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The flag of truce which you may charge with your reply will find one of my cruisers at Sandy Hook, ten days after the landing of this dispatch, which I have directed to call there with a flag of truce for that purpose.
I have the honour to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient and most faithful humble servant,
JOHN BORLASE WARREN, Admiral of the Blue, and Commander in Chief, &c.
Mr. Monroe to Sir F. B. Warren. Sir,
Department of State, Oct. 27, 1812. I have had the honour to receive your letter of the 30th ult. and to submit it to the consideration of the president.
It appears that you are authorized to propose a cessation of hostilities between the United States and Great Britain, on the ground of the repeal of the orders in council, and, in case the proposition is acceded to, to take measures in concert with this government, to carry it into complete effect on both sides.
You state, also, that you have it in charge, in that event, to enter into an arrangement with the government of the United States for the repeal of the laws which interdict the ships of war and the commerce of Great Britain from the harbours and waters of the United States. And you intimate, that if the proposition is not acceded to, the orders in council (repealed conditionally by that of the 23d of June last) will be revived against the commerce of the United States.
I am instructed to inform you, that it will be very satisfactory to the president to meet the British government in such arrangements as may terminate without delay the hostilities which now exist between the United States and Great Britain, on conditions honourable to both nations.
At the moment of the declaration of war, the president gave a signal proof of the attachment of the United States to peace. Instructions were given at that early period to the late charge des affaires of the United States at London, to propose to the British government an armistice, on conditions which it was presumed would have been satisfactory. It has been seen with regret that the proposition made by Mr. Russell, particularly in regard to the important interest of impressment, was rejected, and that none was offered through that channel, as a basis on which hostilities might cease.
As your government has authorized you to propose a cessation of hostilities, and is doubtless aware of the important and salutary effect which a satisfactory adjustment of this difference cannot fail to have on the future relations between the two coun
tries, I indulge the hope that it has, ere this, given you full power for the purpose. Experience has evinced that no peace can be durable unless this object is provided for. It is presumed, therefore, that it is equally the interest of both countries to adjust it at this time.
Without farther discussing questions of right, the president is desirous to provide a remedy for the evils complained of on both sides. The claim of the British government is to take from the merchant vessels of other countries, British subjects. In the practice, the commanders of British ships of war often take from the merchant vessels of the United States, American citizens. If the United States prohibit the employment of British subjects in their service, and enforce the prohibition by suitable regulations and penalties, the motive for the practice is ta
It is in this mode that the president is willing to accommodate this important controversy with the British government, and it cannot be conceived on what ground the arrangement can be refused.
A suspension of the practice of impressment, pending the armistice, seems to be a necessary consequence. It cannot be presumed, while the parties are engaged in a negociation to adjust amicably this important difference, that the United States would admit the right or acquiesce in the practice of the opposite party; or that Great Britain would be unwilling to restrain her cruizers from a practice which would have the strongest tendency to defeat the negociation. It is presumable that both parties would enter into the negociation with a sincere desire to give it effect. For this purpose it is necessary that a clear and distinct understanding be first obtained between them, of the accommodation which each is prepared to make. If the British government is willing to suspend the practice of impressment from American vessels, on consideration that the United States will exclude British seamen from their service, the regulations by which this compromise should be carried into effect would be solely the object of negociation. The armistice would be of short duration. If the parties agreed, peace would be the result. If the negociation failed, each would be restored to its former state, and to all its pretensions, by recurring to war.
Lord Castlereagh, in his note to Mr. Russell, seems to have supposed, that, had the British government accepted the proposition made to it, Great Britain would have suspended immediately the exercise of a right, on the mere assurance of this government that a law would be afterwards passed to prohibit the employment of British seamen in the service of the United States, and that Great Britain would have no agency in the regulations to give effect to that prohibition. Such an idea was not in the contemplation of this government, nor is it to be reasonably inferred from Mr. Russell's note; lest, however, by possibility such an inference might be drawn from the instructions to Mr. Russell, and anxious that there should be no misunderstanding in the case, subsequent instructions were given to Mr. Russell, with a view to obviate every objection of the kind alluded to. As they bear date on the 27th July, and were forwarded by the British packet Althea, it is more than probable that they may
have been received and acted on. I am happy to explain to you thus fully the views of my government on this important subject. The president desires that the war which exists between our countries should be terminated on such conditions as may secure a solid and durable peace. To accomplish this great object it is necessary that the interest of impressment be satisfactorily arranged. He is willing that Great Britain should be secured against the evils of which she complains. He seeks on the other hand that the citizens of the United States should be protected against a practice which, while it degrades the nation, deprives them of their rights as freemen, takes them by force from their families and their country into a foreign service, to fight the battles of a foreign power, perhaps against their own kindred and country.
I abstain from entering, in this communication, into other grounds of difference. The orders in council having been repealed (with a reservation not impairing a corresponding right on the part of the United States), and no illegal blockades revived or instituted in their stead, and an understanding being obtained on the subject of impressment, in the mode herein proposed, the president is willing to agree to a cessation of hostilities, with a view to arrange by treaty, in a more distinct and ample manner, and to the satisfaction of both parties, every other subject of controversy.
I will only add, that if there be no objection to an accommodation of the difference relating to impressment, in the mode proposed, other than the suspension of the British claim to impressment during the armistice, there can be none to proceeding without the armistice to an immediate discussion and
arrangement of an article on that subject. This great question being satisfactorily adjusted, the way will be open for an armistice, or any other course leading most conveniently and expeditiously to a general pacification. I have the honour, &c.
Letter from Mr. Russell to the Secretary of State, inclosing a
correspondence with Lord Castlereagh, on the subject of the repeal of the orders in council.
herein à copy
my note of
Mr. Russell to Mr. Monroe.
London, 25th May, 1812.
you the 20th of this month, communicating to lord Castlereagh a decree of the French government, dated the 28th of February, 1811, and of two letters of the French ministers of the 25th of December, 1810. I also send you copies of that decree, and of a note from his lordship acknowledging the receipt of my communication, and engaging to submit the documents above mentioned to his royal highness the prince regent. I have the honour, &c.
· Mr. Russell to Lord Castlereagh.
As these acts explicitly recognize the revocation of the Berlin and Milan decrees, in relation to the United States, and distinctly make this revocation to take effect from the 1st November, 1810, the undersigned cannot but persuade himself that they will, in the official and authentic form in which they are now presented to his Britannic majesty's government, remove all doubt with respect to the revocation in question, and, joined with all the powerful considerations of justice and expediency, so often suggested, lead to a like repeal of the Britis orders in council, and thereby to a renewal of that perfect amity and unrestricted intercourse between this country and the United States, which the obvious interests of both nations require. The undersigned avails himself, &c.
18, Bentinck st. 20th May, 1812. JONA. RUSSELL. [TRANSLATION.] Palace of St. Cloud, 28th April, 1811.
Napoleon, Emperor of the French, &c.
Seeing by a law passed on the 2d March, 1811, the congress of the United States has ordered the execution of the provi
sions of the act of non-intercourse, which prohibits the vessels and merchandise of Great Britain, her colonies and dependen.cies, from entering into the ports of the United States.
Considering that the said law is an act of resistance to the arbitrary pretensions consecrated by the British orders in council, and a formal refusal to adhere to a system invading the independence of neutral powers and of their fag; we have ordered and do decree as follows:
The decrees of Berlin and Milan are definitively, and to date from 1st November last, considered as not existing in regard to American vessels.
NAPOLEON. By the emperor, the minister secretary of state,
THE COUNT DARA.
Lord Castlereagh to Mr. Russell.
Foreign Office, May 23, 1812. Lord Castlereagh presents his compliments to Mr. Russell, and has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of his official pote of 20th instant, transmitting copies of two official letters of the French ministers, and of a decree of the French government, bearing date the 28th of April, 1811. Lord Castlereagh will immediately lay these documents before his royal highness the prince regent, and avails himself of this opportunity to renew to Mr. Russell the assurances of his high consideration. Jonathan Russell, Esq. &c.
Mr. Russell to the Secretary of State.
London, 26th June, 1812.
To this decree I have added copies of two notes of the same
his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, in Council. Whereas his royal highness the prince regent was pleased to declare, in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, on the 21st day of April, 1812," that if at any time hereafter the Berlin and Milan decrees shall, by some authentic act of the French government, publicly promulgated, be absolutely and unconditionally repealed, then, and from thenceforth, the order