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lcave, and the requisite means, to return to France, on condition of not bearing Arms against this Country until they should have been regularly exchanged. On their arrival, these Prisoners were removed from the British Cartels to French Transports, and immediately sent BACK to the West Indies, where they were compelled to bear arms against us under the infamous VICTOR HUGUES. With respect to our Cartel Ships, they were seized, and the English on-board sent to share the fate at that time intended for all British Prisoners in France. Such a violation of all that is held more sacred in War, we believe is not to be found in the Annals of any People. It is one of the many instances the French Republic affords, of Human and National Depravity in its last and worst stage, unknown in the History of Man or Nations, before the introduction of what, in the cant of Revolutionists, is called Modern Philosophy.
It is unnecessary to state the particulars of the numerous, but well-authenticated instances of cruelty experienced by our Countrymen during the Winter of 1794-5, a season of severity almost unparalleled in these climates. In no case were they allowed either clothing or fuel, and in some places express orders were given to afford them no other subsitence THAN THE OFFALS THAT MIGHT BE COLLECTED IN THE STREETS. Neither Age or Kank, Wounds or Infirmities, could procure any mitigation of these shocking severities, from which even Women and Infants were not exempted.
The sufferings and insults to which General O'HARA* was exposed; the long and severe confinement of Lady
• There is every reason to believe that the French Government, after exposing General O'Hara (notwithstanding his wounds) on his
EXAMINER. 281 ANNE FITZROY and Colonel WESLEY, taken as Passengers on board a Packet coming from Lisbon, where, they had gone to attend Mr. FITZROY (Lady Anne's husband) in his last moments *; the hardships endured by Capt. Cotes and Rear-Admiral Bligh, cannot be effaced from the recollection of our Readers.
The system pursued in the West Indies was no less atrocious than in Europe. The Troops sent back from France to that quarter, we have already observed, had forfeited, by the terms of submission granted them but a few months before, all right to bear arms against us until exchanged. What, on their first success at Guadaloupe, was their conduct to our Army, in return for the' humane and liberal treatment they had so lately experienced ? The British were obliged to lay down their arms at Ber
arrival at Paris, as a public Spectacle, to the scoffs and taunts of the mob, seriously entertained at that moment the design of sending him to the Guillotine, and that they were deterred from it only by a vigorous Remonstrance and threat of retaliation on the part of our Government. In his confinement, however, he was treated (during fifteen months) with all the severity and precautions usually practised with respect to condemned Criminals, and frequently told, from autbority, that his execution would speedily take place.
* In contrast to this act of cruelty, we cannot but recal to our Readers a case somewhat similar, in which the claims to compassion, though comparatively weak, immediately found access to the generous feelings of a British Officer. We cannot state the circumstance better than by quoting Sir EDWARD PELLEw's Public Dispatch to the Admi
“ The Wife of the Governor of the Port of Rochefort, Madame Le “ LARGE, AND HIER FAMILY, wire on board, whom, with her Son, an Ensigo
in ebe Ship, I suffered to return to France in a Neutral Ve:scl, taking ibe Parole “ of the young man not to serve until exchanged.”
See Sir EDWARD Pellew's account of the Capture of the Unité, in the London Gazette, 26th April, 1796.
ville Camp, in that island, on the 6th of October, 1794. Their Capitulation in one point was the same as they had so recently granted, and so honourably fulfilled towards those very persons to whom, by a reverse of fortune, they were then obliged to surrender, namely, “ That « they should be sent back without delay to Great Bri“ tain.” But how was this condition fulfilled ? Both Officers and Men were indiscriminately crowded into Prison Ships moored in Basse-terre Roads, where, with the exception of a very few who escaped about eighteen months afterwards, they fell victims to the contagion with which those floating dungeons were infected.
At Grenada, the conduct of the French was still more horrible. Lieutenant Governor HOME, and about forty. principal Planters of the Island, having surrendered themselves Prisoners of War in the month of March, 1795, were shot a few days afterwards, by order of Victor Hugues, in front of the French Camp.
The following Letter tends to shew that his designs against the Governor of Martinique are no less sanguinary, should he, by the unfortunate chance of War, fall into his hands. We give this curious specimen of the style and language of this worthy Representative of the Directory, in its original language *.
• We offer the following as an inadequate translation :Liberty.
5th Year of the Frencb Republic, One and Indivisible. We bave duly received, Sir, your contemptible Letters, addressed to Cirizes Peyré, the contents of wbicb we bave iransmitted to ibe Executive Directory, ir ste tope that the Sequestration wbich bas born taken off English Property will be
ar 5 de la Republique Française, Une et Indivisible. Nous avons reçu, Monsieur, vos lettres insignificantes écrites au Citoyen Peyré, nous en avons informé le Directoire Exécutif, et nous esperons que le Séquestre levé sur les propriétés Anglaises sera remis immédiatement, pour nous répondre des FRIPONNERIES commises sur nos proprietés à la MARTINIQUE.
Vous et tous vos pareils me connaissent assez pour sa. voir que j'ai en mains de quoi úser de représaille, et vous pouvez étre assurés qu'elle sera TERRIBLE ET PARTICU. LIEREMENT SUR VOUS ET TOUTES LES PERSONNES ATTACHÉS A VOTRE GOUVERNEMENT, qui ne peut ítre consideré que comme un composé DE FRIPONS, de COQuins, et de LACHES.
Celle-ci est la derniere que nous vous écrivons ; l'honneur du Gouvernement que nous REPRESENTONS nous defend de Traiter avec vous. :
inmediately restored, as an indemnification for ibe ROGUERIES committed upon our Property at MARTINIQUE.
You and your Fellowus know me well enough, to be assured that I bave it in my power to retaliate, and you may be assured that my retaliation will be terrible, and especially upon you and all persons attached to your Government, wbicb can only be considered as a composition of Rogues, Scoundrels, and Cowards.
Tbis is the last Letter we sball write to you. - The Honour of tbe Government wbicb we represent, prescribes to us to bave no communication with you.
(Signed) Victor Hugues. T. WILLIAM KEPPEL, Chief of the
French Rebels, on the part of His
The Correspondence referred to in this Letter, originated in a preposterous demand from Victor HUGUES, that the produce of all Estates sequestered or managed for the benefit of the Crown in Martinique, should be remitted to him at Guadaloupe, for the use and benefit of the French Republic.
The attempts of our Government to afford relief to our Prisoners in France in their confinement, or by partial exchanges to procure their liberation, having been ineffectual, Sir FredERIC Eden was sent to that Country, in March, 1795, for the purpose of proposing a General Cartel between the two Countries: the offer was rejected in such a manner as to render all expectation of success distant, if not desperate. And it was not till the beginning of 1796, that a communication was received from the French Government through M. CHARRETIE, expressing a wish that some principle of Exchange of Prisoners might be established between the two Nations. This first expression, on their part, of a desire to meet the disposition manifested by our Court in the preceding year, was followed by a proposal, which, in its discussion, soon afforded sufficient ground to apprehend, that, having reluctantly complied with public opinion, in bringing forward the measure in any shape, the Directory was de termined to thwart and prevent its success, by multiplying obstacles and difficulties in the course of the Negotiation. Many of these, however, were removed by the spirit of forbearance and conciliation with which their proposals were met on our side, when the Directory took advantage of an accidental occurrence to put a stop to the Negotiation altogether.
On the 18th of March, 1796, Captain Sir SIDNEY SMITH was obliged to surrender himself a Prisoner of