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from the Island of Porto Rico, for the purpose of capturing all Vessels sailing to or from the Ports on the Coast of Spanish America, in possession of the Patriot Forces, under the plea that they are violating a system of Blockade established by the Government of Spain. These Privateers have already made several captures of American and other Vessels which have been carried to remote Ports in the Island of Porto Rico, and will doubtless be condemned. The injury that will result the commerce of our Country, from this system of pretended Blockade, will be very serious, if not timely checked by an adequate force in this quarter; and, as I have no means of communicating from hence, with Captain Biddle, I consider it my duty to lay the present information before you.
The Hon. Smith Thompson.
(Inclosure.)-Capt. Lluager to Lieutenant Ramage. 'S. N. B. G. Boves, At Sea, 8th July, 1822. "1 AM sorry you will be incomoded with me by firiying you this "morning, being the case that we thought you were Patriots, and we "have Comission from our Goverment to blockade all the Men Ports, "and happened that must all the Vessels from the men hoisted and fight "with the American Flag, we took you to be one of them.
"I hope therefore you will forgived the uncasionally affair.
M. Ramage, U. S. Sc. Porpoise.
(5.)—Lieutenant Ramage to the Secretary of the Navy. United States Schooner Porpoise, Curaçoa, 22d July, 1822 I HAD the honour to address you on the 9th inst. from the Island of St. Thomas, communicating the injuries committed on our commerce by Spanish Vessels of War near to Porto Rico, in consequence their pretended Blockade of the Coasts of Spanish America. I have now to inform you that the same causes have produced the same effects in this quarter, and that 4 American Vessels have been condemned at Porto Cabello for a breach of Blockade. The Naval Force of Spain in these Seas consists of an old 44 gun Frigate (one of the Russian Contract) a Brig and Schooner. These are employed in furnishing supplies to Porto Cabello from this Island, and yet with such a force and so employed, they uphold the monstrous principle of Block ading a Coast of more than 1200 miles in extent. It does not appear that any injury has been committed on our commerce by the Vessels of the Colombian Republick. I have the honour to be, &c. Hon. Smith Thompson. JAMES RAMAGE
(6.)-Lieutenant Ramage to Captain Biddle. United States Schooner Porpoise: UNDER the plea of a breach of Blockade, the Spanish Squadron in this direction capture all Vessels bound to or from Ports in possession of the Colombian Republick. The Naval Force of Spain now here consists of an old 44 gun Frigate, the Ligera, (one of the Russian Contract) an 18 gun Brig, the Hercule, and a Schooner; the whole of which are employed supplying Porto Cabello with provisions from Curaçoa; yet, with such a force, and so employed, they uphold the monstrous principle of blockading a line of Coast of more than 1200 miles of extent. Captain Biddle.
(7.)-Lieutenant Ramage to Capt. Laborde.
Harbour of St. Ann, Curaçoa, 21st July, 1822. I HAVE received from the Master of the American Schooner Antelope, a Communication, of which a Copy is herewith transmitted you. From this statement it appears that a very serious injury has been done by you to the rights and property of Citizens of The United States, by the capture and subsequent condemnation of an American Vessel and cargo pursuing a lawful commerce; but it is hoped that more just reasons will be exhibited on your part for the course pursued, than those stated in the Communication referred to.
I have received information that the American Vessels named underneath, have been carried into Porto Cabello, and there condemned, under the pretext of a breach of Blockade of the Coast and Harbours of the Spanish Main. In consequence thereof, it becomes my duty to demand from you the release of all Vessels and property so seized, and further to state, that The United States cannot recognize such a system of Blockade, to the manifest injury of their commerce, where the Force of Spain is so evidently inadequate to its fulfilment.
I am, &c. JAMES RAMAGE. Capt. Laborde, Comd'g H. M. C. M. Frigate Ligera, Curaçoa.
American Brig Calypso of New York.
Rising States of New York.
(Inclosure.)-Statement of Arthur Edgarton, Mate of the Brig, General
ARTHUR EDGARTON, Mate of the Brig General Andrew Jackson, taken by the Privateer General Pereira, on the 22d July, as nigh as he can remember, the Log-book being taken from him--Capt. Langdon and the Cook were sent in the Brig to Ponce, and the Mate and Men
were taken on board the Privateer, having been robbed of every article of clothing except what they had at the time on their backs. The Men had recently left The United States, and had each a new suit of good clothes, many of which can, at most hours, be seen at this place, worn by the Crew of the Privateer in publick. Except being robbed of clothing, knives, razors, &c. were well treated on board the Privateer, where they remained about 17 days-were then put into the Puntilla (prison) without food, until the afternoon of the third day. The Keeper of the prison, observing the wants of these Men, sent word to the Captain of the Privateer, "That he must furnish them daily with food, or he would be punished;" which was complied with.
(8.)-Captain Spence to the Secretary of the Navy.
St. John's, Porto Rico, 3d September, 1822. AFTER a passage of 25 days from the Chesapeake, during which we experienced an alternation of calms and head winds, I anchored in this Harbour. I found no small excitement existing, produced by the capture of the Pancheta. The presence of a Ship of our force was perhaps seasonable, and possibly may have been the means of preventing unpleasant consequences to the Americans here. Before I could enter upon the business specially delegated, I was informed of the imprisonment of several Citizens of The United States, taken from the Brig General Jackson, captured and sent into Ponce. As no American ought to be restrained of his liberty, in any quarter of the World, one hour, without just cause, I addressed His Excellency Don Francisco Gonsalez de Linarez, demanding their release. My Letter, marked A, is herewith transmitted. The Men being liberated, I felt myself at liberty to enter upon the execution of my Instructions, and immediately addressed him upon the subject of the capture of American Vessels by Privateers out of the Island of Porto Rico. A Copy of my Letter, marked B, is herewith enclosed. On the 27th ult. I addressed to His Excellency, Letter C, annexing Memorandum No. 1, being a List of Vessels sent into the different Ports of the Island, for adjudication. On the 28th, I received from His Excellency a Reply to my representations, which is herewith transmitted, with other subsequent Communications from him. I then addressed to him Letter D, with Copies of the accompanying Documents, 2, S, and 4.
Some of the circumstances of the capture of the Pancheta being known, for the purpose of preventing the ill effects of distorted and prejudiced representations, and to allay the sensations of which His Excellency speaks, I addressed to him, on that subject, Letter marked E. Receiving several reiterative Communications, of which I obtained but very imperfect Translations,' I replied with Letter marked F, and came to the consummation of the duty confided to me in Letter G, and I
trust, in the declarations there made, I have neither gone beyond the letter or spirit of my Instructions; having been influenced, throughout the whole Correspondence, by a strong desire to discharge a delicate trust with becoming graciousness; and, while making known the sentiments of the American People, and the determination of my Government, to conciliate, by a friendly style and manner, the good feelings of those in Authority, all of whom are Men of high standing, and justly estimable. I hope my remarks on the Laws of Blockade will be considered by yourself and the President pertinent and proper. I believe I conceived your views on that subject. It cannot, however, be expected that an Officer who embarked at the age of 11 on an element where the accomplishments of a Scholar are not required, should shine in a Correspondence of a diplomatick cast, especially when depending wholly on his own feeble capacity. What I have written on this occasion, has been with a heart glowing with American feelings, with an enthusiastick admiration of our Laws, Institutions, and great Men: if, therefore, a little egotism should occasionally appear, I plead this in extenuation.
The hospitality of the Port has been freely and fully extended to my Ship; and the personal attentions of those in Authority have been gratifying to me and my Officers. To a system of Privateering they are opposed, and the Governor will do all in his power to discourage its continuance. Indemnification for the past, I fear, we shall have to look for to the Treasury of Spain.
I shall be active in attending to every thing in which the interest of our commerce is concerned, and shall endeavour to sustain the American character by a manner, gentle yet firm; taking on myself no responsibility, keeping constantly in eye the reciprocal rights of Nations, and your Instructions.
I have the honour, &c.
ROBERT TRAIL SPENCE. P.S. I shall leave these Seas the last of October for Africa. The Hon. Smith Thompson.
(Inclosure A.)-Captain Spence to the Governor of Porto Rico. United States' Ship Cyane,
St. John's, Porto Rico, 26th August, 1822. INSTRUCTED to proceed to Porto Rico, to communicate with your Excellency, in relation to the infringement of American rights, by Vessels fitted out of different Ports of this Island, I had scarcely anchored with this Ship, ere I learnt that several Citizens of The United States (after experiencing the most brutal treatment from a gang of Desperadoes belonging to an armed Schooner now in, and said to be of this Place) have been imprisoned, and are at present in confinement.
These American Citizens I understand were taken from the Brig Andrew Jackson, while peaceably pursuing their vocation on the high Seas, under the Flag of The United States.
So gross a violation of the usages of all Civilized Nations is cal culated to excite universal abhorrence; and the just indignation I am persuaded your Excellency must feel on being informed of such an atrocious act, renders it only necessary that it should come to the knowledge of your Excellency, to cause the immediate release of said Citizens, and the prompt and salutary punishment of those Violators of the Laws of Nations and humanity.
With the most perfect consideration, &c. H. E. Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez. ROBERT T. SPENCE.
(Inclosure B.)-Captain Spence to the Governor of Porto Rico. United States' Ship Cyane,
St. John's, Porto Rico, 27th August, 1822. I AM directed to call the attention of your Excellency to the capture and detention, by Privateers fitted out from this Island, of several American Merchant Vessels, while pursuing a lawful commerce, during a time when The United States enjoy profound Peace with all Nations.
Your Excellency will readily perceive that, under such circumstances, the violation of American rights, here complained of, calls for a speedy interposition of justice and authority. Justice, that a restitution of these Captures may be made, and authority to prevent a repetition of similar outrages.
I will as soon as possible transmit to your Excellency the names of the Vessels to which this complaint refers, with a statement of the circumstances attending their capture; confidently believing that your Excellency will adopt, as early as possible, such measures as shall, in your wisdom, be deemed sufficient to arrest these depredations, which, in some cases, can be viewed in no other light than piratical.
The Flag of The United States, floating in every Ocean, guarantees protection to all who lawfully sail under it: the invasion of rights identified with this Flag, it would neither be honourable, wise, nor expedient to permit; and that trade to which, as a Neutral, The United States have claim uninterruptedly to pursue, cannot be molested.
The American commerce, second to none for magnitude, enterprize, and fair dealing, must, to insure a continuance of these constituent features, be preserved inviolate; and the protection necessary to effect this object, the Government of The United States is determined to afford, whether in the Seas of the Mediterranean, Pacifick, or Caribbean, where outrages, tending to degrade the Flag under which they