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The government of the United States considers indemnity for injuries received, under the orders in council, and other edicts violating the rights of the American nation, to be incident to their repeal, and it believes that satisfactory provision will be made, in the definitive treaty to be hereafter negociated, for this purpose.
The conditions now offered to the British government, for the termination of the war, by an armistice, as above stated, are so moderate and just in themselves, and so entirely consistent with its interest and honour, that a confident hope is indulged, that it will not hesitate to accept them. In so doing it will abandon no right; it will sacrifice no interest; it will abstain only from violating the rights of the United States, and, in return, it will restore peace with the power from whom, in a friendly commercial intercourse, so many advantages are to be derived.
Your lordship is, undoubtedly, aware of the serious difficulties with which a prosecution of the war, even for a short period, must necessarily embarrass all future attempts at accommodation. Passions, exasperated by injuries--alliances or conquests, on terms which forbid their abandonment will inevitably hereafter embitter and protract a contest which might now be so easily and happily terminated.
Deeply impressed with these truths, I cannot but persuade myself, that his royal highness the prince regent will take into his early consideration the propositions herein made, on behalf of the United States, and decide on them in a spirit of conciliation and justice.
I have the honour to be, with high consideration, my lord, your lordship’s most obedient servant,
JONA. RUSSELL. To the right hon. lord viscount Castlereagh, &c.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Russell. Sir,
Foreign Office, August 29, 1812. Although the diplomatic relations between the two governments have been terminated by a declaration of war on the part of the United States, I have not hesitated, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, and the authority under which you act, to submit to the prince regent the proposition, contained in your letter of the 24th instant, for a suspension of hostilities.
From the period at which your instructions must have been issued, it is obvious that this overture was determined upon by the government of the United States, in ignorance of the order in council of the 23d of June last; and as you inform me that
you are not at liberty to depart from the conditions set forth in your letter, it only remains for me to acquaint you, that the prince regent feels himself under the necessity of declining to accede to the proposition therein contained, as being, on various grounds, absolutely inadmissible.
As soon as there was reason to apprehend that Mr. Foster's functions might have ceased in America, and that he might have been obliged to withdraw himself, in consequence of war being declared, from the United States, before the above-mentioned order of the 23d of June, and the instructions consequent thereupon could have reached him, measures were taken for authorizing the British admiral on the American station, to propose to the government of the United States, an immediate and reciprocal revocation of all hostile orders, with the tender of giving full effect, in the event of hostilities being discontinued, to the provisions of the said order, upon the conditions therein specified. From this statement you will perceive that the view you
have taken of this part of the subject is incorrect; and that, in the present state of the relations between the two countries, the operation of the order of the 23d of June, can only be defeated by a refusal, on the part of your government, to desist from hostilities, or to comply with the conditions expressed in the said order.
Under the circumstances of your having no powers to negociate, I must decline entering into a detailed discussion of the propositions which you have been directed to bring forward.
I cannot, however, refrain, on one single point, from expressing my surprise ; namely, that, as a condition preliminary even to a suspension of hostilities, the government of the United States should have thought fit to demand, that the British government should desist from its ancient and accustomed practice of impressing British seamen from the merchant ships of a foreign state, simply on the assurance that a law shall hereafter be passed to prohibit the employment of British seamen in the public or commercial service of that state.
The British government, now, as heretofore, is ready to receive from the government of the United States, and amicably to discuss, any proposition which professes to have in view either to check abuse in the exercise of the practice of impressment, or to accomplish, by means less liable to vexation, the object for which impressment has hitherto been found necessary; but they cannot consent to suspend the exercise of a right upon which the naval strength of the empire mainly depends, until they are fully convinced that means can be devised, and
will be adopted, by which the object to be obtained by the exercise of that right, can be effectually secured.
I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
CASTLEREAGH. 7. Russell, esq. &c.
Mr. Russell to Lord Castlereagh. My lord,
18, Bentinck-street, 1st September, 1812. I have learnt, with much regret, by your lordship’s note, dated the 29th ult. which I did not receive until this morning, that the prince regent has thought proper to decline to accede to the proposition for a suspension of hostilities, contained in my note of the 24th of August.
It has been matter of surprise to me, that my view, with regard to the revocation of the orders in council on the 23d of June last, should have been considered to have been incorrect, when it appears, by your lordship’s note, that the British government itself has deemed it necessary to give powers to the British admiral to stipulate for its full effect, and thereby admitted that a new act was required for that
purpose. It now only remains for me to announce to your lordship, that it is my intention to embark immediately at Plymouth, on board the ship Lark, for the United States, and to request that permission
may be granted, as soon as may be, for the embarkation of my servants, baggage, and the effects of this legation, and that the necessary passports may be furnished for my own and their safe conduct to that destination.
I avail myself of this occasion to apprise your lordship, that I am authorized by the government of the United States to leave Reuben Gaunt Beasley, esq. as its agent for prisoners of war in this country, and to desire that every necessary facility may be afforded him in the exercise of that trust, by the British government.
I have the honour to be, my lord, your lordship’s most obedient humble servant,
• JONA. RUSSELL. The right hon. lord viscount Castlereagh, &c.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Monroe. Sir,
London, Sept. 3, 1812. I enclose herein a copy of a note, received yesterday from lord Castlereagh, which will acquaint you that I have obtained my passports to return to the United States, and that Mr. Beasley is permitted to remain here as agent for prisoners of war.
Immediately on demanding my passports, I addressed to the consuls a circular, of which you will also find a copy enclosed.
The Swiftsure packet sailed on the 31st of last month from Falmouth for America, and it is very probable that she takes out instructions, suggested by the overture made here, but there is no reason to believe that they can be of a nature to satisfy the United States.
I have the honour to be, with great consideration, your faithful and obedient servant,
JONA. RUSSELL. The Hon. James Monroe, &c.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Russell. Sir,
Foreign Office, September 2, 1812. I have laid before his royal highness the prince regent, your letter of the 1st instant, in which you announce your intention to embark immediately, at Plymouth, on board the ship Lark, for the United States.
I have already had the honour of forwarding to you an admiralty order for the protection of that ship, as a cartel, on her voy. age to America, and I herewith enclose to you a passport, for the free embarkation of yourself and family, in conformity to your request. The lords commissioners of his majesty's treasury will issue directions to the commissioners of the customs, to give every facility to the embarkation of your effects.
If, previous to your departure from England, you can point out to me any particular manner in which I can facilitate your arrangements, I beg that you will command my services.
His royal highness has commanded me to signify to you, for the information of your government, that there will be no difficulty in allowing Mr. Reuben Gaunt Beasley, as stated in your letter, to reside in this country, as the United States agent for prisoners of war.
I have the honour to subscribe myself, with great truth and consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
CASTLEREAGH. F. Russell, Esq. &c.
Correspondence between Sir J. B. Warren and the Secretary
of State, Sir,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sept. 30, 1812. The departure of Mr. Foster from America, has devolved upon me the charge of making known to you, for the information of the government of the United States, the sentiments en
tertained by his royal highness the prince regent, upon the existing relations of the two countries.
You will observe, from the enclosed copy of an order in council, bearing date the 23d of June, 1812, that the orders in council of the 7th of January, 1807, and the 26th of April, 1809, ceased to exist nearly at the same time that the government of the United States declared war against his majesty.
Immediately on the receipt of this declaration in London, the order in council, of which a copy is herewith enclosed to you, was issued on the 31st day of July, for the embargo and detention of all American ships.
Under these circumstances, I am commanded to propose to your government the immediate cessation of hostilities between the two countries, and I shall be most happy to be the instrument of bringing about a reconciliation, so interesting and beneficial to America and Great Britain.
I therefore propose to you, that the government of the United States of America shall instantly recall their letters of marque and reprisal against British ships, together with all orders and instructions for any acts of hostility whatever against the territories of his majesty or the persons or property of his subjects; with the understanding, that, immediately on my receiving from you an official assurance to that effect, I shall instruct all the of. ficers under my command to desist from corresponding measures of war, against the ships and property of the United States, and that I shall transmit without delay, corresponding intelligence to the several parts of the world where hostilities may have coming
inenced; the British commanders in which, will be required to discontinue hostilities from the receipt of such notice.
Should the American government accede to the above proposal for terminating hostilities, I am authorised to arrange with you as to the revocation of the laws which interdict the commerce and ships of war of Great Britain from the harbours and waters of the United States; in default of which revocation within such reasonable periods as may be agreed upon, you will observe by the order of the 23d June, the orders in council of January, 1807, and April, 1809, are to be revived.
The officer who conveys this letter to the American coast has received my orders to put to sea immediately upon the delivery of this dispatch to the competent authority; and I earnestly recommend that no time may be lost in communicating to me the decision of your government, persuaded as I feel that it cannot but be of a nature to lead to a speedy termination of the present differences,