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epoch, can no longer serve as a rule under actual circun. stances. Accept the assurances of my high consideration.


Duke de Cadore.

· Mr. Russell to the Duke of Bassano. Paris, April 29,

1811. Sir,-Encouraged by the assurances which your exceiency was pleased to give me in the conversation which I. bad the honour to hold with you yesterday, that the French government was disposed to promote, as far as might be in its power, the success of the mission of the special minister of the United States to the court of Denmark, I dare persuade myself that your excellency will feel no hesitation in returning such an answer to the following inquiries as shall place the facts to which they relate beyond the possibility of doubt or controversy.

1st. Did not the minister of foreign relations, by a despatch dated the 201h of April, 1808, authorize the consuls of France in the United States to deliver certificates of origin to vessels destined for neutral or allied ports, and prescribe the formalities required for such certificates?

20. Was not the despatch of the duke of Cadore, of the 30th of August last, the first that was received in the United States, either by the French minister or consul general there, prohibiting the further delivery by French consuls of certificates of origin, except to vessels destined to French ports ?

3d. Was not this last mentioned despatch first received by general Turreau, on the 13th of November last, and for the first time communicated by him on that day to the French consuls ? And were not these consuls in the official and authorized practice, until the said 13th of November, of furnishing certificates of origin to American vessels bound to neutral ports, or to ports belonging to the allies of France, and might not some of these consuls, by reason of their distance from the place of residence of general Turreau, have lawfully executed and delivered such certificates several days subsequent to that

These facts are directly established by the letter of general Turreau to Mr. Smitb, of the 12th of November last, or necessarily inferred from the declaration contained in that letter, and I cannot permit myself to doubt that your excellency will readily repeat them in a form that sball claim the attention of the Danish government, and induce it to correct any errors which an ignorance or misapprehension of them may have occasioned in its pro- ' ceedings against American property.

I rely with the more confidence on the frankness of your excellency in according the request pow presented to you, as a refusal might operate the confiscation of much innocent property, and at the same time appear to falsify the lawful acts of the consuls and the official declaration of the minister of France in the United States.

I beg leave to renew to your excellency the assurance, &c. .

JONATHAN RUSSELL. His Excellency the Duke of Bassano.

Mr. Russell to Mr. Smith. Paris, May 27, 1811.

Sir,-By the first opportunity which presented itself after the admission of our vessels on the 4th of May, I communicated this event to the American charge d'affaires at London, in hopes that it might be useful there. The enclosed is a copy of the note which I addressed to him on the occasion. I am, &c. &c.

JONATHAN RUSSELL. The Hon. Robert Smith,

Secretary of State of the United States."

Mr. Russell to Mr. J. S. Smith. Paris, May 10, 1811.

SIR,--I hand you herewith a copy of a letter to me from his excellency the duke of Bassano, dated the 4th inst. * and enclosing a list of the American vessels

* See this copy in the enclosures of Mr. Russell's letter 15th July, which will be found in a subsequent part of this correspondence.


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whose cargoes have been admitted by order of the emperor.

As this list contains all the American vessels, except one only whose papers were mislaid, which have arrived spontaneously in ibe ports of France, since the first of November last, which had not already been admitted; the measure adopted by this government may perhaps be considered to be of a general character and a consequence of the actual relations between the two countries, growing out of the revocation of the Berlin and Milan de. crees, so far as they violated the neutral rights of the United States. I am, sir, with great consideration, &c.

JONATHAN RUSSELL. John S. Smith, Esq. &c. &c.

violated the Berlin and Countries

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Mr. Russell to the Secretary of State. Paris, June 9,

1811. Sır,--The case of the New Orleans Packet having ap parently excited considerable interest, it may not be upacceptable to you to receive a more particular account of it than I bave hitherto transmitted.

This vessel, owned by Mr. Alexander Ruden, of New York, left that place on the 25th of July, with a clearance for Lisbon, but actually destined for Gibraltar. Her cargo, likewise the property of Mr. Ruden, consisted of 207 whole tierces, and 31 balf tierces of rice, 330 bags of Surinam cocoa, 10 hogsheads of tobacco, 6 tierces of hams, 50 barrels of pork, 60 barrels of beef, 200 barrels of flour, 30 tierces of beans and 64 firkins of butter. On her passage to Gibraltar, she was boarded by an English frigate and an English schoover, and after a short detention allowed to proceed. On arriving at Gibraltar the 26th of August, Mr. Munroe, the supercargo, proceeded to sell the cargo and actually disposed of the flour, the beans and the butter, when about the 20th of September, a packet arrived there from England bringing newspapers containing the publication of the letter from the duke of Cadore of the 51h of August. On the receipt of this intelligence, Mr. Munroe immediately áuspended his sales, and after having consulted with Mr. Hackley, the American consul at Ca

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diz, he determined to proceed with the remainder of his
cargo to Bordeaux. He remained however at Gibraltar
until the 22d of October, that he might not arrive in
France before the first of November, the day on which
the Berlin and Milan decrees were to cease to operate.
He arrived in the Garonne, on the 14th of November, but
by reason of his quarantine did not reach Bordeaux be.
fore the 3d of Dec. On the 5th of this month the direc-
tor of the custoins there seized the New Orleans Packet
and her cargo under the Milan decrees of the 23d Nov.
and 171h December, 1807, expressly set forth, for having
come from an English port and for baving been visited by
an English vessel of war. These facts having been stated
to me by Mr. Munroe, or by Mr. Meyer, the American
vice-consul at Bordeaux, and the principal one, that of the
seizure under the Milan decrees, being established by the
proces verbal put into my bands by Mr. Martini, one of
the consignees of the cargo, I conceived it to be my duty
not to suffer the transaction to pass unnoticed, and thereby
permit it 10 grow into a violation of the engagements of this
governinent. While I was considering the most proper
mode of bringing the conduct of the customhouse officer
at the port under the eyes of his superiors, I learnt of the
arrival of the Essex at L'Orient. From the time at which
this frigate was reported to have left the United States, I
bad no doubt that she had brought the proclamation of
the President, announcing the revocation of the very de-
crees under which this precipitate seizure had been made.
I could but think, therefore, ibat it was important to afford
to this government an opportunity of disavowing the con-
duct of its officer, so incompatible with the engagements
on which the President had in all probability reposed with
confidence, in season to show that this confidence bad not
been mistimed or misplaced. To bave waited for the
receipt of the proclamation in order to make use of it for
the liberation of the New Orleans Packet, appeared to me
a preposterous and unworthy course of proceeding, and to
be nothing better than absurdly and basely employing the
declaration of the President that the Berlin and Milan
decrees had been revoked, as the means of obtaining tbeir
revocation. I believe it became me to take higher ground,
and, without confining myself to the mode best calculated

to recover the property, to pursue that wbich the dignity of the American government required.

A crisis in my opinion presented itsell, which was to decide whether, the French edicts were retracted as a preliminary to the execution of our law, or whether by the pon-performance of one party and the prompt performance of the other, ibe order in which these measures ought to stand was to be reversed, and the American government sbutlled into the lead where national honour and the law required it to follow. Uncertain what would be the conduct of this government, but clear what it ought to be, I thought it politick to present briefly the honest construction of the terms in which the revocation of the decrees was communicated on the 5th of August, that the condi. tions might not be tortured into a pretext for continuing them. I believed this to be the more necessary as no occasion hitherto occurred for offering such an interpreta. tion. I likewise supposed it to be desirable to take froin this government, by a concise statement of facts, the power of imputing neglect to the United States, in performing the act required of them, for the purpose of finding in this neglect a colour for again executing the decrees. These were my views in writing promptly and frankly on the occasion.

So acceptable indeed did I suppose it would be to the feelings of the American government, to obtain at least an explanation of an act ostensibly proving the continued operation of the decrees, previous to communicating the proclamation of the President, announcing their revoca. tion, that, although I received this proclamation on the 13th of December, 1 deferred the communication of it to the duke of Calore, until the 17th of that month ; nor should I then have communicated it, had not an interview with him on the 151h, led me to believe that much time might be necessary to procure official reports from the customhouse, relative to the seizure in question, and that until these reports were received, it would be impossible formally to explain or correct this proceeding. When, however, I declined, uninstructed as I was, incurring the responsibility of this protracted delay, and decided on communicating the proclaination before a satisfactory explanation was received, I took care to guard against any misconstruction, by explicitly declaring at the outset that this proclamation

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