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A VINDICATION OF THE AMERICAN CHARACTER,
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
Or, an Impartial Summary of the Actions fought, during the late
BETWEEN THE SHIPS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND THOSE OF
Tros Tyriusve mihi nailo discrimine agetur.-VIRGIL.
to me the same,
Your Troy and Tyre shall difer but in name.-PITT.
COPIOUS NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY
BRODIE AND DOWDING SALISBURY;
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, BROWN, AND GREEN,
THE AMERICAN CHARACTER,
From the Aspersions of the Quarterly Reviewers.
To Robert Southey, Esq.
The complacency with which you make mention of me in a work composed in the maturity of your taste and judgment, excites in my feelings a goodwill towards you; and I now shew my deep sense of your distinguished favour by inscribing to you this volume. It relates to the seamen of a great and misrepresented.
* The seamen of America have found an eulogist in Burke [See page 238 of this Volume], and a detractor in James. Utrum horum mavis accipe? James, in his dull, unconnected Narrative, has as-> serted, in unqualified language, unsupported by any specific testimony, that when the Essex, after her most gallant conflict with the Phoebe and Cherub See page-315 of this Volumel, was boarded by the British officers, buckets of spirits were found in all parts of the “main-deck; and most of the prisoners were in a state of intoxica"tion."
O, horrible! O, horrible!"most horrible!
The prisoners! of a complement of 285 Americans, opposed to 421 English, forming the combined crews of the hostile ships, only 111 escaped death or wounds; and those ought not to incur obloquy from an consubstantiated accusation. But the charge is necessarily invalidated by the behaviour of the English Commodore, who, touched with Captain Porter's defence of the Essex, returned him his sword, with a letter appreciating his gallantry. To contend that every circumstance of the action must have been known to him, and that he would have been accessary to his own degradation in complimenting Captain Porter, had he been guilty of countenancing, such enormities, and presided over a crew in a state of drunken delirium, would be a work of supererogation."