« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
for the disordered condition of Ibat power. There is, however, a period beyond which those claims ought not to be neglected. It would be highly improper for the United States, in their respect for Spain, to forget what they owe to their own character, and to the rights of their injured citizens. . Under these circumstances it would be equally unjust and dishonourable in the United States to suffer East Florida to pass into the possession of any other power. Unjust, because they would thereby lose the only indemnity within their reach, for injuries which ought long since to have been redressed. Dishonourable, because in permit. ting another power to wrest from them that indennity, their inactivity and acquiescence could only be imputed to unworthy motives. Situated as East Florida is, cut off from the other possessions of Spain, and surrounded in a great measure by the territory of the United States; and having also an inportant bearing on their commerce, no other power could think of taking possession of it, with other than hostile views to thein. Nor could any other power take poswession of it without endangering their prosperity and best interests.
The United States have not been ignorant or inattentive to what has been agitated in Europe at different periods since the commencement of the present war, in regard to ibe Spanish provinces in this heinisphere; nor have they been inmindful of the consequences into which the disorder of Spain might lead in regard to the province in ques. tion, without due care to prevent it. They have been persuaded, that remissness on their part might invite the danger, if it had not already done it, which it is so much their interest and desire to prevent. Deeply impressed with these considerations, and anxious, while they acquitted themselves to the just claims of their constituents, to preserve friendship with other powers, the subject was brought before the Congress at its last session, when an act was passed, authorizing the Executive to accept possession of East Florida from the local authorilies, or to take it against the attempt of a foreign power to occupy it, holding it in either case subject to future and friendly negotiation. This act therefore evinces tbe just and amicable views by wbich the United States have been governed towards Spain, in the measure authorized by it. Our mi?
nisters at London and Paris were immediately apprized of the aet, and instructed to communicate the purpori of it to both governments, and to explain at the same time, in the most friendly manner, the motives w bich led to it. The President could not doubt that such an explanation would give all the satisfaction that was intended by it. By a late letter from the American charge des affaires at London, I observe that this explanation was made to your governinent in the month of Jast. Tbat it was not sooner made was owing to the departure of the minister plenipotentiary of the United States before the instruction was received.
I am persuaded, sir, that you will see, in this view of the subject, very strong proof of the just and amicable disposition of the United States towards Spain, of wbich I treated in the conference to which you have alluded. The same disposition still exists ; but it must be understood that it cannot be indulged longer than may comport with the safety, as well as with the rights and honour of the nation. I have the honour to be, &c.
'JAS. MONROE. Augustus J. Foster, Esq. &c. '
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MR. PINKNEY AND LORD
Mr. Pinkney to Mr. Smith. London, Jan. 17, 1811,
SiR-1 bad the honour to receive on the 5th instant, while I was confined by a severe illness, your letter of the 15th of November, and as soon as I was able, prepared a note to lord Wellesley, in conformity with it.
On the 3d inst. I bad received a letter from lord Wellesley, bearing date the 29th ultimo, on the subjects of the orders in council and the British blockades, to which I was anxious to reply at the same time that I obeyed ibe orders of the President signified in your letter above mentioned. I prepared an answer accordingly, and sent it in with the other note and a note of the 15th, respecting iwo American schooners lately captured on their way to Bordeaux, for a breach of the orders in council. Copies of all these papers are enclosed.
My answer to lord Wellesley's lelter was written under the pressure of indisposition, and the influence of more indignation than could well be suppressed. His letter proves, what scarcely required proof, that if the present government continues, we cannot be friends with England. I need not analyze it to you.
I am still so weak as to find it convenient to make this letter a short one, and will therefore only add ibat I have derived great satisfaction from your instructions of the fifteenth of November, and have determined to return to the United States in the Essex. She will go to L'Orient for Mr. Gray son, and then come to Cowes for me and my family. I calculale on sailing about the last of February.
The despatches by the Essex were delivered to me by lieutenant Rodgers on Sunday. I have the honour, &c. &c.
WM. PINKNEY. The Hon. R. Smith, &c.
Lord Wellesley lo Mr. Pinkney.* Foreign Office, Dec.
29, 1810. SIR,- In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 10th instant, I must express my regret that you should bave thought it necessary to introduce into that leller any to picks, which might tend to interrupt the conciliatory spirit, in which it is the sincere disposition of bis majesty's government to conduct every negotiation with the government of the United States.
Froin an anxious desire to avoid all discussions of that tendency, I shall proceed without any further observation to communicate to you the view, which his majesty's government has taken of the principal question which formed the object of my inquiry, during our conference of the 516 inst. The letter of ihe French minister for foreign affairs to the American minister at Paris, of the 9th Aug.
* This letter was not received till January 3, 1811, at night.
1810, did not appear to his majesty's government, to contain such a notification of the repeal of the French decrees of Berlio and Milan, ás could justify his majesty's government in repealing the British orders in council. That let. ter states that the decrees of Berlin and Milan are revoked, and that from the first of November, 1810, they will cease to be in force, it being understood that in con. sequence of this declaration, the English shall revoke their orders in council, and renounce the new principles of blockade which they bave attempted to establish." The purport of this declaration appeared to be that the repeal of the decrees of Berlin and Milan would take effect from the 1st of November, provided that Great Britain antecedently to that day, and in consequence of this declaration, should reroke the orders in council, and should renounce those principles of blockade, which the French government alleged to be new. A separate condition relating to America, seemed also to be contained in this declaration, by which America might understand, that the decrees of Berlin and Milan would be actually repealed on the 1st of November, 1810, provided that America sbould resent any refusal of the British government to renounce the new principles of blockade, and to revoke the orders in council.
By your explanation it appears, that the American go. vernment understands the letter of the French minister as announcing an absolute repeal, on the first of November, 1810, of the French decrees of Berlin and Milan ; which repeal, however, is not to continue in force upless the British government, within a reasonable time after the first of November, 1810, sball fulfil the two conditions stated distinctly in the letter of the French minister. Under this explanation, if nothing more had been required from Great Britain, for tbe purpose of securing the con. tinuance of the repeal of the French decrees, than the repeal of our orders in council, I should not bare hesitated' to declare the perfect readiness of this government to fulfil that condition. On these terms, the British government has always been sincerely disposed to repeal the orders in council. It appears, however, not only by the letter of the French minister, but by your explanation, that the repeal of the orders in council will not satisfy either the
* VOL. VIII.
French or the American government. The British go. vernment is further required, by the letter of the French minister, to renounce ibose principles of blockade which the French government alleges to be new. A reference to the Terms of the Berlin decree will serve to explain the extent of this requisition. The Berlin decree states, that Great Britain “extends the right of blockade to commer, cial upfortified towns, and to ports, harbours, and mouths of rivers, which, according to the principles and practice of all civilized nations, is only applicable to fortified places." On the part of the American government, I understand you to require that Great Britain should revoke her order of blockade of May, 1806. Combining your requisition with that of the French minister, I must conclude,that America deinands the revocation of that order of blockade as a practical instance of our renunciation of those principles of blockade which are condemned by the French goveroment. Those principles of blockade Great Britain has asserted to be ancient, and established by the laws of maritime war, acknowledged by all civilized nations, and on which depend the inost valuable rights and interests of this nation. If the Berlin and Milan decrees are to be considered as still in force, unless Great Britain shall renounce these established foundaiions of her maritime rights and interests, the period of time is not yet arrived, when the repeal of her orders in council can be claimed from her, either with reference to the promise of this government, or to the safety and honour of the nation. I trust that ihe justice of the American government will not consider, that France, by the repeal of her obnoxious decrees under such a condition, has placed ihe question in that state which can warrant America in ensorcing the non-intercourse act against Great Britain and not against France. In reviewing the actual state of this question, America cannot fail to observe the situation in which the commerce of neutral nations has been placed by many recent acts of the French government ; nor can America, reasonably expect that the system of violence and injusa , rice, now pursued by France with unremitted activity (while it serves to illustrate the true spirit of her intentione,) should not require some precautions of defence on the part of Great Britain.