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declared, your commerce will be swept from the surface of the deep. We should gather in this capital. We should gather in our merchant ships. We should, in truth, sir, act like provident husbandmen. Let us therefore go into our unprotected fields, cut down our hárSest and remove it into places of security, that our enemies and not ourselves may be the gleaners in the field.
If, sir, the resolution now under consideration should be adopted, the whole system will form a strange picture. You may touch it with the master pencil of a Reubens, it will still be a homely picture, incongruous in its parts, and in the whole ungraceful. It does appear to me to be a perfect anomaly, a measure which can be classed under neither the general head of peace or war. The Lacedemonians, it is sạid, put to death all deformed infants. I trust this House will be endued with a Lacedemonian spirit which will crush this creature in the deformity of its birth, and that it will not be suffered to hang a dead weight on the nation.
Thus, sir, have I offered to you a few of the reasons which operate upon my mind, and which will induce me to vote against the resolution. I have done so to prevent a misconstruction of my motives, and that my reasons may go with my vote to my constituents. I should have placed my views in a clearer light upon this subject to the House, but the embarrassments,inseparable from one who is unac. customed to address deliberative assemblies, have prevented me from doing to the subject that justice which it inerits.
[Documents---Continued from No. 13.)
Mr. Russell to Mr. Pinkney.
Paris, December 27, 1810.
The vessel you mention, the Charles, having on board a large quantity of turpentine, which is considered here as naval stores, will probably be condemned for carrying contraband of war to an enemy, without any reference to the Berlin and Milan decrees.
On the other hand, the American vessels which have been permitted to land their outward cargoes in the ports of France, and take in return cargoes to the United States, are, as far as I can learn, but two in number, and in fact arrived before the first of November, and to them the decrees were not applicable. The other vessels which have taken away cargocs arrived here in ballast, and were recommended by special circumstances to the consideration of this government.
Nothing can therefore be inferred either for or against the revoca
tion of the French edicts, from the facts referred to in your letter of the 6th instant.
Since I last wrote, however, I have learnt the seizure and capture of two or three American vessels, but the course which this government will pursue in relation to them, being marked out by the letters of the minister of justice to the president of the council of prizes, and from the minister of finance to the director general of the customs, which you will find in the Moniteurs which I herewith send to you, it is unnecessary to enter into a particular detail of the circumstances which attended these cases.
I am willing to believe that what this government has done, altho' it may not be entirely satisfactory to the United States, will at least be sufficient to procure from the British government a repeal of the orders in council, and the restoration of all American property taken under them since the first of November.
It is possible that the French cruisers may hereafter continue their depredations, but abuses of this kind are very distinct from the operation of the Berlin and Milan decrees, and cannot, by the most extravagant construction of the law of retortion, afford a pretext for the continuance of the British orders. I am, Sir, &c. &c. (Signed)
JON, RUSSELL. Mr. Russell to Mr. Pinkney. SIR,
PARIS, December 30, 1810. A gentleman called on me last evening from the duke of Cadore, to inform me that the American schooner, the Grace Ann Greene, had been released.
This vessel arrived at Marseilles since the first of November, and was last from Gibraltar, where she had remained some time. As she came clearly within the Berlin and Milan decrees, her release may be considered as conclusive evidence of their revocation. I am, sir, with very great respect, your very humble servant,
Correspondence of Mr. Fobn Spear Smitb.
Extract of a letter from J. S. Smith, esquire, to the Secretary of State, dated
London, May 25, 1811. “ I had yesterday for the first time, an interview with lord Wellesley, and presented to him the letters of introduction that Mr. Pinkt ney had given me, and he received me in the most polite manner.”
Mr. J. $. Smith to Marquis Wellesley. MY LORD,
London, May 27, 1811. I have the honor to inform your lordship (from official information, this day received by me from Paris,) that all the American ves
sels which have voluntarily arrived in France, since the first of November, have been admitted. This (if any additional evidence of the repeal of the Berlin and Milan decrees were wanting.) will sufficiently establish the fact of their revocation, as most of the vessels now admitted, would otherwise have been subject to their operation. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your lordship's Most obedient and humble 'servant, (Signed)
J. S. SMITH.
Extract of a letter from Mr. John S. Smith, to the Secretary of State, dated
“ LONDON, 8th June, 1811. “ Enclosed is the copy of a letter which I addressed to lord Wellesley on the 5th instant. I had delayed making this communication in the hope that I should do it at the interview which he had promised me, and which I again requested on the 3d instant. I did not consider it necessary to enter at length into a subject which has been so often and so ably discussed, and on which nothing has been left to add. I shall, however, enter into any explanations that may be necessary when I again see his lordship.”
Mr. J. S. Smith to Lord Welleslev. MY LORD,
Bentinck-Street, 5th June, 1811. I have the honor to communicate to your lordship the copy of an act passed during the last session of Congress, which, though it renews certain parts of the non-intercourse law against this country, yet it carefully gives to the president the authority to repeal it " when Great Britain shall so revoke or modify her edicts as that they shall cease to violate the neutral commerce of the United States." In this, as well as in the other provisions of the act, his majesty's government cannot fail to observe the invariable disposition of the U. States to preserve harmony with Great Britain, and to re-establish that happy intercourse between the two nations, which it is so much the interest of both to cultivate; and the president confidently expects that his majesty will not hesitate to abandon a system, always urged to be merely retaliatory, now that its causes have ceased to exist.
I have the honor to inform your lordship that the gentleman who will be the bearer of my despatches to the United States, in the John Adams, will leave town on Friday evening, and that I shall be happy to forward by the same occasion any despatches that your lordship may wish to send to the Uvited States.
I have the honor to be, &c. &c.
J. S. SMITH.
Mr. Smith, Charge d'Affaires at London, to the Secretary of State of
the United States. SIR,
LONDON, 6th June, 1811. I have the honor to enclose a report of the trial of the Fox and others.
The John Adams will leave Cowes this week; the messenger goes down to-morrow evening.
I have the honor to be, &c.
J. S. SMITH.
COURT OF ADMIRALTY.
Thursday, May 30th, 1811.
In the course of the discussion a question has been started, what would be the duty of the court under orders in courcil that were repugnant to the law of nations? It has been contended on one fide, that the court would at all events be bound to enforce the orders in council : on the other, that the court would be bound to apply the rule of the law of nations applying to the particular cafe, in disregard of the orders in council. I have not obferved, however, that thưfe orders in council, in their retaliatory character, have been described in the argument as at all repugnant to the law of nations, however liable to be so described it merely orig. inal and abstract ; and therefore it is rather to correct possible mis. apprehenfion on the subject than from the fense of any obligation which the present difcuffion imposes upon me, that I observe that this court is bound to administer the la: 4 of nations to the subjects of other countries in the different relations in which they may be placed towards this country and its government. This is what other countries have a right to demand for their fubjccts, and to complain if they receive it not. This is its unwritter law evinced in the course of its decisions, and collected from the common usage of civilized states. At the same time it is strictly true, that by the constitution of this country, the king in council poslesses legislative rights over this court, and has power to issue orders and instructions which it is bound to obey and enforce; and those con. ftitute the written law of this court. These two propositions, that the court is bound to adminifter the law of nations, and that it is bound to enforce the king's orders in council, are not at all incon
sistent with each other ; because there orders and instructions are presumed to conform themselves, under the given circumstances, to the principles of its unwritten law. They are either direi tory applications of those principles to the cafes indicated in them -cafes which, with all the facts and circumftances belonging to them, and which coostitute their legal character, could be but imperfectly known to the court itself; or they are positive regulations, consistent with those principles, applying to inatters which require more exact and definite rules than those general principles are capable of furnishing.
The constitution of this court, relatively to the legislative power of the king in council, is analogous to that of the courts of common law relatively to that of the parliament of this kingdom. Those courts have their unwritten law, the approved principles of natural reafon and justice-they have likewise the written or Itat. ute law in acts of parliament, which are directory applications of the same principles to particular subjects, or positive regulations confiftent with them, upon matters which would remain too much at large if they were left to the imperfect information which the courts could exact from mere general speculations. What would be the cluty of the individu als who prefide in those courts if re quired to enforce an act of parliament which contradicted those principles, is a question which I presume they would not enteriain a priori, because they will not enter tain a priori the fuppofi. tion that any such will arise. In like manner this court will not let itfelf loose into speculations as to what would be its duty under such an emergency, because it cannot, without extrenie inde. cency, presume that any such emergency will happen ; and it is the less disposed to entertain them, because its own observation and experience attest the general conformity of such orders and instructions to its principles of unwritten law. In the particular cafe of the orders and inftructions which give rise to the present question, the court has not heard it at all maintained in argument, that as retaliatory orders they are not conformable to such principles--for retaliatory orders they are. They are so declared in their own language, and in the uniform language of the govern. ment which has establilled them. I have no hesitation in fay. ing, that they would cears to be just if they ceased to be retalia. tory; and they would cease to be retaliatory, from the moment the enemy retracts in a sincere manner thofe measures of his which they were intended to retaliate.
The first question is, what is the proper evidence for this court to receive, under all the circumstances that belong to the case, in proof of the fact that he has made a bona fide retractation of those measures. Upon this point it appears to me that the proper evidence for the court to receive, is the declaration of the state itself, which issued these retaliatory orders, that it revokes them in confequence of such a change having taken place in the conduct of the enemy. When the state, in consequence of grofs outrages