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Vol. XII. No.8.]
LONDON, SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 1807.
" But it is, nevertheless, to be feared, that the immediate wants of the ministers, the immediate pressure * of the times, may induce them to concede now, with the hope, perhaps, of undoing their concession " hereafter, upon the ground of its having been extorted from them. A vain hope, indeed! for the very " effect of the concession will be to prevent them from ever undoing tbe deed; and, moreover, as long as the
present systere remains, the country would, by such concession (supposing it to extend to a relinquish"ment of any part of our right of search), be disabled for the resisting of further encroachment. This, "S one would think, they must plainly perceive ; yet, if they should be persuaded, that a refusal to concede “ will produce a diminution in the source of the taxes, I am greatly afraid, that, acting here, as they have done every where else, upon the Pitt system of temporary expediency, they will concede.
Such are "my fears. If the event shall prove them groundless, no one will more heartily rejoice than myself, and “ no one will be more ready to give praise unto those by whom the unjust demands of the American States " may have been resisted; but, in case of the realizing of these my fears, I shall not be backward in saya "ing all that I dire, under our present laws, to say, against every one, who may have participated in pluck“ ing this other, and almost the last, feather from the wings of my country. Under any circumstances, “ huwever, under any laws, that do, or that may exist, I shall still have the power, and I am sure I shall “ have the will, to bestow on them my hátred, and to treasure up in my heart the hope of seeing the day,
when the rest of my countrymen will think upon the subject as I do, and will have the power as well as " the inclination to act accordingly. The man who makes any part of his happiness to consist in promoting " the welfare of his country, should never give way to feelings of despair or of disgust; or, at any rate, he " should never permit those feelings so far to prevail as to deprive him of hope, or to check the operations " of his zeal. The man whose niind is fashioned for taking a share in those enterprizes, no matter of what
sort, that are connected with the fate of his country, will suffer no disappointments, no rebuffs, no acts " of folly or of wickedness, whether in the rulers or the people, to turn him aside from his pursuits. Such
a man, if, with all Lis exertions, he bc unable to prevent evil from being done, instead of despairing will see new hope of good pren from the excess of evil; and, applying these observations to the case before
us, if, unhappily, our inicisters, acting from the influence before described, were now to yield the most " valuable of cur rights to the American States, we ought still not to despair, but to labour with more
assiduity than ever in the producing of a state of ibings, which would enable our country to recover those
rights, and to hold them without the chance of their being again surrendered by such men and from *s such motives ; we should labour with more eagerness and resolution than ever in the proc'ucing of a stale
of things, which woull, for a long time, at least, prevent the possibility of the recurrence of such a “ surrender." -POLITICAL REGISTER, 20 Dec. 1806, Vol. X. p. 979. 257)
The writer of the Independent Whig, INDEPENDENT ELECTORS
whose talents and whose undaunted courage is quite worthy of all the adıniration they
have excited, is, notwithstanding his talents, CITY AND LIBERTIES OF WESTMINSTER.
mistak:1, as he very well may be, with resLetter XXII.
pect to what he calls the impolicy of the conGentlemen,
duct of our commanders upon the American Ja resuming the subject station. He says, that it is absurd to appreof my last letter to you, I beg leave to re hend any serious injury to our maritime
that my reasons for using this power from permitting the Americans to in. mode of communicating my sentiments to veigle away and detain our seamen ; and, he the public, are, Ist, that, when addressing a asserts, that, for one British sailor that there body of
persons of whose sound understand is on board the ships of America, there are ing one has an experimental proof, one is fifty Aniericans, and others, on board of Brimore likely to be cautious in stating, and tish ships. This is an assertion calculated to correct in deducing; 2nd, that, having seen give us a higher opinion of this writer's boldsuch striking proofs of your public-spirit, Dess ihan ot bis information upon the subject and having seen so little of that spirit else on which he is writing; for, the seamen on where, I deem it a mark of respect justly board the American ships amount to about your due, to appeal to you more particolarly 70,000, and, upon divers occasions, when I than 10 any other part of the nation; and, was in America, it was stated, and generally 3d, that I am fully persuaded, that, first or acknowledged, that one fourth part of the last, the opinions which you adopt and act seamen on board of American ships, were upon, as to all matters whether foreign or subjects born of this country; and, as to fodomestic, will be adopted and acted upon by reigners on board of our ships, the number the whole of the people of this kingslom. is comparatively trifling, and must be so, be
cause our officers have so great a dislike to could we possibly keep our" seamen, unless them. It is hinted, that desertion from our we maintained and exercised the right of ships might be prevented by avoiding to im- searching for them? Theirs we might have press med on board, and by treating the sea in return; but, theirs we do not want. We men better when on board. Now, though, want to keep our own; we want to avoid upon any of the principles of a free govern- confusion, a mixture of nations. Ships of ment, the impressing of seamen cannot be war, indeed, the Americans have not many; fully defended, still it is a thing which has but, if we admit the principle, that the filalways existed in England; and, it follows, tional flag is to cover every thing, I will warof course, that, when a man, or boy, first rant it, that we skall soon see enough of the enters a coal or any other merchant ship, le American national flags; and, as I before is well aware of the condition, namely, that stated, we should see our own seamen, col. when the greater service of the country re lected by the Americans, transferred to the quires him, he is liable to be taken into that service of France, by whom special care service. When a practice has existed for so would be taken, that they should not again many ages, under al descriptions of kings desert. This would, unquestionably, be the and queens, and under all political revolutions, greatest evil that we could possibly expeit requires much thought upon the matter rience; and this evil, unless we submitted to before it be held up to public execration. I all the demands of America, however extrawill draw no comparison between the im. vagant in themselves and however insolently pressing of seamen and the ballot for the urged, we should very soon have to enmilitia, the latter being evidently partial in counter. " the last degree; but, those who are the most But, Gentlemen, this writer, feels, or, at strenuous advocates for the liberties of the
least, he expresses, great alarm, lest the Amepeople, are ready to acknowledge, and, in ricans should shut their ports against out deed, to insist, that every landsman, capable goods, in which feeling be has for rivals of bearing arms, is, and ought to be, liable iboge disinterested patriots and profound poto be called forth in defence of the country, liticians, the merchants trading with Ameif need require; and, if this be just, what rica, whose Proclamation I will here insert injustice is there in calling forth seamen, in for your perusal. It is dated from the Amecases of similar need? Nor will it, I think, rican “CHAMBER OF COMMERCE” at Liverbe objected, that, in the latter case, the call pool, August 11th, 1807. • At 3 general operates partially ; it applies to all seamen ; " and very numerous meeting of the memand, observe, that, from all calls in defence " bers of this association Ireld this day, it by land, seamen are exempted; to which was resolved unanimondly, that the folmay be added this circumstance, that sea “lowing circular letter, prefixed by this men, when impressed, are not taken from “ resolution, be printed, and that the vicetheir homes, and put into a new and strange president (in the absence of the presistate of life; but are taken from one ship to dent) be requested to sign the same, on be put into another, have the same sort of “ behalf of the American Chamber of labour to perform, and the same sort of life “ Commerce in Liverpool, and to transmit a to lead; whereas the landsman, called forth copy thereof to Philip Sansom, Esq. Chairto bear arms, is taken from his home and his man of the Committee of American Merbusiness, is exposed to bardships unfamiliar • chants in London.-Resolved, that the to him, and returns, in all probability, in “ secretary do also furnish the several memjured in his mind, body, or estate. As to “ bers of ibis association with copies, to be the treatment of our sailors when on board, “ transmitted, as they in their discretion may my belief is, that much improvement might " deem expedient, to their respective core be made; but, Gentlemen, be you assured, respondents in Great Britain and Ireland. that, as long as confinement shall be irk. (CIRCULAR.)—Sir,-A Meeting of some to man; as long as change of scene " the Members of the American Cham. shall be delightful to him; as long as a han “ber of Commerce, at this port, has been kering after recreation and an indulgence of « convened this day, for the purpose of his desires shall form the leading propensities taking into con sideration the present seof his mind, so long will seamen, to what 6 rious and critical state of affairs, as relaever country belonging, and however treated " ting to the intercourse between the Briwhile on board, continue, occasionally, to “ tish Empire and the United States of Amdesert, and especially when they can do it “ erica. When it is considered how eswith certain impunity. Numerous, there sentially the vital interests of both the fore, as the ships of America are; met with “ countries are concerned in a maintainas they are in all the ports of the world, how ance of the relations of amity and com
“merce, and particularly at the present Corresponding Society, of which he is " juncture, it must be the wish of every Vice President, have a perfect right to as“ sincere friend to his country, whether semble and to invite others 10" co-operate" “ Briton or American, that these relations with them in order to act with “ prompti“ should not be interrupted, unless such “ tude;" in endeavouring to obtain, though
interruption be rendered inevitable by contrary to the will of government, the ob“ some imperious and irresistible necessity, jects which they have in view.; though Iby “ arising from that regard which it is in 110 means deny them this right, I greatly "cumbent on every country to pay to its fear, that, if you were to form a Correspond “ bonour and its interest.-If the manu ing Society, for the purpose of effecting, facturers and merchants of this kingdom by promptness and concert," an abolition " shall be convinced that the conduct of the of useless places and pensions, and for a res“ British government towards the United toration of the act passed in the reign of king “ States of America has been and continues, William III. “ for the better securing of “ such as becomes a government desirous of the rights and liberties of the people;" if
preserving the relations of peace and ami." you were to form a Corresponding Society
ty; and if it should now be found that for this purpose, and were to do me the ho“ these relations cannot longer be pre nour to make me “ Vice President” of it, I “ served, without compromising the honour, greatly fear, that John Richardson and his " and thereby sacrificing the best interests Society would, to a man, vote for my being “ of the British empire, it is hoped there hanged, and your being transported; and “ are no sacritices or privations to which the yet, it is, I think, evident, that our right, in
manufacturers and merchants will not the case supposed, would be as clear as that
cheerfully submit, in order to prevent of the " Chamber of Commerce'' now is. “ such consequences. --If, on the contra But, leaving this worst of all aristocracies
ry, the manufacturers and merchants of to enjoy its day, and waiting patiently for the this kingdom shall be convinced that the arrival of our day, let us examine a little, intercourse, which has now subsisted for Gentlemen, into the grounds of the alarm, more than twenty years, between the expressed by the Independent Whig and the British Empire and the United States of Chamber of Commerce, at the probability of America, with so many, and such pro- seeing the American ports shut against our gressively increasing advantages to each, is goods. in danger of being interrupted by an as Gentlemen, part of the wool (one article sertion to claims, incompatible with a due is enough, for the same reasoning applies to regard, to the EQUAL RIGHTS of both all), which grows upon the backs of sheep, countries, or by unjust condirt on the which foed, upon the grass, which grows part either of the British government, or upon the land of England, is made into
of any persons acting under its authority, cloth of various denominations, which cloth " it then becomes a duty to exercise that is made by English labour, and is afterwards
invaluable privilege,-the essential bul sent to clothe the Amerieans. Now, does wark of the British constitution,-of re it appear to you, that it would do us any
spectfully making such representations to great injury, if the Americans were to refuse " the government as the circumstances of to wear this cloth; if they were to refuse to
the case may require.--And as these receive the benefit of so touch of the produce " circumstances may be such as to reader it of the soil and of the labor of our country?
highly important that the persons making They must go naked and absolutely perish such representations should act with without this cloth; but, that I lay aside, for promptness, and in concert;-I am re.' 'the present, as of no account. What injury quested to inform you that, if such cir would it do us, if they were to be able to cumstances should arise, the Members of prevent our woollens from entering their the American Chamber of Commerce in ports? Why, my assailant of the IndepenLiverpool hold themselves in readiness dent Whig will say, perhaps, that such preto correspond and co-operate with the ma vention would be the rain of thousands;
nufacturers and merchants of Great Bri that it would break up our cloth manufacto"tain and Ireland, for the attainment of ries, and produce starvation amongst the " the important objects herein-mentioned, cloth: makers. This sweeping way of de"I have the bonour to be, Sir, your obe scribing is always resorted to in such cases; “ dient servant, Joun RICHARDSON, Vice but, Gentlenen, though we actually clothe President."
the Americans, they do not take off one tenth Now, Gentlemen, though I do not part of our cloth. And, supposing it possideny, that Mc John Richardson and the ble for them effectually to put a stop to this
outlet, how would it injure us? The con commerce. The merchants would fain persequerce would be, that cloth would be
suade us (perhaps they may really think so) cheaper iu England; the consequence of that their goods and their ships pay the that would be, that wool would be cheaper; greater part of the taxes. “ Look, here!" the consequence of that would be, that sheep say they, pointing to their imports and exwould be less valuable ;- the consequence of ports. That is very fine, for a few husthat would be, that less of them would be dreds of them'; but what is it to the whole raised. But, the feed which now goes to of the nation ? “ But," say they, " look the keeping of part of our sheep, would go at the Custom House duties.” Yes, and to the keeping of something else, and the who pay those duties? It is ue, Gentlelabour now bestowed upon part of our wool. men, who pay those daties. The payment len cloths, would be bestowed upon some comes out of our labour, and from po other thing else; in all probability upon the land, source whatever. The people of America which always calls for labour, and which have been cajoled by this sort of doctrine. never fails to yield a grateful return.
“ We pay no taxes," says one of their boastThere is, Gentlemen, as it were by pre ing citizens, except such as are imposed concert, by regular system, a loud cry, upon upon foreign commodities.” That is to all occasions, set up about our loss of com say, except such as are imposed upon Rum, merce. Wars have been made, over and which is to them what beer is to us; Sugar over again, for the sake of commerce; and, and Cofjer, of which, in part, the breakwhen the rights and honour of the nation fast of every human creature in the country are to be sacrificed by a peace, the regaining is composed; Woollens and Linens and Coior preserving of commerce.is invariably the tons, without which the people must go plea. To hear these merchants and their igo naked by day and be frost-biiten by night. norant partizans talk, one would almost sup But, what is the difference, Gentlepose, that, if sincere in their expressions of men, whether they pay a tax upon their alarm, they must look upon commerce as carts, or whether they pay it upon their the sole source of our food and raiment, and candles? even of the elements which are necessary to But, Gentlemen, bearing in mind, howman's existence. Commerce, they tells us, ever, that we pay the custom-house daties, is “ essential to the vital interesis" of the let us see what proportion those duties bear country. Who would not suppose, that to the whole of the taxes raised upon us. commerce bronght us our bread and our wa The whole of the taxes, collected last year, ter. Gentlemen, to support commerce, the amount to about 50 millions; the customwars in Egypt were undertaken; the wars house duties, exclusive of coals, and goods in India are carried on without ceasing; the carried from one part of the kingdom to war in South America, and in Africa are now another, to about 5 millions! Supposing, undertaken. Oh! What English blood and therefore, that, if we did not pay these 5 English labour and English happiness, millions in this way, we sliould not possess and English honour has not this com them, to pay in any other way, if called merce cost! But, "s without commerce
upon; supposing this, is there here any 16 bow are
to defray the expences falling off to be alarıned at ? Why, Gen“ of government, and the interest of the tlemen, the Burlwy alove of England, pays, « national debt?” This is a question that in malt and in beer, more clear money into every frightened female puts to one ; and, the Exchequer than all the shipping and all really, not withstanding it is well known the foreign commerce put together; and, as that England has been upon the decline of to the revenue arising froin the trade with power ever since she became decidedly com America, it is less than what arises from the mercial, and that France has grown in porter which you drink in the City of Westpower in the same proportion as her com minster alone. The fact is, Gentlemen, merce has declined, 'till, at last, having that the means of supporting fleets and lost all her commerce, she is become ab armies, the means of meeting all the squansolute mistress of the whole of the conti. derings ibat we witness, the means of pa!' nent Directorene notwithstanding this, the irg the dividends at the bank, come out of
be, with Pitt at their head, the land of the country and the labour of its impudently assumed, people. These are the sources, from which
supports the pa all those means proceed; and all that the
to be wondered at, merchants, and ministers like merchants,
Hotsh' enough to have tell us about the resources of commerce,
hlagbuld be alarmed, lest incas merely this, that while we are he si operis dilidends with the loss of
sileating at every sure to pay ile taxça, wo
ought to believe, that the taxes are paid by impossible, that, for any length of time, others. I will tell you, Gentlemen, who such an act should be executed in America, would be injured by the shutting of the our goods, besides being iudispensally neAmerican ports against our goods. A few cessary to the people of that country, being great merchants and manufacturers ; and, the source of much more than one half of observe it well, some hundreds of men, and the whole of its revenues. I then said, and some of those very great men, who have I have since said, that, whether at war or their money in the American funds. These, at peace with us, they will have our goods and these alone, be you well assured, would and we shall have theirs; that, talk about suffer any serious inconveniences from the the non-importation act as long as they shutting of the American ports; and these please for the purpose of forming a combinamen are amongst the very worst enemies tion amongst our merchants and manufaethat the people of England have to over turers favourable to them, they can never come.
put such an act in execution for any length Nothing is more convenient for the pur of time; and that, therefore, our ministers pose of a squandering, jobbing, corrupting, would be amongst the most criminal of men, bribing ininister, than a persuasion amongst it, in yielding to such combinations, they : the people, that it is from the commerce, and gave up a single particle of our maritianie
not from their labour, that the taxes come; rights, and, it has long been a fashionable way of The « Chamber of Conimerce," this thinking, that, it is no matter how great mercantile club, this new Corresponding So. the expenses are, so that the commerce does ciety, forces me back, for a moment, to the but keep pace with them in increase. No subject of maritime rights. These gentry, thing can better suit such a minister and his too, without any other learning than what minions than the propagation of opinions they have picked up, in mere scraps; from like these. But, Gentlemen, you have the newspapers, talk about the “ EQUAL seen the commerce trippled since the fatal “ rights of both countries," thereby assumday, when Pitt became minister ; and have ing, as a principle omitted, that America you found, that your taxes have not been is equal with England as to all manner of increased? The commerce has been trip. | rights upon the sea.
rights upon the sea. It is truly said, Genpled, and so have the parish paupers. tlemen, that, where the treasure is, there Away, then, I beseech you, with this de will the heart be also ; but, as, comparastructive delusion! See the thing in its tively speaking, very few Englishmen have true light. Look upon all the taxes as aris. treasure in America, so, I trust, that there ing out of the land and the labour, and dis will be very few of them who will be found trust either the head or the heart of the man to adopt the sentiments of the “ Chamber who would cajole you with a notion of their “ of Commerce," which, in:leed, calls arising from any other source.
itself American, and which is, probably, But, Gentlemen, the much-talked-of and coniposed of men, whose fortunes are prinoften-threatened non-importation act of cipally lodged in that country. Men with America is a bug-bear fit only to frighten English hearts, of whatever opinions rechildren and men of childish minds. Such specting domestic matters, have never, unan act was passed nearly two years ago ; but, til lately, suttered, in silence, any one. to observe, it contained a tail clause, empower-deny to their country a right of sea dominion. ing the President to suspend its execution. The dominion of the seas, even to the op. The Congress has met twice since; the act posite shores, has, until of late, been dishas been renewed, but, still the suspending tinctly claimed by all the kings and queens clause, that magic rag in the tooth of the and rulers of England ever since our country serpent, has prevented its execution. Nay, has borne that name; and, our liistory in one case, by mistake, the term of sus shews, that those who have been most; disa pension - appears to have expired; but, tinguished for their attachment to our do. Though the act was for a few days in force', mestic liberties, have been the most zenlous it was not executed; and had no more efiect in maintaining this sea-dominion. They upon the importation of English goods, than were not frightened with the threats of if it had been one of the old ballads, of France and of Holland (then great in mari. which you see such an abundance hang upon time force) combined. They board the the walls at Hyde Park corner.
Nor let it
solein German quack authors add the line be imagined, that this arises from a reluc pant Frenchmen talk about the law of nie. tance to quarrel with us. I have before as tions, and, as far as these related to the signed the true cause. I have, in Voleme forms of treaties and the like, they paid al
page 971, &c. shewn i'w it is morally tention!o them. But, they couled the ideal,