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The following documents were not communicated in time to be
inserted in the order of date. Copy of a Letter from Sir John Jervis, to Thomas Grif
fith, Esq. Barbadoes. SIR,—The several French West India islands are to be considered as under blockade, from the arrival of the armament at Barbadoes, the 6th of January: therefore all neutral vessels, trading with these islands within that pe. riod, are clearly intended to come within the king's order. in council, dated the 6th of November, 1793.
J. JERVIS. Boyne, in Fort Royal Bay, Martinico,
13th March, 1794.
INSTRUCTIONS To the Commanders of all Ships of War and Privateers that
have, or may have, Letters of Marque against France. - August 18, 1794.
GEORGE R. Whereas by an article of our instructions to the commanders of our ships of war and privateers, having letters of marque against France, given at our court at St. James, the 8th day of June, 1793, we thought fit to declare, that it should be lawful to stop and detain all ships laden wholly, or in part, with corn, flour, or meal, bound to any port in France, or any port occupied by the armies of France, and to send them to such ports as should be most convenient, in order that such corn, meal, or flour, might be purchased on behalf of our government, and the ships be released after such purchase, and after a due allowance for freight, or that the masters of such ships, on giving due security, to be approved by our court of admiralty, should be permitted to dispose of their cargoes of corn, meal, or flour, in the ports of any power in amity with us. We, not judging it expedient to continue for the present the purchase of the said cargoes on behalf of our govern ment, are pleased to revoke the said article, until our farther order therein; and to declare that the same shall no
longer remain in force. But we strictly enjoin all our commanders of our ships of war and privateers, to observe the remaining articles of the said instructions; and, likewise, all other instructions which we have issued, and which still continue in force.
His Britannick Majesty's Ship Captain, oft Cadiz, April
11, 1797. ŞIR,In consequence of the unprovoked declaration of war,, by the king of Spain, against his Britannick majesty and the British nation, it is thought right that Spain should no longer have any trade. I have therefore the honour to acquaint you, that no neutral vessel will be permitted, in future, to enter or leave the port of Cadiz, unless by leave obtained from me, or the commander in chief of the British fleet, and that from this moment Cadiz is to be considered as a blockaded port. I have the honour, &c. &c.
SHORATIO NELSON. To the American and Danish Consuls at Cadiz.
PROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CON
GRESS. JAN. 17, 1809. I COMMUNICATE to Congress certain letters which passed between the British secretary of state, Mr. Canning, and Mr. Pinkney, our minister plenipotentiary at London. When the documents concerning the relations between the United States and Great Britain were laid before Congress, at the commencement of the session, the answer of Mr. Pinkney to the letter of Mr. Canning had not been received, and a communication of the letter alone would have accorded neither with propriety, nor with the wishes of Mr. Pinkney. When that answer afterwards arrived, it was considered that as what had passed in conversation had been superseded by the written and formal correspon
dence on the subject, the variance in the statement of what had verbally passed was not of sufficient importance to be made the matter of a distinct and special communication. The letter of Mr. Canning, however, having lately appeared in print, unaccompanied by that of Mr. Pinkney, in reply, and having a tendency to make im. pressions not warranted by the statements of Mr. Pinkney, it has become proper that the whole should be brought into publick view.
London, September 24, 1808. Sir, I am now enabled to transmit to you a copy of Mr. Canning's answer, received only last night, to my note of the 23d of August.
This answer was accompanied by a letter, of which also a copy is enclosed, recapitulating what Mr. Canning supposes to be the substance of what has passed between us at our several interviews, previous to the presentation of my official letter."
To the accompanying paper, I think it indispensable that I should reply without delay; supporting, with politeness, but with firmness, the statements, which I have already had the honour to make to you, of the conversations in question, and correcting some errours upon points, which Mr. Canning has thought fit to introduce into his letter, but which I had not supposed it necessary to mention in detail in my despatches.
I shall not detain Mr. Atwater with a view to this reply, but will take care to forward a copy of it by an early conveyance. My official note and the answer to it being perfectly explicit, Mr. Canning's misapprehensions (for such they are) of previous verbal communications can scarcely be very important in a publick view; but it is, nevertheless, of some consequence that, whatever may be the object of his statement, I should not make myself a party to its inaccuracies, by even a tacit admission of them.
I do not perceive that a formal reply to the more official paper can now be of any advantage ; but I shall probably
take occasion to combine with my reply to the one paper some observations upon the other.
I regret extremely that the views which I have been instructed to lay before this government, have not been met by it as I had at first been led to expect. The overture cannot fail, however, to place in a strong light, the just and liberal sentiments by which our government is animated, and in other respects to be useful and honourable to our country. I have the honour to be, &c. ,
WILLIAM PINKNEY. The Hon. James Madison, &c. &c. &c.
Foreign Office, September 23, 1808. Sir, In laying before the king your letter of the 23d August, and in communicating to you the enclosed answer, which I have received his majesty's commands to return to it, I confess that I feel some little embarrassment from the repeated references which your letter contains, to what has passed between us in conversation; an embarrassment arising in no degree (as you are perfectly aware) from any feeling of distrust in you personally, but from a recollection of the misrepresentation which took place in America of former conferences between us. You gave me on that occasion the most satisfactory proof that such misrepresentation did not originate with you, by communicating to me that part of your despatch in which the conferences particularly referred to were related, and related correctly; but this very circumstance while it establishes your personal claim to entire confidence, proves, at the same time, that a faithful report of a conference on your part, is not a security against its misrepresentation.
It was for that reason principally that, after hearing with the most respectful attention all that you had to state to me verbally on the subject of the present overture, I felt myself under the necessity of requiring as indispensable," a written communication upon the subject.
It is for that reason also, that as, in your written communication, you refer me to our late conversations for the “ bearings and details” of your proposal, I feel it necessary to recapitulate, as shortly as I can, what I conceive to
have passed in those conversations, beyond what I find recorded in your letter.
The principal points in which the suggestions brought forward by you in personal conference, appear to me to have differed in some degree from the proposal now stated by you in writing—are two-the first, that in conversation the proposal itself was not distinctly stated as an overture authorized by your government-the second, that the beneficial consequences likely to result to this country from the acceptance of that proposal, were “pursued” through more ample “ illustrations.
In the first of our conferences, I understood you to say little more, on the authority of your government, than that you were instructed to remonstrate against the orders in council, of the 7th of January, and of the 11th of November, 1807; but to add, as from yourself, an expression of your own conviction, that if those orders were repealed, the President of the United States would suspend the embargo with respect to Great Britain. Upon the consequences of such a suspension of the embargo, while it would still con- tinue to be enforced against France, you expatiated largely, still speaking, however, as I understood, your own indivi. dual sentiments.
It was suggested by you that America, in that case, would probably arm her merchant ships against the aggressions of France-an expedient to which, you observed, it would be perfectly idle to resort against Great Britain. The collision of armed vessels would probably produce war, and the United States would be thus brought into the very situation in which we must wish to place them—that of hostility to France, and virtual, if not formal alliance with Great Britain.
In our second conference, you repeated and enforced these arguments, calculated to induce the British government to consent to the repeal of the orders in council, and in this conference, though not stating yourself to be authorized by your government, formally to offer the suspension of the embargo as an immediate consequence of that repeal, yet you did profess (as I understood you) a readiness to take upon yourself to make that offer, provided that I would give you beforehand an unofficial assurance that coupled with that offer so made, the demand of the repeal of the