the Berlin and Milan Decrees, instead as formerly of the Berlin Decree only; and while I feel that to ask the performance of this condition from others, inconsistent with the honor of the U. States, and to perform it themselves beyond their power; your lordship will permit me frankly to avow that I cannot accompany the communication to my government, of the declaration and Order in Council of the 21st of this
month, with any felicitation on the prospect which this measure presents of an accelerated return of amity and mutual confidence between the two states.
It is with real pain that I make to your lordship this avowal, and I will seek still to confide in the spirit which your lordship in your note, and in the conversation of this morning, has been pleased to say actuates the councils of his royal highness in relation to America, and still to cherish a hope that the spirit will lead, upon a review of the whole ground, to measures of a nature better calculated to attain this object, and that this object will no longer be made to depend on the conduct of a third power, or contingencies over which the U. States have no controul, but alone upon the rights of the U. States, the justice of G. Britain, and the common interests of both.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Previous to the Declaration of War, Gen. Hull, with about two thousand men, was ordered to proceed to Detroit. The army arrived at the head of Lake Erie, about the time war was declared; and several officers, and ladies, with the baggage of the General Officers, proceeded down the Lake for Detroit, in a gun vessel. The British received the news of the war before Gen. Hull, and sent a brig in pursuit of his baggage, which succeeded in capturing the vessel, and carried her into Malden.-The British commander sent the ladies over to Detroit, in a flag of truce, which was the first intelligence they had received of the
Gen. Hull, after concentrating his forces, at Detroit, crossed over the river to Sandwich, and issued the follow·ing singular and extraordinary Proclamation.
BY WILLIAM HULL,
Brigadier General and Commander of the North Western Army of the United States:
INHABITANTS OF CANADA!
After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the U. States have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities of G. Britain have once more left
them no alternative but manly resistance, or unconditional submission. The army under my command has invaded your country; the standard of the Union now waves over the territory of Can da. To the peaceable unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to make them. I come to protect, not to injure you.
Separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wilderness from G. Britain, ou have no participation in her councils; no interest in her conduct. You have felt her tyranny; you have seen her injustice. But I do not ask you to avenge the one, or to redress the other. The U. States are sufficiently powerful to afford every security, cousistent with their rights and your expectations. I tender you the invaluable blessing of civil, political, and religious liberty, and their necessary result, individual and general prosperity; that liberty which gave decision to our councils, and energy to our conduct in a struggle for independence, which conducted us safely and trumphantly through the stormy period of the revolution-that liberty which has raised us to an elevated rank among the nations of the world; and which afforded us a greater measure of peace and security, of wealth and improvement, than ever fell to the lot of any people. In the name of my country, and the authority of government, I promise you protection to your persons, property, and rights; remain at your homes; pursue your peaceful and customary avocations; raise not your hands against your brethren. Many of your fathers tought for the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being children therefore of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an army of friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. -You will be emancipated from tyranny and oppression, and restored to the dignified station of freedom. Had 1. any doubt of eventual success, I might ask your assistance, but I do not. I come prepared for every contingency-I have a force which will break down all opposition, and that force is cut the van-guard of a much greater.-If, contrary to your own interest and the just expectations of my country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered and treated as enemies, and the horrors and calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous and savage