Page images

of Messrs. Compte and Co. to their new sovereign, they cannot be freed from the confiscation incurred by the terms of the decrees, by a permission of the French generals, (of which no evidence exists,) nor by any thing less than a special authorization of the French government, which they do not pretend to have even solicited.

The council, of course, decides, that the prize of the New Guide and cargo is just, and are to be sold according to the prescribed forms, for the use of the owners of the privateer.

They invite the minister of marine, to seek information concerning the charts and instruments of navigation, which, the captain of the New Guide says were carried from his cabin, after he was put on board the privateer.

The William, of Norfolk, formerly named the Augusta, was a French vessel, and by some means or other became neutralized; she was sequestered at Trequier; the captain declared upon examination, that he came from Bergen, where he had unloaded grain, which he brought from St. Maloes. The French consul at Bremen, certified that this vessel had not been at that port.

The vessel was confiscated. She was considered by the court as French property.

The Wareham, captain Chadwig. This vessel arrived at Charente the 8th Oct. 1808; the captain declared that he came from Teneriffe, and that during his voyage he had touched at no port, nor had he been visited by an English vessel. This declaration was confirmed by the testimony of eight mariners.

Information was afterwards received from the isle of Ré, that she had unloaded at Plymouth; a certificate was received from the consul of the United States, and from the French maritime agent, at Bremen, that the ship did not leave this port at the period mentioned by the captain.

Two sailors of the Amphion declared, that they saw her in Plymouth in August or September, 1808, where she was undergoing certain repairs.

Independently of the confiscation of the vessel, the penalty incurred by false declaration is put in force; as the seamen, who gave this evidence, did not belong to the vessel, it belongs to the government to decide what recompense they merit.

The sum to be paid is 11,000 francs, for the captain and his crew, ten in number, who are to remain in prison till it is paid. The forged papers are to be sent to the minister of justice, who will employ such measures concerning them as he may think fit.

The Kitty, captain Matthews, was acquitted, because there was no evidence that she had been in England, or visited by an English vessel; the captain declared that he came from the coast of Holland, from which he departed the 19th June, 1808 ; on leaving Rotterdam, she had two bottles of brandy on board; but the court decided that this did not constitute a cargo, and might have been consumed by the crew, as the captain asserts. The captain is obliged to pay all expenses relating to seizure. We know from the consignee, that this vessel came from England, and of course the declaration made by the captain, was false.

The Minerva, captain Jenkins, was despatched from New York to Rotterdain, the 9th of October, 1807, where she arrived the 4th of January, 1808. The captain declared, that on the 21st June she proceeded from this port to Bergen, where she arrived the 3d of July ; that on the 8th of same month, she left the latter place, in ballast, for. Charente, where she arrived the 6th of August following; that on the 28th of the same month, she was freighted to a house at Charente, to take a cargo of brandies for Bremen, who put 450 pipes on board ; that she had received her passport, and paid duties, amounting to 1,527 francs, when the officers of customs, suspecting the truth of the declaration of the crew, proceeded to a new examination ; the answers were the same as before, and nevertheless the vessel was seized the 7th of January, 1809, and the captain and crew confined in prison, with the exception of two who had escaped. This measure was taken, in consequence of some marks of forgery, which the certificate of health and passport of quarantine presented.

The members of the court found the papers to differ from those which were issued from the same press, and this they considered as a proof that she did not come from Bergen, but from some prohibited port. The captain is sentenced to pay the sum of 11,000 francs, for himself and



ten mariners. The false papers are to be sent to the minister of justice.

The Canton, captain Henry Latham, according to the captain's declaration, was at Amsterdam the 13th August, 1808; this fact was attested by his crew. The French consul, in Holland, certified that this vessel was not at Amsterdam at that period of time. The desertion of some of the crew, and the want of the usual passport of the king of Holland, were considered as proofs that the vessel had been at Britain ; she was accordingly confiscated, and a fine of 9000 francs imposed, which must be paid before the captain and six men of the crew are enlarged.

This vessel had taken brandies aboard, which, by a decision of the court, are given up to the proprietors at Charente, on the supposition that the fraud was not known at the time they were shipped.



OF REPRESENTATIVES.. JAN. 12, 1810. I COMMUNICATE to the House of Representatives the report of the Secretary of State on the subject of their resolution of the 3d instant.



The Secretary of State has the honour to report to the President, in conformity to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 3d instant, that no information has been received at the department of state relative to the blockade of the ports of the Baltick by France, and of the exclusion of neutral vessels by Russia, Sweden, and Denmark. As it is presumed, however, that the enclosed papers, the first a translation of an “ Ukase” of the Rus

sian government, dated on the 14th of May, 1809, and the second, a translation furnished to this department on the 10th of January last, by the charge des affaires of Denmark, of such parts of the instructions given to the privateers of that country on the 14th September, 1807, as were supposed to be most interesting to neutrals, may have some connection with the object of the resolutior., they are respectfully submitted.

R. SMITH. Department of State, Jan. 11, 1810.

It is known to the whole world with what firmness Russia has long protected the neutral trade during the wars of the European powers. It is known with what courage she has defended the interests of the nations trading in peace from the flames of war. Following this invariable principle also, during the present rupture with England, she fully relied that illicit practices would not be admitted in the trade with nations in amity with us. But, as we have learned by experience, during the last year, that the enemy found means through the medium of neutral vessels of obtaining the produce he required, and of exchanging his own, to his aggrandizement, whereby we were lately necessitated to order two ships to be confiscated; for these causes, finding it indispensable to take measures for the prevention of various frauds and artifices, we command,

1st. That ships arriving in our ports shall prove the neutrality of the property, by the following documents, viz. Of the ship : by the pass, the ship's register, the muster-roll, and the log-book. Of the cargo: by the charter party, the bills of lading, the declaration certificates of origin ; if all the cargo or part thereof belongs to the captain ; and by the invoices, if the ship comes from America or India, or if she be destined for those countries. If any of these documents cannot be produced by the captain, such ship shall be sent out of port, without being permitted to unload.

2d. Ships loaded in part with goods which shall be proved to be the produce or manufacture of an enemy's country shall be detained. The goods shall be confiscated and sold by publick sale, for the benefit of the crown. If more than half of the cargo consists of such goods, then not only the cargo, but the ship also shall be confiscated.

3d. A pass granted by a neutral, friendly, or allied power, shall not protect a captain if it be discovered that he has acted in opposition thereto; nor if the ship bear a name in the pass different from that designated in the other documents, unless proofs of the change of the name, certified by some established authority of the place from whence the ship comes, compose part of the documents of the said ship, and be presented to the custom house. In such case, the captain is not to be criminated for the difference in the name of the ship.

4th. The pass shall not be considered as valid should it be discovered that the ship receiving such pass was not, when the pass was given, in a port of the power giving the pass.

5th. If there be found on board of any ship a supercargo, a captain, or more than one third of the crew, subjects of an unfriendly power; or if the ship have 'not a muster-roll certified by the supreme authority of such neutral place as. the ship comes from, such ship and cargo shall be confiscated, and the crew set at liberty.

6th. If it be discovered that the ship's pass presented by the captain, has been altered or forged, such ship and cargo shall be confiscated; the captain shall be prosecuted and proceeded with as directed by the laws regarding forgers of documents, and the crew set at liberty.

7th. If duplicate documents be discovered on board of a ship with different destinations, such ship and cargo shall be confiscated. If the captain endeavour to justify himself by asserting the total loss of his papers, and should not procure them, such ship and cargo shall be detained, and a reasonable time, considering the distance of the place, shall be granted for the producing of them, if the captain desires it : on the contrary, should the captain be unable to wait, the ship, with the cargo, shall be immediately sent out of port. But should the captain, on the expiration of the time granted him, not produce the papers, the ship and cargo shall be confiscated.

8th. No enemies' built ships shall be acknowledged as neutral or friendly, unless there be among the documents of such ship, an act certified by some publick court, proving

« PreviousContinue »