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The people on board these vessels have been treated very well, and no pillage of any kind has been committed.
I have now the honour to inform you that I have adjusted this business with the dey, who has received the amount of two years annuites due, in cash, and the vessels are liberated; and that our commerce will receive no further molestation from the cruisers of this regency.
I pray you will have the goodness to give this as much publicity as possible, for the benefit of all concerned therein.
I have the honour, &c.
William Kirkpatrick, Esq. Consul of the Į
December 17, 1807.
P. S. WE have this moment heard, by an arrival at Leghorn, that the schooner before mentioned has arrived in Naples, having been retaken by the captain and part of the crew left on board, who threw overboard four of the captors, and put four others in the boat to shift for themselves.
I have myself received no advice of this; and, on application to the dey, who first sent me the information, he assures me that it shall not alter the arrangement made yesterday, and that our vessels may navigate without fear or molestation. At present all their cruisers are in port. I have the honour to be, &c.
Please to forward a copy of this letter to the Secretary of State of the United States by the first opportunity.
A true copy.
Malaga, January 5, 1802.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS. FEBRUARY 26, 1808.
I ENCLOSE, for the information of Congress, letters recently received from our ministers at Paris and London, communicating their representations against the late decrees and orders of France and Great Britain, heretofore transmitted to Congress. These documents will contribute to the information of Congress, as to the dispositions of those powers, and the probable course of their proceedings towards neutrals; and will doubtless have their due influence in adapting the measures of the legislature to the actual crisis.
Although nothing forbids the general matter of these letters from being spoken of without reserve; yet as the publication of papers of this description would restrain injuriously the freedom of our foreign correspondence, they are communicated, so far confidentially, and with a request that after being read to the satisfaction of both houses, they may be returned.
[These communications are not to be published.]
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS. MARCH 17, 1808.
I HAVE heretofore communicated to Congress the de crees of the government of France of November 21, 1806, and of Spain of February 19, 1807, with the orders of the British government of January and November, 1807.
I now transmit a decree of the emperor of France, of December 17, 1807, and a similar decree of 3d January last, by his catholick majesty. Although the decree of France has not been received by official communication,
yet the different channels of promulgation through which the publick are possessed of it, with the formal testimony furnished by the government of Spain, in their decree, leave us without a doubt that such an one has been issued. These decrees and orders taken together, want little of amounting to a declaration that every neutral vessel found on the high seas, whatsoever be her cargo, and whatsoever foreign port be that of her departure, or destination, shall be deemed lawful prize; and they prove more and more the expediency of retaining our vessels, our seamen, and property within our own harbours, until the dangers to which they are exposed can be removed or lessened. TH: JEFFERSON.
REJOINDER TO HIS BRITANNICK MAJESTY'S ORDER IN COUNCIL, OF NOVEMBER 11, 1807.
At our Royal Palace at Milan, December 17, 1807. NAPOLEON, emperor of the French, king of Italy, and protector of the Rhenish confederation.
Observing the measures adopted by the British government, on the 11th November last, by which vessels belonging to neutral, friendly, or even powers the allies of England, are made liable, not only to be searched by English cruisers, but to be compulsorily detained in England, and to have a tax laid on them of so much per cent. on the cargo, to be regulated by the British legislature. Observing that by these acts the British government denationalizes ships of every nation in Europe, that it is not competent for any government to detract from its own independence and rights, all the sovereigns of Europe having in trust the sovereignties and independence of the flag; that if by an unpardonable weakness, and which in the eyes of posterity would be an indelible stain, if such a tyranny was allowed to be established into principles, and consecrated by usage, the English would avail themselves of it to assert it as a right, as they have availed themselves of the tolerance of government to establish the infamous principle, that the flag of a nation does not cover goods, and to have to their right of blockade an arbitrary ex
tension, and which infringes on the sovereignty of every state; we have decreed and do decree as follows:
ART. 1. Every ship, to whatever nation it may belong, that shall have submitted to be searched by an English ship, or to a voyage to England, or shall have paid any tax whatsoever to the English government, is thereby and for that alone, declared to be denationalized, to have forfeited the protection of its king, and to have become English property.
ART. II. Whether the ships thus denationalized by the arbitrary measures of the English government, enter inte our ports, or those of our allies, or whether they fall into the hands of our ships of war, or of our privateers, they are declared to be good and lawful prize.
ART. III. The British islands are declared to be in a state of blockade, both by land and sea. Every ship, of whatever nation, or whatsoever the nature of its cargo may be, that sails from the ports of England, or those of the English colonies, and of the countries occupied by English troops, and proceeding to England, or to the English colonies, or to countries occupied by English troops, is good and lawful prize, as contrary to the present decree, and may be captured by our ships of war, or our privateers, and adjudged to the captor.
ART. IV. These measures, which are resorted to only in just retaliation of the barbarous system adopted by England, which assimilates its legislation to that of Algiers, shall cease to have any effect with respect to all nations who shall have the firmness to compel the English government to respect their flag. They shall continue to be rigorously in force as long as that government does not return to the principle of the law of nations, which regulates the relations of civilized states in a state of war. The provisions of the present decree shall be abrogated and null, in fact, as soon as the English abide again by the principles of the law of nations, which are also the principles of justice and of honour.
All our ministers are charged with the execution of the present decree, which shall be inserted in the bulletin of the laws.
By Order of the Emperor,
H. B. MARET,
Secretary of State.
Madrid, Jan. 6, 1808.
SIR,-I hasten to transmit to you a copy of a decree issued by this government on the 3d instant, adopting the principles of the decree given at Milan on the 17th ult. by the emperor of France, and conceived (as to the enacting part) in precisely the same terms. This has been communicated to me by Mr. Cevallos, in a note of yesterday's date, unaccompanied by any observation on it.
I have the honour to be, &c.
GEORGE W. ERVING. To James Madison, Esq. Secretary of State.
His majesty has been pleased to issue the following royal decree:
THE abominable outrages committed by the English vessels of war in the year 1804, by the express order of their government, on four frigates of my royal navy, which, navigating under the full security of peace, were iniquitously surprised, attacked, and captured, determined me to break off all connection with the British cabinet, and to consider myself in a state of war with a power which had so unjustly violated the laws of nations and of humanity. An aggression so atrocious gave me a sufficient motive to break all those ties which unite one nation to another, even if I had not considered what I owed to myself and to the honour and glory of my crown, and of my beloved subjects. Two years of war had passed without producing, on the part of Great Britain, a diminution of her pride, or a renunciation of the unjust domination which she exercised over the sea: on the contrary, confounding her friends with her enemies and with neutrals, she has manifested her decided will to treat all with the same tyranny. Under these considerations, I determined in February of the last year, conforming myself to the wise measures adopted by my intimate ally the emperor of the French and king of Italy, to de clare, as I did declare, the British isles in a state of blockade, to see if, by this step, I could convince the British cabinet, that it ought to renounce its unjust domination