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account of this disaster, through English channels, there could not have been a more satisfactory assurance made to us than this,' that if the British officers should prove to have been culpable, the most prompt and effectual reparation shall be afforded to the government of the United States.' It is admitted that the only information, which had been received, was probably from Berkley, and of course highly coloured in respect to us, and softened as regarded himself. How then, could Mr. Canning with any consistency arraign the conduct of an officer, before he was acquainted with all the circumstances of the case ?
2d. We do not believe that the English ministry could have known any thing of Admiral Berkley's intention, because according to the dec. laration of Lords Holland and Aukland, on the 8th Nov. 1806, to Messrs. Munroe and Pinckney, “ instructions had then been given' and were to be repeated and enforced for the observance of the greatest caution in the impressing of British seamen, and that immediate and prompt redress should be afforded upon any representation of injury sustained."*
That such instructions had been issued is confirmed by a subsequent correspondence between Mr. Canning and Lords Holland and Aukland. Besides, the change in the British ministry, took place towards the last of March 1807, when the Fox administration were succeeded by the present, and Mr. Canning had not had sufficient time so to attend to American affairs, after his first conference with our ambassadours, about the 20th of April, as to have dispatched counter in. structions, which might have been received by Berkley previous to the first of June, which is the date of his proclamation. But if the first note of the British minister could admit of a doubt as to his sincerity, surely the second must end every such idea, both as to the general disposition of Mr. Canning as well as to the meaning of the former communication. He declares to Mr. Munroe the readiness of his majesty to make reparation for the alledged injury to the sovereignty of the United States, and that he had already assured him of that disposition in the
note which he had addressed to Mr. Munroe on the first receipt of the intelligence.' In addition to this, Mr. Canning declares that his majesty neither does nor has at any time maintained the pretension to search ships of war in the national service of any state for deserters.'
The next chapter (VI.) relates to the conduct of the American government, in their negociations with England in consequence of this ca. tastrophe. And our author seems inclined to adopt Mr. Madison's visionary opinion, (and in entire opposition to that expressed by Mr. Mun. roe to Mr. Canning.) that the attack on the Chesapeak afforded an opportunity for enforcing our long contested claims of the universal immunity of the American flag in merchant ships, too favourable
* Documents published by order of the House of Representatives.
to be relinquished. The persisting in maintaining this claim in consequerice of a particular outrage committed against us, as an indemnity for the aggression was manifestly unreasonable, when the disavowal by Mr. Canning of the pretension which the violent act implied is taken into consideration. The act was an apparent enforcement of a claim to search national ships for deserters; the British government disavow the act and disclaim all such pretensions. With what propriety then, could our government demand as an item in the amount of reparation due for this particular outrage, the concession of a general principle, which had for years been the subject of negociation, and was equally as difficult to settle then as at the beginning of the controversy? The right of the belligerent to search neutral merchant ships for deserters, is novel in its nature ; since the inconvenience of the practice had never been materially felt, until the independence of the United States had been acknowledged by Great-Britain. Though, according to our author, the “real pith' of the controversy, may be the interestwhich both governments have in maintaining their several claims, yet it cannot be denied that in reasoning upon the subject, the right must result either from the continued practice of nations in similar cases, or if those fail as, from such general principles of equity as may fairly establish a new doctrine of international law. However reason may be derided by gove ernments, it is clear that they sometimes submit to it, or the British would not have disavowed the right to search national ships for deserters any sooner than merchant vessels, since her interest, which accor. ding to our author is the only test by which she is to be tried, is as strong in the one case as the other. We will consider for a moment, the question of the right of search in merchant ships, both as regards the practice and equity attending it.
In estimating the practice of nations though we cannot find cases exa&tly parallel to our own in consequence of the relative circumstances of America and Great-Britain being entirely dissimilar to those in which any two modern nations have ever been placed, yet we can discover admissions on the part of neutrals, which if allowed by us, would soon settle the controversy. In the treaty of Great-Britain with Russia, 1766, Article III, it is stipulated that
“ Neither the sailors nor passengers shall be forced to enter against their will into the service of either of the two high contracting pow. ers, excepting however, such of their subjects as they may want for their own proper service ; and if a domestick or sailor desert bis service or his ship he shall be restored.' In the same treaty, article X. the manner of search is provided for.
In the treaty of England, with Sweden, 1654, concluded at Upsal, it is acknowledged by the XIIth article, that it is necessary for neutral vessels to have what are denominated safe conducts, commonly called passports and certificates,' in order to exempt their merchandize, ships and men from capture when visited by the ships of war of the belliger. ent.' These safe conducts,' apply to the men as well as merchandize, and when properly authenticated, were sufficient protection. The same principle is again recognized in the treaties of 1666 and 1972, XIIth article.
The treaty of England with Denmark, 1670, concluded at Copen. hagen, in the XXth article, provides as follows. After prescribing the form of the passport necessary to secure the vessel, goods and men, it proceeds thus
. When therefore, the merchandize, goods, ships, or men of either of the confederates and their subjects and people shall meet in open sea, straights, ports, &c. the ships of war, &c. of the other confederate, upon exhibiting only the aforesaid safe conduct, there shall be no. thing more required of them, nor shall search be made after the goods, ships or nien, &c. but if this solemn and set form of passport and certificate be not exhibited, or that there be any other urgent cause of suspicion, then the ship shall be searched, &c.
Various other treaties recognize the same right. The treaty with Sardinia, concluded at Florence, 1669, XIIth article, has the following provision, which however, may only mean whilst the ships are in port; but the principle it conveys is in decided opposition to our pretensions.
• All mariners, subjects of his majesty, who shall desert their own captain or master and enter in any other ship or vessel, upon com, plaint made to the officer of his Royal Highness, at Rizza, Villa Franca, or St. Hospitio, shall be taken from the ship that received them, and be restored to their first captain or master.'
The States General, in consequence of an attempt by an English man of war, in 1654, to search a fleet of merchant ships under convoy, undertook the discussion of the right, and their conclusion was, that the refusal to let merchantmen be searched could not be persisted in.'*
These instances are sufficient to shew the practice and principles of nations, respecting the right of search ; we do not pretend to assert they will warrant the flagrant and unjustifiable practice of Great-Britain on this subject against which alone all our best arguments are appli. cable ; but we think they will afford some authority under which her right can be maintained. But if the previous practice of nations could not be produced to illustrate the subject, we are of opinion that the opposi. tion of our government can have but little ground of argument even on such principles of equity as must originally serve for the foundation of international doctrines. All the declamation of Mr. Madison about the unprecedented conduct of Great-Britain, is nugatory. The practice of searching for contraband was unprecedented once ; but it did not follow
See Ordeal, page 117.
that equity would not authorize the assumption of the right. The gen. eral principle is, that the neutral in prosecuting his commerce, shall not materially and directly injure the friendly belligerent. If he does, the remedy is for the belligerent to put a stop to his underhand hostility, after he has ascertained its fatal operation. We maintain that if it be just to search neutral merchant vessels for contraband goods, it is equally so to search them for deserters; as it is difficult to perceive why the principle which is just in one instance should not be so in the other. At all events we should be happy to see the distinction fairly pointed out.
Under such impressions we cannot agree with our author, that it was right or judicious in our government to require the ambassadour at the Court of St. James, to mingle the subject of reparation for an acknowl. edged wrong with claims for an immunity, which, to say the least, was of doubtful right, and ought to have been kept perfectly distinct from the controversy on an act, where (the principle which it includes being disavowed,) the only question was as to the amount of reparation due for the injury sustained.
(To be continued.]
MR. MADISON'S SUPPORTERS.
EVER since the election of the new President, we have heard his praises resounded, whilst his political opponents have been branded with every opprobrious epithet which ignorance coupled with vulgar malignity could invent. But we have lately met with a production of rather an elevated description; far from grovelling in the bathos, the author frequently soars into the sublime. His Pegasus indeed, appears rather restive, but the rider maintains his seat to the end of his journey. As it is a pity that the most luminous talent on the democratick side, should waste its effulgence in the desert, and as we wish to satisfy the democrats of our willingness to sustain the weight of the arguments of their most formidable controvertists, we subjoin a few extracts from
An Oration pronounced at Portsmouth, by Samuel Haines, A. M. on the 4th of March, 1809. Our author introduces his subject in a most elegant style: despising the rules of criticism, he keeps propriety of meaning and metaphorical chasteness at a disdainful distance ; as the following sentence of five lines containing six metaphors and two personifications, will abundantly evince.
• When the trump of fame proclaims to the universe the vanquishment of the demon of despotism, and the frustration of his mad designs and nefarious machinations, the goddess of liberty adds a new laurel to her wreath of victory, and a fresh plume to her crown of glory
He proceeds thus loftily to compliment the illustrious patriot and statesman,' Mr. Madison, the venerable constitution of our political compact,' whilst he denounces with great vehemence the infernal conspiracies of the dark plotting Catalines of America,' who he afterwards tells us are a party of no inconsiderable pretensions. In the course of his observations he takes occasion to make use of the ensu. ing metaphors; the bold-pinioned eagle of America, is placed among • wind-woven clouds, of sulphureous faction, surcharged with nitrick gasses,' &c. &c. Then he speaks of poisoned quivers' being thrown from complicated artillery.' But let us hear Mr. Haines himself.
* Essentially and constitutionally hostile to the vital principles of republican freedom, the mighty monarchies of the east are co-operating in their exertions to expel liberty from the world. But the bold pinioned Eagle of America is still seen soaring amid the angry collisions of those wind-woven clouds of sulphureous faction (surcharged with the nitrick gasses of Britanical influence) which have darkened the politịcal horizon of the western hemisphere, His towering height defies all the poisoned quivers, foreign despotism and internal treason are able to throw from their complicated artillery.'
Then our author's pathos begins to rise and he soon attains the very pinnacle of sublimity.
The voice of an injured country hath invcked unanimity.-Nay, the blood of our revolutionary martyrs hath been heard from the ground !—The solemn eloquence of the death-sleeping fathers of our surviving republick hath spoken from the tomb !-The heaven-enthroned spirit of our departed Chief hath descended on a beam of his celes. tial glory, and whispered awful admonitions to his rebellious children beneath the spheres !-Yet, they heed it not, nor is their wrath abated,
Shakespeare's scene in ' A Midsụmmer Night's Dream' then attracts his attention, as Hamlet's soliloquy on death has the good fortune to do immediately afterwards. He speaks of trembling shocks,'. furious treason,' • frantick blood,' portentous clouds,' shuddering worlds,' and many other expressions which remind us how Nick Bottom's
The inhabitants of Boston now receive the most tremendous phil. lippick.