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dominion over the sea as far as we may judge it necessary to exercise that dominion. for the preservation of our independence as, a people. The Americans, in order to evade. these our claims, have fallen upon a device. quite novel in the affairs of nations. They, have enacted, that any man, be he born where he may, becomes a citizen of the Uni. ted States from the moment that he gets what they call a certificate of citizenship from some one or other of their magistrates; and, having asserted this to be the law of. uations, they represent as an outrage our taking of our men in spite of these miserable bits of paper. Endless disputes have arisen from this source; and, when we consider how difficult it is, in some cases, to dis. tinguish between an American and an Englishman, we cannot wonder at such disputes; but, as I shall endeavour to prove to you, the right of searching cannot, on our part, be given up without giving up that superiority at sea, which alone can give us, under any set of rulers at home, even a chance of remaining an independent people. , The immediate cause of quarrel, however, is of a nature somewhat different. A ship of war, of ours, lying near Norfolk, in Virginia, had occasion to send some of her men on shore. These men desert. The officers are forbidden, by the civil authority, to take them. Some of them enter on board an American 44 gun frigate, called the Chesapeak. Admiral Berkeley, our chief naval commander upon the station, gives his several captains an order to demand the men from the Chesapeak, as soon as she shall be out at sea, and, if refused, to search for them by force. The Leopard, a 50 gun ship, commanded by Captain Humphreys, makes the demand. It is refused by Captain Barron, the American commander. Some shots of mere menace are fired a-head by the Leo§: these are returned in battle by the hesapeak; this brings a broadside from the Leopard, which the Chesapeak returns with *ome shots badly fired; but, a second broadside from the Leopard brings down the American flag; the frigate is searched, the men are taken out, the Leopard keeps the **, and the Chesapeak, with several men killed and wounded, returns to port. The American President issues a proclamation forbidding our ships of war all communicato with the land (which is, observe, a violition of our treaty with America), and in || this proclamation he asserts, that the men chimed by us had been proved to be Ame. ricans, and not British subjects. -Thus the matter stands at present. The English-hative party in America raging with

- fury against us, evidently not so much on

account of any injustice on our part, as on account of the severe rebuke which their arrogance has received in its being made known to the world, that, after all their boasting, they are unable to stand a moment against British ships of war. At first they asserted, that the Chesapeak was quite un

prepared for action ; that her gables were

lying across her guns; that her decks were covered with stores; and that her, powder was out to dry, having somehow or other, got damp. All this was quite incredible; but, the Americans themselves, in their rage against poor Captain Barron, have told the truth. They have now said, that every thing was in perfect readiness for action, and that the guns. were loaded, before the Chesapeak left the port. The fact is, that it was want of skill and discipline, and want of the confidence, which those give, which prevented Captain Barron from making such resistance as a . British commander, under similar, circumstances, would have made. The commander of a British vessel, so acting, would have been shot; but, it does not follow, that Captain Barron, though a great boaster, was a coward, and, if the truth were known, I dare say it would appear, that, with such a crew, no man could have fought the ship . for ten minutes. Having thus, Gentlemen, given you a brief history of the dispute, I shall now . offer you my observations upon it, which, I think, cannot be done so well in any other way as in answering an article, which has been published in an excellent weekly paper, called the Independent IPhig, which article I shal first insert for your perusal, premising only, that I presume that you love your country better than any other country, , and that because the grubs and muck-worms . injure your corn, you would not, for that reason, let down the fences and invite the hogs and the cattle to trample it under foot, or devour it: - “We, who profess to have no political attachments but what emanate from the true spirit of liberty and a love of truth, cannot forbear expressing the surprize. which we feit upon reading in Mr. Cobbett's Register of Saturday, the 1st of Aug. under the head ‘American States', an avowal on the part of that writer, that he was very sorry to hear Mr. Perceval say in the House of Commons what seemed to indicate a decided disposition to yield; and to add that, if they do yield, if they follow the advice of the Morning Chronicle, our navy will not be long-lived.

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We have neither leisure nor room in our present number to enter into this dicussion with Mr. Cobbett; but, as in our last number we 'in a manner, under the head Summary of Politics, ' maintained nearly the same ground upon this subject, which we consider was soundly and properly conveyed through the Morning Chronicle of Tuesday week last, (much as we generally execrate that Journal, we must agree with it in truth,) we deem ourselves bound at least to enter our decided protest both against the propriety of the 'rebuke thus conveyed in this paragraph by Mr. Cobbett, and the general principle he contends for. We unequivocally declare, that, in our judgments,

nothing can authorise such conduct as

that which is reported to have been the conduct of the commander of the Leo. pard, but a spirit of usurpation, and a gross despotic stride of power." Equity revolts against such a species of tyranny being assumed by any single state over that of any other; and, as to the law of nations, no such power has been ever conceded. With respect to the argument, attempted by Mr. Cobbett, “that, if we permit the Americans to inveigle and detain our seamen, we cannot have a navy; the Americans would in fact recruit for France, and England would be beaten by our own seamen.” The absurdity of this doctrine is almost beneath a

comment, and in charity we would fain

hope that Mr. Cobbett must have been but half awake when he wrote it. If here one British seaman will be found on board an American, we believe FIFTY AMERICANS (to say nothing of Swedes, Danes, Portuguese, and almost every other country) are to be found on board British ships of war; and, if this great tenacity is really necessary for the maintenance of the dignity of England, why, we would ask Mr. Cobbett, may not every power that is left in Europe, and which remains néuter, feel the same tenacity and claim the same privilege? We cannot, in EQUITY, see the distinction; therefore, we repel the doctrine.—With respect to the insinuation about the Bri

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Mr. Cobbett has heaped upon the people

of America, in saying, “the Americans are like the worst set of women; they will set up a terrible outcry, they will beat Adm. Berkeley in lungs; but, if we keep a firm foot, they will soon listen to reason:” or the remainder of his coarse invective applied to Captain Barron and his frigate, whom he elegantly and classically terms a swaggering blade,’ &c.; we consider it quite sufficient, unless we are farther called upon, to mark this kind of language with the expression of our decided contempt, whether we read it in Mr. Cobbett's Register or Mr. Perry's Chronicle. We deprecate the propriety of reflections upon the courage of a people, whose bravery, when struggling for their rights and independence, has already been proved invincible; and as to the right of insulting their flag with impunity, an forcibly to demand the privilege of searching their ships of war, even under the certainty of their containing British seamen, we insist upon it to be a right unsupported ly any principle of equity, and that can only be maintained in argument by the same species of violence that it has been attempted to be enforced by the com

mander of the Leopard, viz. by a thun

dering assertion or a thundering broadside. If these are the principles of liberty Mr. Cobbett would teach the British people, he must excuse us from becoming his disciples. , Our ideas of liberty are to tolerate that in others, we claim as a right ourselves, and to repel every species founded in equity and justice as derogatory to humanity and iminical to the natural rights of civilized society. to Captain Barron, he seems to have dona only his duty, and, under the circumstances in which he was placed, to have acted with exemplary moderation and humanity ; how far the epithet of “swaggering blade,' therefore, justly applies to him, it remains for the calmer reasoningpowers of Mr. Cobbett to substantiate. We like not coarse and harsh epithets at any time, still less when there does not exist any thing in the shape of provocation to justify them. National prejudices are at all times unbecoming the true friend of liberty; he looks to principles and not to


of assumption of power not .

men, and scorns to justify the perpetra

tion of that by one government he would condemn the practice of in another. Ainericans, Frenchmen, and all other countries,

have an equal right to liberty with En

- or

to a

t r

* * & r o


an evil so tremendous were ever to occur, the remedy would always be in the hands of the ministry, seasonably to remonstrate, but not with the fire of broadsides. We will not here attempt a refutation of what we conceive the unmerited abuse

* * ~ * * -

glishmen ; and it is high time depotism . . * * *. - * - . . * *

* * *

was banished the world. Mr, Cobbett “has invariably professed a friendship for “Mr. Windham, whom we have as invaria“bly considered as the very champion of “ despotism; as no man but he, whose “heart was steeled against every noble ebul“lition of patriotism and overflowing with “rancor and revenge, could have recom“mended a vigour beyond the law, and brand“ed honest men, liberated from a state of “ persecution, with the epithet of acquitted “felons!—These are inconsistencies for “Mr. Cobbett to reconcile with his ardent “ professed love of liberty; to us they “are irreconcileable. These observa“tions, extorted from us by Mr. Cobbett, “necessarily lead to the following few re“marks upon the question of right attempt“ed to be claimed by the advocates of such “a power belonging exclusively to the En“glish government—The engagement be“tween the British and the American “frigate off the Chesapeak has been stated “to have arisen from a demand of the Bri“tish Captain to search the American for deserters, which was refused on the part of the American, who was reduced to submission at the mouth of the cannon. The visiting by force the ship of a neutral and “friendly power, for the purpose of search. “ing for descrters, is a case which does not “seem to have been, at any time, in the “contemplation of writers on the Law of “Nations; for, neither Grotius, Pullen“dorff, nor Vattel, give an opinion on the “question: and we scarcely imagine that “Civilians will be able to produce any au“thority for the exercise of a power wholly “inconsistent with the sovereignty and in“dependence of the State who submits to “it. The right of searching ships for goods “contraband of war has its limits, and has “not yet been extended to ships bearing “ the flag of an independent State ; nor can “we discover any instance where such a “ship has been subjected to search at all, “much less for deserters, which has never “yet become the subject of i'reaties settling “ the contraband of war.—ss the principle “le once admitted, it will follow as a " natural consequence that the Americans " or the Dames will possess an EQUAL highT of searching our ships on the “same pretence, and shalf we argue that "we prevent its exercise by our naval swperiority, and call this equal justice? . In the case of the Swedish convoy, here “was no claim made to visit and search the

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of wor ought to be taken for a security that the convoy carried no contraband; what would they then have said, if we “ had also insisted on a right to search the “ ship of waraswell as the convoy Andall the learning displayed on this question by the eminent Civilians, Schlegel and Dr. Croke, does not even hint at this right as likely to become a matter of discussion. Indeed, what can be a more direct invasion of the right of sovereignty, or a more flagrant attack on the honor of an independent nation, than to insist, as a matter of right, upon visiting a ship of war and searching for deserters ? As a matter of right, we can find no acknowledged law, no case, no treaty, that will support snch a demand.—And, if we view the conduct of the British Captain as a matter of prudence, we are equally at a loss for arguments to justify his proceedings. At a time when all the ports of the European Continent are shut against our commerce, we do not expect to find one man hardy enough to assert that it would be prudent to cause the ports of the American Continent to be shut against us also. IWhen our trade on this side the Atlantic is sensibly diminishing, it cannot be prudent to destroy the optortunity of er“ tending it beyond the Atlantic; and yet this must be the mildest effect of c rupture with America.-Since, then, the pro-. “ ceedings of the British captain can neither “ be justified by the law of nations nor palliated as a prudent exercise of that discretion which every naval commander must possess. if reparation be not made for the insult offered to the American flag, it will be evident that this occasion was purposely embraced to provoke hostilities with the United States. Had we been treated in the same manner, our complaints might have been louder and more effectual than their's, but they would not therefore have been more joist We have penned these remorks with regret, inasmuch as they ray be liable to involve us in a controversy with Mr. Cobbett, and for a mo“ thent even to create a di-union between the avowed friends of hierty; but Mr. “ Cobbett left us no alternative but either an ignor):nious connivance at what appeared to us to be nothing less than a most outrageous slander of the people of America, or an exposition of the calumny. Our consciences, we trust, will never let us compromise our public duty.” Now, Gentlemen, though I do not wish to call in question the sincerity of this writer. in Lis expressio. 3 of good-will towards ru* - - - - -

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I must confess, that I cannot see what occa. sion there was for his dragging in here my constantly professed friendship for Mr. Windham, and that gentleman's old phrases of “a vigour beyond the law,” and of “acquitted felons.” My friendship for Mr. Windham, Gentlemen (though I am far from certain that he sets any value upon it), is founded in my knowledge, that he is an upright and honourable man; that, in all the many opportunities that he has had, he has never added to his fortune (though very moderate) at the public expence; that, according to my conviction, no man can charge him with ever having been concerned in a job; and that, whether his opinions be right or wrong, he always openly and strongly avows them. As to the two expressions imputed to him, the first arose from a threat, on the opposite side, that the lau, would be set at defiance; “if “", said he, “we must have recourse to “a vigour beyond the law to enforce obedi“ ence to the law". From a writer, who professes so pure an attachment to the love of truth, one might have expected something better than a selection of odious words, making part of a speech, which, taken all together, render those words not only not odious, but perfectly proper. And, as to “ acquitted felons"; though Mr. Windham might be wrong in his opinion, that the persons acquitted were felons, will you deny, that guilty men may be sometimes acquitted? Is there no man, can this writer think of no man, which has been tried and acquitted, whom he considers as guilty 2 Nay, has not this writer asserted in terms as plain as he dared to use (and I wish he had dared to use plainer terms), that guilty men have been tried and acquitted 2 And, has he not continued to speak of such men as being still as guilty as if they had never been tried at all? Where, then, let me ask him, was his “ spi“rit of equal liberty", when he was endeavouring to perpetuate against Mr. Windham a charge of remorseless cruelty for having done no more than what he himself daily does; namely, represented those as guilty, whom the law has acquitted He will, doubtless, say, that the cases were different ; that those whom he persists in accusing of guilt, though acquitted, were really guilty, whereas the others were perfectly innocent. A This is, indeed, the point; and though I should believe him, he would, in order to substantiate his charge of injustice against Mr. Windham, be compelled to show that he thought those innocent, whom he denominated “ acquitted felons”, a task, which, for want of positive evidence, be must begin by

giving no some one instance, at least, in J

which that gentleman has been known to use diguise or to discover insincerity, an instance, which, I am satisfied, he would be very much puzzled to produce. In considering this writer's complaint against me, with regard to the dispute with America, I will first notice what relates to the particular case in question, and then trouble you with a few observations as to the general principle, upon which his reasoning


As to the particular case, we, Gentlemen, have a treaty of amity and commerce with the Anericans, in which treaty we grant then, great benefits and indulgences, and, almost the only stipulation in our favour, is, that our ships shall have free entry into their ports and harbours, there to water, victual, and refit (if necessary) without let or molestation of any sort. But, if this stipulation does not include the liberty of having command over our ships' crews upon such occasions, of what use is it to us? Or, rather, is not the stipulation, in such case, a despicable fraud? To inveigle away any part of our ship's crew, under such circumstances ; or, to secret them, or withhold them, from their of. ficers, is a gross violation of this article of

the treaty; is an act of hostility, the most hos

tile act, that the party is ableto commit against us; and, therefore, if Capt. Humphreys had proceeded, at once to attack the Chesapeak, without any previous application for the men, he would have done no more than strict justice would have warranted. Suppose that the whole of a ship's crew were, while lying at Norfolk, to run the ship aground, and insist upon keeping her in that situation. Will this writer contend, that weshould not have aright to treat it as an act of hostility, if the AmeriCall people, or government, Were to receive these men, and prevent us, no matter by what law, from seizing them If some of the men may be received and withheld from us, why not the whole ; and, why not in one case as well as in another case ? So that, at this rate, a treaty of amity would mean, a thing whereby one nation is inveigled into the arms of another, for the purpose of that other doing it all the mischief in its power. This writer chooses to begin. with what he calls the insult given to the American flag; he talks about the right of searching American flag-ships for deserters; just as if nothing previous had occurred... If it had suited him to notice, that, by taking the deserters on board, the Americans had committed an act of hostility against us, his conclusion, or, at least, the conclusion 9

his readers, must have been very different from that which he has drawn—if in

deed, the deserters were not British subjects, but, why is it so any more than the land 2.

but really Americans born ; if this was proved to the reasonable satisfaction of our minister in America, or to our commander

upon station, that alters the case ; but, if

that proof was not even, and, it is my decided opinion, that it will appear that it was not given, Admiral Berkeley, in giving orders for the search, an i Captain Humphreys in so manfully executing those orders, deserve the praises of their country. . But, Gentlemen, I contend for the right of searching for deserters, upon the general principle, that the seas are the dominion of those who are able to maintain a mastery over all that swims upon them. The waters, within cannon shot, of a coast, are held, by civilians, to belong to those who dwell upon the coast. But, what right have they to the exclusive use and enjoyment of these, any more than we have to the dominion of the whole of the seas, where on we are able to maintain a superiority of force : —The writer before us. has said a great deal about equity and equal justice and equal liberty. . But, with submission, I must express my belief, that he has not taken time, duly to discriminate between the rights and liberties of individuals and the rights and liberties of natious , Individuals enter into a compact, express or tacit, to enjoy each of them such and such rights and liberties; or, rather, they all consent to surrender a part of their liberties; to put their natural rights into a common stock, whence, in well re. gulated stat, j, each draws an equal share and enjoys it upon conditions common to all. But, it is impossible, that any such compact should exist amongst nations, who have ho common stock of rights or liberties, who have no common government, who have no general head, who acknowledge no sovereign, who appeal to po arbiter but the sword, and with whom conquest confers the best possible right of dominion. But, while this last mentioned right, with respect to the land,isregarded as indubitable by all the Dutch and German and French writers upon what is called the law of nations, they all seem to deny, that there can be any rightful dominion upon the waters; except, indeed, as I have before mentioned, as far out from the shore as a cannon ball will reach ; which, you will observe, amounts exactly to this, that they have a right to shoot at us, when eyer we go within cannon shot of their shores with out their permission, but that we can by no means obtaia any right of dominion in the other waters where they want to go. . It is a favourite doctrine, in Ame Hea, that the sea is the highway of nations;

I can see no other reason than this : that, because upon the land, nations are able to prevent their country from being common to all ; and, if we are able to prevent, this upon the sea, is not our right quite as good as theirs 2 This writer says, that if the right of searching for desert

ers, be once admitted, it will follow, as a natural consequence, that the Ameri-

cans will possess an equal right of o our ships upon the same pretence; “an “ shall we argue, that we have the superio“rity, and call this equal justice. "No : we'. will not mind the equal; but we will call it justice; because, will we say, “ you sail & 4

upon these seas only by our permission, c “ only by our forbearance and indulgence ; “ and, as to the question of moral justice, ..

“ while the exercise of the right of search “is not at all necessary to your existence, “ it is absolutely necessary to ours.” This, be assured, gentlemen, is the doctrine we

njust now maintain at the cannon's mouth, if our enemies, no matter how they have

been stirred up, shall refuse to listen to any other voice.

“Americans," says this writer, “Frenchmen, and all others, have an equal right is

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“ to liberty with Englishmen; and it is ‘ high time despotism was banished from “ the world.” With all my heart. But, what has this to do with the right of search, or with dominion upon the seas 2 I want not to take away any of the liberties of the Americans, I only want to see my country assert her rights of dominion, where she has dominion ; and, if this writer will have it to be a question of 1sberty or of despotism, where has he found a justification for the distinction, which, in imitation of the Morning Chronicle, he makes between

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