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In addition to the regu- Recruits came in slowly-at the ratio of one February 6th, 1812.
lar troops, the President thousand in six months—notwithstanding was authorised to employ 25,000 volunteers
the liberal bounty which for twelve months, who were to form a body
was offered. It is curiof men intermediate between the regulars ous to observe the comparative coldness with and the militia, resembling the latter in which at this time Congress addressed themmost points, but differing from them in selves to promoting the efficiency of the being liable to foreign service. Their cloth- navy,—that arm of the service which cering was to be provided by themselves; their tainly did the republic most credit during arms were to be furnished by the govern- the war. A subsidy of only $300,000 was ment. Rapidly, however, as the forces of voted for repairs; and a further sum of the United States, at this crisis, accumulated $200,000 annually, for rebuilding certain on paper, and ardent as the votes of Congress ships. What was proposed to be accomwere for military preparation, the actual plished by this paltry sum, was to repair and enlistment was anything but enthusiastic. fit out the Constellation, Chesapeake, and
“ That an humble address be presented ance. The great body of merchants held the to his royal highness the Prince Regent, same opinion. Four-fifths of those of Glasgow representing that this house has for some time had petitioned in support of the orders; those past been engaged in an inquiry into the present of Bristol were unanimous in their favour ; and distressed state of the commerce and manufac- so were a majority of those Liverpool : there tures of the country, and the effects of the was no petition from London against them, Orders in Council issued by his Majesty in the whilst a great number of London merchants had years 1807 and 1809;* assuring his Royal petitioned in their favour. Highness that this house will at all times support his Royal Highness to the utmost of its Mr. Baring, after a warm eulogy of the enlightpower in maintaining those just maritime rights ened view of the subject taken by the honorable which have essentially contributed to the pros-mover, said that the house had two questions to perity and honour of the realm—but beseech- decide : 1. whether these distresses were attriing his Royal Highness that he would be butable to the Orders in Council? 2. Whether graciously pleased to recall or suspend the said any benefits had arisen from them in any other Orders, and adopt such measures, as may tend quarter to compensate for these calamities? to conciliate neutral powers, without sacrificing Mr. B. made a number of particular observathe rights and dignity of his Majesty's tions relative to these two points; and conclucrown."
ded with giving it as his conviction, that by
our Orders in Council we lost the most substanMr. Rose acknowledged that a very considerable tial commercial advantages for an object we degree of distress did exist among our manu- could never obtain—that of forcing our trade factures, but would not admit that it was so with the continent. much owing to the Orders in Council as the hon. gentleman had represented. He corrected Lord Castlereagh began with lamenting the several statements made by him, and showed precipitation of the hon. gentleman in bringing that the commerce of France had suffered in forward this motion, and pressing to hasty dismuch greater proportion from the effects of cussion a question than which none more vital these Orders. Our shipping interest, he asserted, ever came before the consideration of parliahad been benefitted by them, and if they were ment. He deprecated any interference on the repealed, the Americans would come in for a part of the house in a question in which comlarge share of our carrying trade, especially to mercial considerations were mixed with those South America. Upon the whole, he would not of maritime right, and, pending a delicate nedeny that our manufactures were likely to ob- gociation, dictating to the executive governtain some relief from the repeal, but government the course it ought to pursne. After ment was placed between difficulties on both various observations in defence of the policy sides, and it was their duty to adopt the mea- and justice of the Orders in Council, and in sures which would be least detrimental. In his answer to some of the mover's statements, the opinion, the preponderance of argument led noble lord came to the point by saying, that to the conclusion that the repeal of the Orders Great Britain would consent to suspend her would be more prejudicial than their continu-Orders in Council, provided America would sus
pend her non-importation act. The experiment * There was a modification of the Orders might then he tried of the practicability of rein April, 1809.
storing things to their ancient system. Under
Adams frigates ; and with the annual sub-power like Great Britain, must always be sidy, to rebuild three other frigates of the terribly severe. old navy, too rotten to be repaired. The In this Congress (the twelfth) the celetruth was, the war mania originated, mainly, brated Henry Clay, then a young and ardent with men who cared little or nothing about man, made his first entrance on the great commerce—as they did not live by it ---and world of politics. He was a fervent advocould contemplate its ruin without concern. cate for war ; and his remarkable talents, The politlcians of the back-woods, who combined with his sanguine and impetuous formed so strong and so stern a section of spirit, soon enabled him to outstrip the old the violent faction seem to have hardly given champions of war, who raised him to the a thought to the sufferings in store for the Speakership of the House of Representacommercial cities on the sea-coast,--suffer- tives, and tacitly acknowledged him for ings which, in any contest with a naval their leader.
these circumstances he trusted that the house house on the prospect of speedily getting rid of would not consent to the address and he these Orders, hoped that the noble lord would moved the order of the day.
withdraw his motion for proceeding to the
orders of the day, and explain more distinctly Mr. Whitbread then begged the noble lord to what was the exact intention of the govern, say precisely what he proposed to do with re- ment. spect to America.
The final result was, that Mr. B. and Lord
Castlereagh severally withdrew their motions Lord Castlereagh said, that he meant that a
on the understanding that an official instrument proposition should be made to the American on the subject should appear in the next Gazette. government to suspend immediately the Orders in Council, on condition that they would sus It was a remarkable circumstance in this pend their non-importation act.
debate, that Mr. Stephens, the most strenuous
defender and promoter of the Orders in Council, Mr. Whitbread was of opinion that if this pro- was not present: a certain proof that ministers position were to be sent out to America, and it were already prepared to make the sacrifice was expected that the house and country should which the voice of the country rendered ineviwait till they received an answer, it was the
table. greatest delusion that had ever been attempted; and he proceeded to express in strong terms the
On June 23rd, there appeared in the Gazette urgency of the distress felt by the manufac- a declaration from the Prince Regent, absolutely turers, and the necessity of giving the intended and unequivocally revoking the Orders in Counrelief without delay. Mr. Ponsonby also spoke cil as far as they regarded American vessels ; against the measure proposed, as calculated to with the proviso, that if after the notification create delay.
of this revocation by our minister in America,
the government of the United States do not reLord Castlereagh, in further explanation, voke their interdictory acts against British said that it was never meant that there should commerce, the same, after due notice, shall be be any delay in suspending the Orders in Coun- null and of no effect. cil: the intention was that they should be sus
Mr. Brougham, on this occurrence, declared pended for a definite time, and that this circum- the full satisfaction of himself and his friends stance should be communicated to the American with the frank and manly conduct of governgovernment for the double purpose of ascertainment in the mode it had adopted ; and both ing whether it would, in consequence, abrogate sides of the house seemed happy in the prospect its non-importation act; and also that it might of the amicable intercourse which this proceedapply to France to return to the ancient system ing would restore between the two countries. of belligerents.
We cannot, however, refrain from expressing Mr. Wilberforce objected to the mode proposed our astonishment, that during the debates there by the noble lord, because it showed an unwil- appeared so little consciousness that the queslingness to do that which, in fact, he intended tion of repealing or continuing the Orders in to do.
Council, was a real question of peace or war
with America ; and that deferring the decision Mr. Canning, in giving a kind of middle opi- | nion on the subject, contended that revocation In fact, before the news of the repeal reached
so long, was rendering it altogether unimportant, was better than suspension,
the United States, they were actually at war with Mr. Brougham, after congratulating the Great Britain.
inconsistent with the Governor's honourable character. All that he contemplated was,
to ascertain the real state of affairs in the Papers relating to Henry's Mission commu
nicated to Congress by the President, on United States; how far the war-spirit had the 5th March.—Ninety Days' Embargo; spread ; with what amount of success the 4th April.-President's Message ; 1st
would obaJune. - War declared on the 1sth, and resistance of the federal par persisted in, although intelligence subse- bly be attended ; and, generally, to acquire quently arrives of the Repeal of the Orders such information as might assist him in in Council.— The War of 1812, '13, and *14, a War of Aggression, on the part of putting the Province under his charge into the United States. The War declared a proper state of defence. Sir James Craig, simultaneously with the Invasion of Rus- however, was unfortunate, as it proved, in sia. The British North American Pro- his choice of the person employed. This vinces the main object of the War.
person was a Captain John IIenry, a clever and active, but, as circumstances after
wards showed, a purely mercenary and Papers relating to In the year 1809, about unprincipled man. He was an Irishman by Henry's Mission communicated to Congress the time of the first birth ; had come to the United States as an by the President,on the 6th March.
Mr. Madison adventurer; became a captain in the army embargo,
told the British Minister of 1798 ; and ultimately settled on an estate at Washington that, in his estimation, such in Vermont, close to the frontier. Accordhad been the conduct of Great Britain, that ing to his own account, the attention of Sir the United States would be justified in James Craig was drawn to him by essays declaring war at any moment, and without which he had written in newspapers against further notice. The newspapers, at that republican government, which he professed time, were boiling over with invective to hold in utter detestation. By some means against Great Britain, and the invasion of or other, however, the Governor of Canada her North American Colonies was, even at had heard of him, invited him to Montreal, that early period of the dispute, publicly and from thence despatched him to Boston talked of and discussed as a very feasible early in 1809, for the purpose we have and very effectual measure of retaliation. already described. After remaining in BosHalifax and Quebec were both mentioned as ton about three months, during which period points on which the attack might be advan- he wrote Sir James Craig's secretary fourtageously commenced. As the President's teen letters, embodying information of no language, taken in conjunction with the great value, as we think, he was recalled, popular animosity, seemed to threaten an on the apparent settlement produced by the immediate assault, intelligence was des- Erskine arrangement. In 1811 he visited patched to Sir James Craig, the Governor of England, and applied at the Foreign Office Canada, who, lest the Province under his for a reward for his services; but was command should be taken by surprise, sent referred back to Sir James Craig's successor an embassy into the Eastern States, for the in the government, as better able to apprepurpose of procuring information. The ciate the ability and success with which his instructions given to that agent were not mission had been executed. Henry did not
like this; and so, instead of returning to at all events; for the minds of the multiCanada, proceeded to the United States, tude were in that heated state which renders where, in the genuine temper of an unfaith- the appeal of an unpopular minority to the ful hireling, he presented himself before bar of public opinion a perfectly hopeless Mr. Madison ; told the tale of his mission; affair. During the debate in Congress on and offered to sell his papers. Mr. Madison the correspondence, a Mr. Johnson delivered closed with the profferred bargain, and paid himself of the sensible and elegant sentihim out of the secret service fund the large ment, that “he considered Canada as rogues' sum of $50,000 for the papers ; apparently harbour, and saw in the correspondence having only a general notion of their con- additional reasons for attacking it.” A tents, and not imagining—as we must argue vehement onset was made on the British from the handsome price he paid for them- Ministry in the House of Commons on this how little they contained. lle expected, no head; but, whilst they stated that IIenry's doubt, when he made the liberal offer of mission was Sir James Craig's own act, $50,000, that the correspondence thus pur- unknown to them until all was over, they chased would furnish disclosures highly defended it on the ground that its object serviceable to the Administration, both hy was nothing more than legitimate informablackening the character of the British tion, very desirable at so critical a time; government and by bringing suspicion and though they admitted that the transaction odium generally on the opposition in Con- was not in all its circumstances managed gress,-perhaps by fixing a charge of treason with perfect discretion. Poor Sir James was
His disappointment, then, must then in his grave'; but, although his own have been extreme, on discovering that the voice was not raised in self-defence, we may British agent had received no authority or venture to assert that his memory, which is commission to offer bribes in any shape; that of a straightforward, honest, and fearthat neither his letters nor the replies less man, has not suffered even from the sketched out any plan of insurrection; and baseness of the agent whom it was his misthat the correspondence did not implicate, fortune to employ. Alison's brief allusion or even name a single citizen of the United to this transaction involves a slight error as States. Still, having got the papers into to date, representing it as following the his hands, and paid dearly for his bargain, ninety days' embargo, of which we are about the President determined to make all the use to speak. IIe uses, too, the words,—“cerof them that he could. He accordingly tain documents found on a Captain Henry," transmitted them to Congress, accompanied from which the general inference would be, by a message, putting upon the whole affair that Henry was detected, whereas he sold the bitterest interpretation he could devise,- himself, as we have shown above, to Mr. representing it as an effort, on the part of Madison. the British Government to foment disaffection in the United States, and to bring about the separation of the Eastern States from the
War having been de
Ninety days' embargo, Union. His end, however, was not answered. 4th April.
termined upon by the A momentary excitement, it is true, was
Administration, the Preproduced; but, as he was unable to hold up sident sent a confidential message to Conto public indignation any of the “ traitors” gress, recommending, “ under existing cirwhom he may have hoped to detect in Con- cumstances and prospects,” an embargo for gress, nothing material was effected in sixty days. A bill to that effect passed the favour of the Administration. The opposi- IIouse of Representatives by 70 to 41 ; but tion were not silenced; for not one of their the term was extended in the Senate to 90 number was caught in the trap. IIad the days, with which extension it passed both result been different; had there been grounds branches of the Legislature. This was a for suspicion against them, it would assuredly committal of the Administration to war; for have gone hard with them--as to their influence it was admitted by the Government party,
that, as a peace-measure, the embargo could months duration, would be, according to never have been entertained. Still the oppo- statistical calculation, as follows :sition—notwithstanding the serious alarm they felt-professing themselves unable to Mercantile loss,
$24,814,249 believe that the Government would commit Deteriorated value of surplus so rash and so treasonable" an action as produce and waste, ...... 40,196,028 that of plunging the nation, utterly unpre
Loss sustained by the revenue, 9,000,000 pared, into war, suggested that the embargo was intended to serve the interests of Buona Total direct national loss,..... $74,010,277 parte, by stopping the export of provisions Or, $6,107,523 per month. to Spain, where the British arins beginning to be triumphant. The measure, The same moment, therefore, that the however, was undoubtedly designed as pre- nation is called upon to aid their governparatory to war, for the declaration of which, ment with a loan of 11,000,000 dollars, this at the expiration of the ninety days, the government, without any single openly Government had now made up their minds. avowed or obviously beneficial purpose, at Mr. Alison describes the object of the the bare suggestion of expediency on the measure only in part, when he represents it part of the Executive, destroys, by an emas intended to "prevent intelligence of their bargo of three months, national wealth to preparations from reaching Great Britain, the amount of $18,502,570, not to reckon and to furnish them with the means, from the indirect and collateral mischief, of their extensive commercial navy, of manning enormous magnitude, with which the same their vessels of war.” Its main object was measure is pregnant.” to remove from the ocean as many of their merchant-ships as possible, and thus place them out of the reach of British ships of
On the 1st June, “the war, when the proclamation of hostilities ist June.
President sent a confishould become known. The passing of the
dential Message to Conembargo was conducted under an injunction gress, in which he recapitulated all the of secrecy; but the secret was divulged ; causes of complaint against Great Britain ;" and the commercial cities which gained in
and on the 18th a bill, telligence of it improved the few days 18th, and persisted in, declaring war against allowed them in lading and despatching subsequently arrives of Great Britain, passed the ships with extraordinary ardour and celerity.
the repeal of the Orders House of Representa The Democratic journals were infuriated.
tives, by a vote of 79 to Flour, by hundreds of thousands of barrels, 49; and the Senate, by 19 to 14. Hostilithey said, had been exported selfishly and ties were therefore immediately ordered to unpatriotically, to feed the British troops in be commenced. “ Nor did the American Spain. It was nothing to them that those Government,” writes Mr. Alison, “make troops were fighting in the noblest cause any attempt to recede from these hostile which God has ever blessed with success ; | acts, when intelligence arrived a few weeks fighting side by side with the soldiers of an after this resolution, and before war had oppressed people,-groaning beneath the commenced,* that, by an Order in Council, exactions, the massacres, and the odious rule of a French usurper. These embargoes exhibited, in a remarkable manner, the
* No blow had as yet been struck.
Madison," as the London Quarterly, of January, blind rage of an irritated democracy, bent
1814, humourously observed, “ had forged his on inflicting vengeance on an enemy even ate thunderbolts; but held them yet unlaunched in the certain risk of greater damage to them- his red right hand.” The pleasure of hurling selves. “The direct national injury,” says them, however, was not to be resisted ; more
especially as the British standard in Canada a writer in the American Review, of April, was to be utteriy shivered and annihilated by 1812, caused by an embargo of twelve them.
War declared on the