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I am compelled to understand the Executive recommendation, not as merely confined to the raising the men, but to extend to the employment of the men when raised, for offensive purposes against the British possessions in North America. For what other purpose could the Executive recommend the raising of men ? Could it be to defend the country from invasion, or to quell insurrection ? Certainly not. For no invasion or insurrection is apprehended : if, therefore, the mere raising the force will be a compliance with the Executive recommendation, as the gentleman seems to believe it will, you must then accuse the Executive of wishing to increase their own patronage, by creating a useless and unnecessary army in time of peace, and thereby conjuring down on themselves the united curses of their own friends. The uniform opinion of the Executive, in the legislature, as well as in the cabinet, is a perfect refutation of this idea-yet you must attach this erroneous inconsistency to the Executive, or admit that his recommendation to raise the force was made with the intention of using the force, as soon as raised, in offensive war; and it is with this view alone that we can be justified in voting for the resolutions on your table. Indeed, sir, my opinion was, , and still is, as I expressed it in the committee of the whole house on this subject, to wit: that the better mode of proceeding would be, first to lay an embargo on all the ships and vessels of the United States for a limited time, as a measure of precaution, as well as a necessary preliminary to the commencement of hostilities, and as an exposition of our intentions to this nation as well as to others.
As my remarks in the committee of the whole house have been liable to some misapprehension, I now beg leave to explain them to the house.
When the first five resolutions on your table shall have passed this house, and arrive in England, accompanied with the commentary on them, given by the committee of foreign relations, England cannot misunderstand their meaning. If then England determines to conciliate this country by withdrawing the orders in council, the matter will end very well; but if she determines to permit us to proceed to hostility with her, is it not probable she will strike the first blow by sweeping from the ocean every inch of American canvass? What security have you that England will not adopt such a course? Do you expect she will be deterred from it by the principles of morality, or her ancient usage ? Sir, British history will furnish you with cases in point. At the commencement of the war of 1756, long before any declaration of war had taken place between France and England, secret orders were given by the English admiralty, to sweep the ocean of French commerce; which was executed accordingly; and American commerce may share a similar fate.
My apprehensions on this subject are strengthened by a recurrence to the origin of our differences with England. Out of what did they arise? Principally from the great prosperity of American commerce. Before the year 1807, the English traders were met in almost every
port and harbor of the world, by the Americans; and the Americans had the faculty of out-trading the English merchants. This excited the jealousy of the English, to whom it seemed strange, that Americn commerce and tonnage, unprotected as it was by naval force, saould be second only to England, and arriving fast to an equality both in amount and value with them, who were protected by one thousand ships of war. The object of the government of England seems to me, was to give a preference to her own commerce by crippliog that of others; and if such were and now are her views, by proceeding as we do, we furnish the fairest opportunity to England to give your commerce a blow that it will not recover in half a century. By restraining your merchants within your ports and harbors, and enabling them to bring home their property from abroad, you would not only increase the means of carrying on the war, but in the mean time preparations would be made for carrying it on with more effect at the outset. It is not to be concealed, that before the commencement of hostilities you must resort to an embargo: no com mercial nation can, without the most obvious absurdity, go to war with a naval power without first laying an embargo for three or four months. And when, I ask, will you proceed to lay your embargo ? Certainly it ought to be very shortly, if you expect the campaign to open next spring. Such a course would have a happy effect on your recruiting service: no man then could either mistake or mistrust your views; and the best population in your country, perceiving that the nation was about to engage in a war, where laurels might be won, would flock to your standard.
But, sir, as matters now stand, your first five resolutions looking to war, and the sixth resolution calculated only for a state of peace, the yeomanry of the country will recollect the fate of the army of 6000, and will reluctantly engage in your service, lest they too should be employed in an ignoble warfare against the fens of the Mississippi, and the hosts of musquetoes and gallinippers with which they are infested.
This, sir, is my view of the subject : but as we all appear to be travelling to one result, and only differ about the route which would be most advisable, and gentlemen whose superior wisdom, talents, and experience, I am bound to venerate, differ with me as to the mode of proceeding, and have determined not to go with me, I will go with them; at the same time, if any accident should happen, I shall have nothing to answer for ---My constituents have no ships.
[Debates to be continued.]
[Documents---Continued from No. 11.]
Mr. Pinkney to Lord Wellesley. MY LORD, Great Cumberland Place, January 14, 1811.
After a lapse of many months since I had the honor to receive and convey to my government your lordship's repeated assurances, written as well as verbal, (which you declined, however, to put into an official form) " that it was your intention immediately to recommend the appointment of a minister plenipotentiary from the king to the United States, "the B itish gover ment contin. ues to be represented at Washington by a charge d'affuires; and no steps whatever appear to have been taken to tulfil we expecta. tion which the abovementioned assurances produced and justi. fied.
In this state of things it has become my duty to inform your lordship, in compliance with my instructions, that the govern. ment of the United States cannot continue to be represented here by a minister plenipotentiary.
As soon, therefore, as the situation of the king's government will perinit, I shall wish to take my leave, and return to Amer. ica in the United States frigate EMix, now at Plymouth, having firit named, as I am fpecially authorized to do, a fit perlon to take charge of the American legation in this country.
I have the honor to be, with great respect and consideration, my lord, your lordship's most obedient humble fervant, (Signed)
Mr. Pinkney to Lord Wellesley. My Lord, Great Cumberland Place, January 15, 1811.
I have the honor to inform you that it has been represented to me, that two Antican verels (the fchooner Polly and the schooner Mary) laden with cod fish, and bound from Marblehead to Bordeaux, in France, have, since the 1st instant, been captured and brought into Plymouth as a prize, for an imputed breach of the orders in council.
It is my duty to demard the restoration of the fe vessels and their cargoes to the American owners, together with compensation for their unjust detention, and liberty to resume the voyages which that detention has interrupted.
I have the honor to be, &c.
WM. PINKNEY. Extract of a letter from Mr. Pinkney, to the Secretary of State of the
London, February 12, 1811. “I received a few hours since, a letter from Lord Welle Ney (of which a copy is enclosed) in answer to mine of the 14th ulti. mo, respecting the British orders in council and blockades."
Lord Wellesley to Mr. Pinkney. SIR
Foreign UFFICE, February 11, 1811. The letter which I had the honor to n ceive from you, under dze the 14th of January, 1811, has been submitted to his royal highness the prince Icgent.
In communicating to you the orders which I have received from his royal highness on the fubject of your litter, I am commanded to abstain from any course of arguineni, and from any expressions, which (however justified by the general tenor of your observations) might tend to interrupt the good understanding, which it is the wish of his royal highness, on the behalf of his ma. jesty, to maintain with the government of the United States.
No statement contained in your letter app ars to affect the gen. eral principles, which I had the honor to communicate to you in my letter of the 29th of December, 1810.
Great Britain has always insisted upon her right of felf-defence against the system of commercial warfare pursued by France, and the British orders of council were founded upon a juft principle of retaliation against the French decrees. The incidental operation of the orders of Council upon the cornmerce of the United States, (although deeply to be lamented) must be ascribed <xclusively to ine violence and injustice of the enemy, which compelled this country to rifort to adequate means of defence. It cannot now be amitted that the foundation of the original question should be changed, and that the .n asure of ri-taliation adopted against France should now be relinquished, at the desire of ine Uniti d States, without any reference to the actual conduct of the enemy. The intention has been repeatedly declared of repealing the orders of council, whenever France Thall actually have rivoked the de. cree of Berlin and Milan, and shall have restored the trade of neu. tral nations to the condition in which it stood previously to the promulgation of those decrees. Even admitting that France has suspended the operation of those decrees, or has repealed them, with reference to the United States, it is evident that she has not relinquished the conditions exprt Isly declared in the letter of the French minister, under date of Aug. 5, 1810. France, therefore, requires that G. Britain shall not only repeal the orders of council, but renounce those principles of blockaile which are alledged in the same letter to be ne v; an allegation which must be understood to refer to the introductory part of the Berlin decree. If Great Britain shall not submit to these terms, it is plainly intimated in the faine letter that France requires America to enforce them.
To these conditions, his royal highness, on behalf of his ma. jesty, cannot accide. No principles of blockade have been pro. mulgated or acted upon by Great Britain previously to the Berlin decree, which are not strictly conformable to the rights of civil. ized war, and to the approved usages and law of nations. The blockades established by the orders of council rest on separate grounds, and are justified by the principles of necessary retaliation in which they originated.
The conditions exacted by France, would require Great Brit. ain to surrender to the enemy the most important maritime rights and interests of the united kingdoms.
I am commanded to inform you that his royal highness cannot confent to blend the question which has arisen upon the orders of council, with any discussion of the general principles of blockade.
This declaration does not preclude any amicable discussion upon the subject of any particular blockade, of which the circumstances may appear to the government of the United States to be exceptionable, or to require explanation. I have the honor to be, &c. &c. (Signed)
WELLESLEY, Mr. Pinkney to Lord Wellesley. MY LORD,
London, February 13, 1811 I have bad the honor to receive your letter of the 11th instant, and will transmit a copy of it to my government. I can have no inducement to trouble your lordship any farther upon the subject to which it relates: I have the honor to be, &c. &c.
Lord Wellesley to Mr. Pinkney. The marquis Wellesley has the honor to inform Mr Pinkney, that his royal highness, the prince regent, will receive the foreign ministers at his levee at Carlton house, on Tuesday next, the 19th instant, at two o'clock.
Foreign Office, February 12, 1811.
Mr. Pinkney to Lord Wellesley. MY LORD, Great Cumberland Place, February 13, 1811.
Referring to my letter of the 14th of last month, I beg to be informed by your lordship, at what time his royal highness the prince rigent will do me the honor to give me audience of leave. I have the honor to be, &c. (Signed)
WM. PINKNEY. Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smith. Sir,
London, Febr. 16, 1811. I received at a very late hour last night two notes (bearing date “February 15, 1811”) of which copies, marked No. 1, and No. 2, are inclosed.
Taken together (as of course they must be) they announce the oppointment of Mr. Foster as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States, and set forth the reasons why an appointment has been so long delayed.
You will preceive, in the second and third paragraphs of the un