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it, while the enemy's original provocation remains unrepealed, might lead to false conclusions, as to the efficacy of the decrees of France, and might hold out a dangerous temptation to that power to resort to the same system on any future occasion ; a result, which not Great Britain alone, but all commercial nations are deeply interested in preventing.

I have now, sir, only to express my sense of the candour and liberality with which this discussion has been conducted on your part, and my acknowledgments for the justice which you render to my disposition to treat you at all times with reciprocal respect, and to listen to you with the attention, to which personally, as well as officially, you have every claim.

I cannot forego the hope that it may yet fall to our lot to be instrumental in the renewal of that good understanding between our two governments, which is as congenial to the feelings, as it is essential to the interests of both countries ; which nothing but the forced and unnatural state of the world could have interrupted, and which there is on the part of the British government, the most anxious and unabated desire to restore. I have the honour to be, &c.


Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Madison. London, Dec. 3, 1808.

Sir, I have the honour to send enclosed a copy of my reply to Mr. Canning's letter to me of the 22d ultimo. A copy of the letter, to which it is an answer, was transmitted a few days since by the British packet, and a duplicate has been sent to Liverpool..

The Union is not yet arrived from France; and we have no intelligence of her. I have the honour to be, &c.

WM. PINKNEY. The Hon. James Madison, &c. &c. &c.

Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Canning. Great Cumberland Pluce,

Nov. 28, 1808. Sir, I have had the honour to receive your letter of the 22d instant, and to transmit a copy of it to my government.

Without desiring to protract a discussion, in the conduct of which neither your sincerity nor mine, will, I feel assured, be doubted by any one, I may be permitted to say, that the authority, under which I acted in our late communications, was not contingent, as you now appear to conjecture, and that the remark contained in my letter of the 10th of October, " that the provisional nature of my offer to make my proposal in writing, arose out of circumstances,” will be found explained in the same letter, by passages which immediately follow the remark.

I have said in my letter of October 10, that “I had no precise instructions” as to the manner of conducting and illustrating the subject" confided to my management; but you will suffer me to enter my friendly protest against all suppositions that “the manner, the time, and the conditions of the overture were left to my own discretion," " that I had the power nearly absolute" over it, or that it - was “in a great measure of my own suggestion.”

I will trouble you no further, sir, on this occasion than to assure you that nothing could give me more sincere pleasure than to see fulfilled the hope which you express, that it may yet fall to our lot to be instrumental in the renewal of good understanding between our two governments. I have the honour to be, &c.





Unwilling to depart from examples, of the most revered authority, I avail myself of the occasion now presented, to express the profound impression made on me, by the call of my country to the station, to the duties of which I am about to pledge myself, by the most solemn of sanctions. So distinguished a mark of confidence proceeding from the deliberate and tranquil suffrage of a free and virtuous nation, would, under any circumstances, have commanded my gratitude and devotion, as well as filled me with an awsul sense of the trust to be assumed. Under the various circumstances which give peculiar solemnity to the existing period, I feel that both the ho. nour and the responsibility allotted to me, are inexpressibly enhanced.

The present situation of the world is indeed without a parallel; and that of our country full of difficulties. The pressure of these two, is the more severely felt, because they have fallen upon us at a moment when national prosperity being at a height not before attained, the contrast resulting from this change, has been rendered the more striking. Under the benign influence of our republican institutions, and the maintenance of peace with all nations, whilst so many of them were engaged in bloody and wasteful wars, the fruits of a just policy were enjoyed in an unrivalled growth of our faculties and resources. Proofs of this were seen in the improvements of agriculture; in the successful enterprises of commerce ; in the progress of manufactures and useful arts; in the increase of the publick revenue and the use made of it in reducing the publick debt; and in the raluable works and establishments every where multiplying over the face of our land.

It is a precious reflection that the transition from this prosperous condition of our country, to the scene which has for some time been distressing us, is not chargeable on any unwarrantable views, nor, as I trust, on any involuntary errours in the publick councils. Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it has been the true glory of the United States to cultivate peace by observing justice, and to entitle themselves to the respect of the nations at war, by fulfilling their neutral obligations, with the most scrupulous impar. tiality. If their be candour in the world, the truth of these assertions will not be questioned. Posterity at least will do justice to them.

This unexceptionable course could not avail against the injustice and violence of the belligerent powers. In their rage against each other, or impelled by more direct motives, principles of retaliation have been introduced, equally contrary to universal reason and acknowledged law. How long their arbitrary edicts will be continued in spite of the demonstrations, that not even a pretext for them has been given by the United States, and of the fair and liberal attempts to indùce a revocation of them, cannot be anticipated. Assuring myself that, under every vicissitude, the determined spirit and united councils of the pation will be safe guards to its honour and its essential interests, I repair to the post assigned me with no other discouragement than what springs from my own inadequacy to its high duties. If I do not sink under the weight of this deep conviction, it is because I find some support in a consciousness of the purposes, and a confidence in the principles which I bring with me into this arduous service.

To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations, having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality towards belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences, to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence, too just to invade the rights of others; too proud to surrender our own; too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves, and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; 10 hold

the union of the states as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the constitution which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the states and to the people, as equally incorporated with, and essential to the success of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the rights, of conscience or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve to their full energy the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press; to observe economy in publick expenditures; to liberate the publick resources by an honourable discharge of the publick debts ; to keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering, that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republicks, that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger; nor, with large ones, safe ; to promote by authorized means, improvements friendly to agriculture, to manufactures, and to external, as well as internal commerce ; to favour, in like manner, the advancement of science and the diffusion of information, as the best aliment to true liberty ; to carry on the benevolent plans which have been so meritoriously applied to the conversion of our aboriginal neighbours from the de. gradation and wretchedness of savage life, to a participation of the improvements of which the human mind and manners are susceptible in a civilized state. As far as sentiments and intentions such as these can aid the fulfilment of my duty, they will be a resource which cannot fail me.'

It is my good fortune, moreover, to have the path in which I am to tread, lighted by examples of illustrious services, successfully rendered in the most trying difficulties by those who have marched before me. Of those of my immediate predecessor, it might least become me here to speak—1 may, however, be pardoned for not suppressing the sympathy, with which my heart is full, in the rich reward he enjoys in the benedictions of a beloved country, gratefully bestowed for exalted talents, zealously devoted, ihrough a long career, to the advancement of its highest interest and happiness. But the source to which I look for the aids, which alone can supply my deficiencies, is in the well tried intelligence and virtue of my fellow-citi

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