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be his duty to conduct the frigate and the two 1812; vessels in her company to Port-Royal, Jamaica, that F. the british commander in chief on the station might Haydetermine upon the validity of M. Borgellat's claim; lia. and he gave the captain of the Améthyste five: minutes to consider the message. A lieutenant of. the Southampton accompanied the lieutenant of oy the Améthyste back to his ship, in order to wait the . time; but, before three minutes had elapsed, captain . Gaspard acquainted the former, that he would rather * sink than comply with the demand: he requested, however, that, if the british captain really meant to enforce his demand, he would fire a gun ahead of the frigate. As the boat of the Southampton pulled round her South. stern towards the opposite gangway, the unsuccesful . result of the mission was communicated. Off went. the bow gun; and in another instant, then just 6 h. too, 30 m. A. M., the second and remaining guns upon the * Southampton's broadside followed in rapid succession. The fire was returned; the action proceeded; and, aware of what was the chief arm of her strength, the Améthyste made several efforts to board; but the Southampton, by her superiority in manoeuvring, frustrated every attempt. It had always been an essential point in sir James Yeo's system of discipline, to practise his men at gunnery; and they now gave unequivocal proofs of the proficiency to which they had attained. Before the cannonade had lasted half an hour, the main and mizen masts of the Améthyste had fallen; and her hull soon became riddled from stem to stern. Still the desperate crew continued a feeble and irregular fire. The two consorts of the Améthyste, in the mean time, had made sail, and were running for shelter under the batteries of Maraguana. At 7 h. 45 m. A. M., desirous to put an end to what now could hardly be called a contest, sir James Yeo hailed to know if the Améthyste, whose colours had long been shot away, had surrendered.

Some one on board replied in the affirmative; and

1812, the Southampton ceased her fire. Scarcely had she
doneso, ere the foremastand bowsprit ofthe Améthyste
went by the board.
Losson A proof of the inexperience of the crew of the
... latter, and of the confusion into which they had been
thrown by the smart and destructive fire of their
antagonist, may be seen in the Southampton's loss;
which, out of a crew of 212 men and boys, amounted
to only one seaman killed, and a midshipman and
nine seamen and marines wounded. On the other
hand, the Améthyste, out of a crew of 700 men,
(Frenchmen, Americans, Haytians, a motley group
of almost every nation,) had 105 killed and 120
wounded, including among the latter her captain,
M. Gaspard. The whole of the surviving crew, except
about 20 men, were landed at Maraguana, Petite-
Goâve, and Port-au-Prince ; and the frigate, under
jury-masts, fitted to her while she lay in Port-au-
Prince, proceeded, in company with the South-
ampton, to Port-Royal, Jamaica. On a subsequent
day the Améthyste was restored to Christophe; and
the conduct of sir James Yeo, in all he had done,
was approved by his commander in chief.
Ameri- When the belligerents of Europe, opposed to
: England, had their commerce swept from the ocean
go... by the armed, ships of the latter; when there was
...” every probability that Buonaparte would soon be
i., compelled to curb his ambitious temper and restore
to Europe the blessings of peace, neutral America
stepped forward, and hired herself to be the carrier
between the colony and the parent-state. The conse-
quence in a little time was, that, although not a single
merchant vessel belonging to France or to Holland
crossed the Atlantic or doubled the Cape of Good
Hope, the products of the western and the eastern
world sold cheaper in their markets than they did
in those of England, who sent her ships wheresoever
she pleased. Thus relieved, France pushed on the
war with vigour, and neutral America prospered by
fanning the flames. This moral and religious people

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actually grew rich and great, commercially great at 1812. least, out of that which depopulated Europe, which robbed the wife of her husband, and the child of its father. - Every citizen of every town in the United-States, Demoto which a creek leads that can float a canoe, becomes;..." henceforward a “merchant;” and the grower of o: wheat or tobacco sends his son to the counting-house, i. that he may be initiated in the profitable art of. falsifying ships' papers and covering belligerent " property. Here the young American learns to bolt custom-house oaths by the dozen, and to condemn a lie, only when clumsily told, or when timorously or inadequately applied. After a few years of probation, he is sent on board a vessel as mate or supercargo; and, in due time, besides fabricating fraudulent papers and swearing to their genuineness, he learns (using a homely phrase) to humbug british officers, and to decoy, and make american citizens of, british seamen. The merchant's hope of gain, in these trips to and from the port of one belligerent, resting mainly on a quick passage and a careful avoidance of the cruisers belonging to the other, the american vessel is constructed and fitted in the best manner for sailing; and, having no convoying ship of war to show him the way, the american master becomes, of necessity, a practical navigator of the first order. When England, at length, began her attempts Engto check this intercourse between her enemy and . neutral America, neutral America grumbled, and, o' resorting to new subterfuges, went on. Other restric-. tions followed. Then came loud complaints, mixed be: with threats. Napoléon, next, began to feel the . effects of England’s restrictive system. Her pro-rics clamation, issued on the 16th of May, 1806, declaring ... the ports of France from the Elbe to Brest in a state of o, provoked the french emperor, on the Buona21st of the succeeding November, to fulminate from . Berlin his sweeping decree; declaring the british his li islands in a state of blockade; ordering all british j letters, subjects, and property to be seized; proWOL. VI. I

1812, hibiting all trade in british produce and manufactures;
- and pronouncing all neutral vessels, that had touched
in England or in any of her colonies, liable to
confiscation.
. . This was, at once, an extinguisher upon all neu-
* tral nations: it was tantamount to a declaration of
“uncil war against neutral America; but neutral America
blamed, not her dear France, but England. There
can be no doubt that, in retaliation for such a violation
of all public law, England would have been justified
in laying waste the french coast with fire and sword;
but she contented herself with issuing, on the 7th of
January, 1807, an order in council, directing that
no vessel should be permitted to trade from one port
to another, in the possession of France or her allies.
Finding that this order did not produce the expected
effect, England, on the 11th of November in the same
ear, issued another; in which, imitating France in
er extravagant tone, she declared all the ports of her
enemies, both in Europe and the colonies, in a state
... of blockade. This was followed by the Milan decree
Kim of December 17, 1807; by which every vessel that
* should have submitted to be searched by an english
ship, or paid any tax to the english government, was
declared to be denationalized, and to have become
british property, and therefore lawful prize; and
every ship sailing from England or her colonies,
or from any country occupied by her troops, was also
to be made lawful prize; but, says the arch framer,
“ these measures shall cease to have any effect, with
respect to all nations, who shall have the firmness
# compel the english government to respect their
ag.
Aoi. The object of this proviso was too palpable to be
ca re- - -
so misunderstood. Accordingly, after a few years
. . of growling and snarling; when, owing to the vigour

* of the british arms by sea and land, not a colony #. remained to France or her allies in either hemisphere; when, the neutral trade being extinct, american ships were rotting at their moorings, and the

untrodden wharfs of New-York and Philadelphia,

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becoming choked with grass and weeds, America 1812. boldly cast off her neutral disguise, and resolved, in o the language of the noble race she had displaced, to “take up the hatchet” and go to war. With whom, was the next point to be considered. This, like everything else in the United States, was to be settled by a calculation of profit and loss. France had numerous allies; England scarcely any. France had no contiguous territory; England had the Camadas ready to be marched into at a moment's notice. France had no commerce; England had richly-laden merchantmen traversing every sea. England, therefore, it was, against whom the deadly blows of America were to be levelled.

On the 14th of April, at a secret sitting of con-3. gress, an act passed, laying an embargo on all ships o' and vessels of the United States, during the space of 90 days; for the purpose, no doubt, of lessening the number of vessels that would be at the mercy of England when war was formally declared. By the end of May most of the fastest sailing ships, brigs, and schooners in the american merchant service were fitted or fitting as privateers; and many lay ready to sail forth, the instant the tocsin of war should be sounded. They had not to wait long. The president’s message to congress of the 1st of June was the preparative; and an act of congress, which passed on the 18th, declaring the “actual existence of war between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America,” struck the blow.

Although New-York is 240 miles from Wash- Comington, the american seat of government, commodore . Rodgers received his instructions in sufficient time Rodto get under way from the harbour of the first-É. named city on the morning of the 21st, with the to President and United-States frigates, the latter . commanded by commodore Stephen Decatur, the 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Congress, captain John

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