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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
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;
* 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,
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