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From this view of the multiplied wrongs of the British government, since the commencement of the present war, it must be evident to the impartial world, that the contest which is now forced on the United States, is radically a contest for their sovereignty and independence. Your committee will not enlarge on any of the injuries, however great, which have had a transitory effect. They wish to call the attention of the House to those of a parliamentary nature only, which intrench so deeply on our most important rights, and wound so extensively and vitally our best interests, as could not fail to deprive the United States of the principal advantages of their revolution, if submitted to. The control of our commerce by Great Britain, in regulating at pleasure, and expelling it almost from the ocean; the oppressive manner in which these regulations have been carried into effect by seizing and confiscating such of our vessels, with their cargoes, as were said to have violated her edicts, often without previous warning of their danger; the impressment of our citi. zens from on board our own vessels, on the high seas, and else where, and holding them in bondage until it suited the convenience of these oppressors to deliver them up, are encroachments of that high and dangerous tendency which could not fail to produce that pernicious effect, nor would those be the only consequences that would result from it. The British government might for a while be satisfied with the ascendency thus gained over us, but its pretensions would soon increase. The proof, which so complete and disgraceful a submission to it3 authority would afford of our degeneracy, could not fail to inspire confidence, that there was no limit to which its usurpations and our degradations might not be carried.
Your committee, believing that the freeborn sons of America are worthy to enjoy the liberty which their fathers purchased at the price of much blood and treasure, and seeing in the measures adopted by Great Britain, a course commenced and persisted in which might lead to a loss of national character and indepen.
dence, feel no hesitation in advising resistance by force, in which the Americans of the present day will prove to the enemy and to the world, that we have not only inherited that liberty which our fathers gave us, but also the will and power to maintain it. Relying on the patriotism of the nation, and confidently trusting that the Lord of Hosts will go with us to battle in a righteous cause, and crown our efforts with success—your committee recommend an immediate appeal to ARMS!
JOHN C. CALHOUN, Chairman.
AN ACT' Declaring War between the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and the Dependencies thercof, and the United States of America, and their Territories. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That WAR be, and the same is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories; and that the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized to use the whole land and naval force of the United States, to carry the same into effect, and to issue to private-armed vessels of the United States commissions, or letters-of-marque, and general reprisals, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the seal of the United States, against the vessels, goods and effects of the government of the same United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the subjects thereof. Approved,
JAMES MADISON. June 18th, 1812.
On the final passage of the act in the Senate, the vote was 19 to 13: in the House, 79 to 49.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
WHEREAS the Congress of the United States, by virtue of the constituted authority vested in them, have declared by their act, bearing date the 18th day of the present month, that war exists between the United kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories: Now therefore, I, James Madison, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the same to all whom it may concern: and I do specially enjoin on all persons holding offices, civil or military, under the authority of the United States, that they be vigilant and zealous, in discharging the duties respectively incident thereto. And I do moreover exhort all the good people of the United States, as they love their country; as they value the precious heritage derived from the virtue and valor of their fathers; as they feel the wrongs which have forced on them the last resort of injured nations; and as they consult the best means, under the blessing of Divine Providence, of abridging its calamities; that they exert themselves in preserving order, in promoting concord, and in maintaining the authority and the efficacy of the laws, and in supporting and invigorating all the measures which may be adopted by the constituted authorities, for obtaining a speedy, a just, and an honorable peace.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed to these presents.
Done at the City of Washington, the nineteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States the thirty-sixth. (Signed)
By the President,
Secretary of State.
I insert here the following letter of the venerable patriot John Adams, former President of the United States, to his friend Elkenah Watson, Esq., of Pittsfield, and think his opinion of the war is deserving the respectful consideration of every dispassionate American.
Quincy, July 6th, 1812. “DEAR SIR,-I have received the favor of your letter of the 28th of last month, which has revived the recollection of our former acquaintance in France, England and Holland, as well as in several parts of our own country.
I think with you, that it is the duty of every considerate man to support the national authorities, in whose hands soever they may be; though I will not say whatever their measures may be.
"To your allusion to the war, I have nothing to say but that it was with surprise that I hear it pronounced, not only by newspapers, but by persons in authority, ecclesiastical and civil, and political and military, that it is an unjust and unnecessary war, that the declaration of it was altogether unexpected, etc.
“How it is possible that a rational, a social, or a moral creature can say that the war is unjust, is to me utterly incomprehensible.
"How it can be said to be unnecessary is very mysteri.
ous. I have thought it both just and necessary, for five « years.
“How it can be said to be unexpected, is another wonder; I have expected it for more than five and twenty years, and have had great reason to be thankful that it has been postponed so long. I saw such a spirit in the British Islands, when I resided in France, in Holland, and in England itself, that I expected another war much sooner than it has happened. I was so impressed with the idea, that I expressed to Lord Lansdowne (formerly Lord Shelburne), an apprehension that his lordship would live long enough to be obliged to make, and that I should live long enough to see another peace made between Great Britain and the United States of America. His lordship did not live long enough to make the peace, and I shall not probably live to see it; but I have lived to see the war that must be followed by a peace,
if the war is not eternal. “Our Agricultural Societies may not be so much regarded, but the great interest of agriculture will not be diminished by
Manufactures will be promoted. “The Minister of St. Petersburg will be informed of your opinion of the mility of some bushels of Siberian wheat, not kiln dried.'
" JOHN ADAMS."