« PreviousContinue »
that the sale or transfer was made before the declaration of war. In any other case, the ship and cargo shall be confiscated.
9th. If the proprietor or master of the ship, being born subjects of an unfriendly power, should have a pass from a neutral or friendly power, such pass shall not protect them until they prove that they became subjects of and settled in the territories of a neutral or friendly power before the declaration of the war; otherwise they shall be sent away with their ships, without being permitted to take return cargoes.
COUNT ROMANZOFF. Si. Petersburgh, May 14, 1809.
TRANSLATION. Regulations for Vessels commissioned as Privateers, dated
Rensburg, Sept. 14, 1807. Sect. 1. Defines the qualifications for privateers. 2. Form of commission. 3. Regulates the security to be given by the owner.
4. It is the duty of every one thus lawfully commissioned, to take and bring in for adjudication, all ships and vessels belonging to the British crown or to British subjects, and he may also bring in for examination all such ships and vessels as may render themselves suspicious by a deviation from some of those in section 9, given definitions, and in whose papers he finds a founded suspicion that they do not belong to subjects of friendly or neutral powers ; and he may further bring in for examination all such ships and vessels as at the commencement of hostilities were British property, notwithstanding they may have been, by later purchase or contract, made over to subjects of other nations, except by regular papers, passports and sea letters, it satisfactorily appears that they have been in some friendly or neutral port after they had ceased to be British property.
5. Orders respect to be paid to the territory of neutral or friendly powers, and such territory is considered to ex- . tend to one sea league from the land.
6. As we recognise it to be a fundamental principle, never to be departed from, that a free ship makes the goods on board free also, so do we strictly forbid our cruisers commissioned as privateers, to detain any vessel be. longing to friendly or neutral powers, be the cargo whose it will provided the ship's papers are in proper order, and no part of the cargo contraband of war, bound to a port or place under the British dominion.
7. As free ships makes free the goods on board, so does enemy's ships make the cargo hostile, unless it clearly appears that they are the property of neutrals loaded be. fore the commencement of the war, or before the war was known at the place at which it was taken on board, and before the papers of the vessel were expedited.
8. The papers which according to the 6th article ought to be on board in due form, are (a,) a sea pass ; (b) the proof of the carpenter as to the building of the vessel; (c) a register and certificate of measurement; (d) a muster roll; (e) a clearance; (f) a charter party or bills of lading; (g) and for such vessels as have passed the sound, a clearance from Elsinore: every ship or vessel which has so passed and is found without such clearance, will be condemned as lawful prize to the captor.-Royal Plaiat dal. Copenhagen, 14th November, 1807.
9. As good prize will be considered, all vessels which belong to the crown of Great Britain, or to British subjects in whatever part of the world they reside. Further, shall, after due investigation, according to the particular circumstances of the case, be condemned aš good prize :
(a) All vessels which shall be found at sea without sea pass; or, (b,) when the pass or other documents are found to be false; (c) when they are found in a course different from that expressed in their pass, unless forced thereto by storms, bad weather, pursuit of an enemy, or other accidents or distress, which must be proved by the journal; (d,) when loaded wholly or in part with contraband of war, which on investigation shall be destined to a British port; (e) when a vessel is detained or about to be detained by a privateer offers resistance; (f,) such ships or vessels as shall approach a squadron blockading a Danish town, port or province, in order to trade with it or to carry it proVisions.
10. Enumerates the articles which constitute contraband of war.
11. Directs the conduct to be observed at sea towards ships belonging to neutral or friendly powers ; the privateer, in case of suspicion only, to board such vessels.
12. The crews of privateers are forbidden to break open any drawer, trunk, or package, or any part of the cargo; but in case of suspicion of contraband of war, they may require of the master of the neutral ship to open himsell with the assistance of his own people, unless he should prefer to be carried into port for examination....prescribes penalty for acting contrary.
13. Conduct to be observed towards vessels detained until they reach port.
14. All prizes to be sent into Danish or Norwegian ports, under the penalty of forfeiture of the commission; distress of weather, pursuit of an enemy, &c. excepted.
15. Regulates the examination and first proceedings in the case of a vessel carried in, and of the officer whose duty it is to attend thereto; the act of examination duly attested, and a lawful inventory of the cargo and ship to be sent to the prize court.
16. Regulates the duty of the prize court, &c. in giving judgment, all circumstances are to be duly considered, but no other letter or papers to be produced as evidence against the vessel or cargo, except such as were actually found on board at the time of its detention.
17. Provides a prize court for every province in Denmark and Norway, and one for each of the duchies..
18. Respects appeals to the high court of admiralty.
19. When a privateer detains a vessel without any of those justifiable causes before mentioned, all reasonable expenses and damages arising therefrom, must be made good by such privateers; but if the detained vessel shall not be furnished with regular papers, the capturing vessel shall be acquitted from all the consequences of such detention.
20. Provides for the sale at publick auction of all prizes condemned, deducting from the proceeds of the sale, one per cent, for the use of the marine hospital at Copenhagen; exempts from duty, tonnage, and all other charges, vessels and cargoes detained.
21. Directs the crews of vessels condemned as prize, if British subjects, to be sent to the nearest fortress, there to be considered as prisoners of war; and such as are subjects of friendly or neutral powers, to be delivered to the consuls of their respective nations.
22. Directs a copy of these regulations to be on board every privateer. Given in our city and fortress of Rensburg, the 14th
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FEB. 9, 1810. I TRANSMIT to the House a report of the Secretary of State, complying with their resolution of the twenty-second of January
The Secretary of State, to whom the President has been pleased to refer the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 22d of last month, has the honour to state, that it appears from the records in this department, that in the years 1801 and 1802, the Executive had endeavoured . to obtain for the citizens of the United States, residing on the waters of Tombigbee and Alabama rivers, the free navigation of the Mobile river to its confluence with the ocean.- 1st. by claiming this navigation as a natural right, sanctioned by the general principles of the law of nations, applicable to rivers similarly situated ; and 2d, by endeavouring to purchase the country held by Spain on the Mobile.
These efforts were made before it was known that Spain had ceded Louisiana to France, and consequently before the purchase of that province by the United States. Since
that purchase, the country held by Spain on the Mobile has been claimed as being included therein.
The Spanish government having objected to this claim in a manner which justified a belief that the question would not be soon decided, our minister at Madrid was instructed again to claim the free navigation of the Mobile, under the general principles of the law of nations, and to represent to his catholick majesty the propriety and necessity of giving orders to his officers not to interrupt the free communication with our territories through the waters of the Mobile.
In addition to what has been done through this depart. ment, it appears that the governour of the Orleans territory and other officers of the United States have endeavoured to induce the Spanish authorities on the Mobile to abstain from exacting duties on the passage of our merchandise or produce up or down that river. Notwithstand. ing, however, every thing which has been done, it is understood that these authorities have continued to exact (with some occasional relaxations) a duty of twelve per cent.
on all articles of the growth or manufacture of the United States, which are conveyed through said river to and from the city of New Orleans." All which is respectfully submitted."
R. SMITH. Department of State, Feb. 8, 1810.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, TO THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FEB. 17, 1810.
I TRANSMIT reports of the Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, complying with their resolution of the fifth instant.
JAMES MADISON. VOL. VII.