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The undersigned trusts that any comment whatever, upon such a sentence, would be entirely superfluous--a sentence in direct violation of his majesty's instructions. He will only add, that the property thus condemned is valued at one hundred thousand Spanish dollars! The esplapation which the minister of state gives, as to the objection made by the tribunals to French certificates of origin, and the order which his majesty 'has now been pleased to issue on that subject, though applying only to two of the cases, viz. “ Nimrod” and “ Richmond,” named in the lists transmitted to his excellency on the 6th inst. and both lately acquitted, cannot fail of being satisfactory : but, observing therein that the notification made by the French government was not till the 22d of September, the undersigned cannot refrain from again adverting to the conduct of the high court, which, in a sentence given on the 22d of December, in the case of the “ Agent,” Row, justified the capture of that ship in the month of June, upon the ground that she had with her papers a French certificate of origin ; and upon that same ground, and upon that only, decreed that a sum of 500 rix dollars should be paid to the captors ! Precisely the same decision was given, about the same time, in the case of the “Julian,” Abbott.
In the order which his majesty bas now issued with respect to the 11 cases pending in the high court, and as specified in the minister of state's note, the undersigned recognises the determination of his majesty to insure justice to the American claims; and he has the honour to assure bis excellency the minister, that the President will receive with peculiar satisfaction the declaration of his majesty accompanying this act, and charging the undersigned to communicate to his government his majesty's invariable disposition to cultivate the good intelligence and friendly intercourse which ought always to subsist between the two countries.
When on every other point there is the pleasing prospect of a perfect accord, it is with regret that the under signed feels the necessity imposed on him of differing in opinion with his excellency M. de Rosenkrantz on the subject of the convoy cases, and of contesting some of the doctrines which the minister bas laid down as applicable to those cases,
His excellency has not thought proper to reply to the reasoning upon which the undersigned based his reclamation, which therefore remains in its entire force ; nor bas he produced any thing which can be deemed satisfactory in support of the principle assumed in the royal instruc. tion to which that reasoning bas been applied. The minister of state has produced in favour of the principle in ques. tion the single argument, that he who puis bimself under the protection of another, does thereby take side with his protector, and renounces the advantages which belong to the quality of friend as to him against whom he seeks protection. In vain are the books examined to discover the source from which this argument is drawn ; in vain are history and the records of diplomacy resorted to, for authority or for any countenance given to the doctrine which it embraces : but these books and these records, have they lost their title to respect? Have they become a dead letter;? His majesty certainly does not assume to act op principles unknown to them ; to originate a practice at once undefined in its limits and rigorous in its character beyond all precedent ; in hostility also with the ancient doctrines of Denmark, and a stranger to all her maritime codes : so much a stranger as that it is not found even in the royal instructions issued on the 14th September, 1807. His excellency the minister of state supposes an acquiescence in this new rule upon the consideration that it is applied to Danish ships as well as to strangers. Certainly the United States will never dispute tbe equity or propriety of any law emanating from his majesty's authority and applied to his own subjects ; but it is equally certain that they found their rights upon the publick law only, and cannot consent to place them at the disposition of any partial authority, or to limit them by the convenience of the belligerent powers. It is not readily conceived how Danish ships or ships of the allies of Denmark, being subject to the capture of the enemy, can be found under his convoy ; vessels carrying such flags, and so found, cannot but be enemy's property ; but if by whatever means his majesty's subjects do put themselves under ene. my's convoy, they are doubtless guilty of a bigh crime, and richly merit all the punishment which his laws inflict; but is the same rule to be applied to the property and to the citizens of a neutral and independent power ?
Thus much the undersigned has found it his duty to say in addition to wbat has before been stated and remains unanswered respecting the principle assured in the royal instruction of March, 1810 : but he finds one part of the minister's note which as be apprehends goes ipuch beyond that instruction and which would preclude the neutral from any kind of justification for being found under enemy's convoy.
It were a gross dereliction of the interests of the United States should the undersigned leave the least room for bis excellency to suppose that the American government will accede to the fiction propounded by his excellency, viz. " that neutral vessels found under enemy's convoy have eo facto lost their original quality of neutrals.” This idea was certainly more fully and distinctly expressed in conversation, and seeing that there are parts of his excellency's note which favour a different conclusion, he eagerly seizes the bope that it is not really intended to carry the doctrine to such an extent; yet as in a matter of such im. portance nothing should remain equivocal, the undersigned desirous of laying it before the President in the most distinct manner, requests that he may be favoured with an explanation as to whatever is susceptible of misconstruction.
His excellency, pursuing the idea above cited in mentioning the instructions which bis majesty has now given to his tribunals to direct their examinations on American vessels found under enemy's convoy, says “que les preuves les plus evidentes seront requises pour prouver qu'un navire sous pavillon Americain ait été sous convoi Anglois.” Yet it is hoped that the words ait élê are not intended to be connected with what is above quoted, but rather that they are to be governed by the sense of the words " s'être mis sous la protection" found in the same sentence ; by the words " la recherche et l'usage faites” in the paragraph preceding ; by the words “ se fait proteger,” which will bear the same construction in the paragraph following ; and Goally, by the words in the article “d" clause 11th, of the royal instructions of March, 1810, construed “using convoy,” which must be supposed to mean a voluntary use of convoy, and cannot intend vessels which have been forced into or have accidently found themselves in convoy. For, to condemn vessels under such unfortunate cir
cumstances ! is that the course of a power friendly to the neutral ? This reflection so strengthens the above construction of the words used in the royal order of March 10th, as not to leave a possibility of supposing that his majesty intended that such innocent vessels should be affected by it.
The undersigned cannot conclude this note without expressing bis full confidence that the friendly dispositions professed by his majesty will dispose bim so to regulate the conduct of his tribunals upon the convoy cases as to satisfy the just claims of the United States, or without assuring his excellency the minister of state in reply to the last observation in his note, that the American government is also fully sensible to the value of the commercial and friendly relations which have always subsisted between the two countries.
No. 3. Count Rosenkrants to Mr. Erving. Copenhagen, July
9, 1811. The undersigned, minister of state and chief of the department of foreign affairs, has seen with very particular satisfaction from the note of Mr. Erving, minister of the United States of America, under date of the 30th ultimo, that he was not disappointed in bis expectation of finding that Mr. Erving would acknowledge the sentiments of justice and equity wbich animate the king his master, as well as the desire of his majesty to maintain a good understanding with the government of the United States. But it is not without pain that the same minister of state sees that Mr. Erving remonstrates against the sentences already definitively pronounced. It is witb the same sentiment that the undersigned finds himself charged by the orders of bis sovereign to repeat to the minister of the United States, that his majesty cannot make any general change in the regulations of the ordinance for privateering, issued on the 28th March of last year, and in consequence none in the 11th, which under the letter “d” de. clares that neutral vessels, that make use of the convoy or of the protection of the vessels of war of Great Britain, are to be considered as good prize if the Danish privateers