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peared in any printed or publick form, however much it might import both French Subjects and the Subjects of Foreign States, so to receive it.

“How the fact may be, I cannot say; but I observe, it appears before me in a manuscript form, and, by enquiry at the Secretary of State's Office, I find it exists there in no other plight or condition.

“In transmitting this to the British Government, the British Mi. nister observes, it is not the Document he had reason to expect, and certainly with much propriety; for how does the Document answer his requisition ? His requisition is for all Laws, Ordinances, Instructions, and so forth. How does this, a simple Ordinance, professing to have passed only a week before, realize the assurance given on the 30th July, 1815, that the Traffickó should cease from the present time, every where and for ever ?” or how does this realize the promise made in November, that measures should be taken without loss of time, to probibit not only French Colonists, but French Subjects likewise, from taking any part whatever, in this Traffick? What is this Regulation in substance? Why, it is a mere prospective Colonial Regulation, prohibiting the importation of Slaves into the French Colonies from the 8th of January, 1817.

“Consistently with this declaration, even if it does exist in the form and with the force of Law, French Subjects may be yet the common carriers of Slaves to any Foreign Settlement that will admit them, and may devote their capital and their industry, unmolested by Law, to the supply of any such Markets.

“Supposing, however, the Regulations to contain the fullest and most entire fulfilment of the engagement of France, both in time, and in substance, what possible application can a prospective Regulation of January, 1817, have to a transaction of March, 1816.

“Nobody is now to be told that a modern Edict which does not appear, cannot be presumed; and that no Penal Law of any State can bind the conduct of its Subjects, unless it is conveyed to their attention in a way which excludes the possibility of honest ignorance. The very production of a Law professing to be enacted in the beginning of 1817, is a satisfactory proof that no such Law existed in 1816, the Year of this transaction. In short, the Seizor has entirely failed in the task he has undertaken, in proving the existence of a prohibitory Law enacted by the legal Government of France, which can be applied to the present transaction."

No. 70.-The Right Hon. Stratford Canning to the Marquess of

Londonderry.-(Received July 18.) (Extract.)

Washington, 4th June, 1821. I am most happy to learn that His Majesty has been graciously pleased to approve of my humble endeavours to execute your Lordship’s Instructions on the subject of the African Slave-trade; and I have now the honour to forward the inclosed Copy of a Note which I addressed to Mr. Adams on the 1st instant, communicating, in pursuance of the directions contained in your Lordship's Dispatch of the 25th March, the several Instructions under which the Commanders of His Majesty's Naval Forces, employed for the suppression of the Slave-trade, have been ordered to act. I have also communicated to Mr. Adams your Lordship’s Letter, signifying His Majesty's pleasure on this subject to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and at his particular request, have left him at liberty to take a copy of it, for the purpose, as he said, of framing a similar Instruction for the guidance of any American Vessels destined to cruize on the Coast of Africa.

It does not appear that the American Government has, at this moment, more than one Vessel, a Schooner, expressly commissioned against the Slave-trade; but Mr. Adams assures me, that another armed Vessel of the same description is designed for that service. The Marg. of Londonderry, K.G. STRATFORD CANNING.

(Inclosure.)- The Rt. Hon. Stratford Canning to the Hon. J.Q. Adams. SIR,

City of Washington, 1st June, 1821. His Majesty's Government having received my communication of your Official Letter, dated the 30th December last, respecting the measures of co-operation proposed on their part to the Government of The United States, for the more effectual suppression of the African Slave-trade, I am now commanded to put you in possession of the inclosed Copies of the several Instructions under which the Commanders of His Majesty's Naval Forces on that Service have been directed to act.

It is my duty, at the same time, not to conceal from you, that His Majesty's Government have felt the deepest regret in learning the inability declared by the American Government, to contract such mutual Engagements as alone seem calculated to effect the utter extinction of that detestable Traffick, which still unhappily prevails in defiance of Law. With the sincerest disposition to do justice to the views and professions of the American Government on this important subject, it is not possible for His Majesty to consider the Counter-proposal, contained in your Letter, as an efficient substitute for the system of measures which I have had the honour of proposing to you; founded as those measures are upon the principle of combining the Cruizers of the several Maritime Powers into one common Force for the protection of the African Coast; but such is the King's benevolent anxiety to co-operate with the Government of The United States, in whatever may tend, in the slightest degree, to mitigate the evils of the Slave-trade, that His Majesty is willing even to avail himself of the present very limited opening to a concert between the two Countries.

In this view I am further commanded to inform you, Sir, that an Additional Instruction will be immediately sent to the Commanders of the British Cruizers on the Coast of Africa, to co-operate by all the means in their power with such American Vessels as shall be employed in that Quarter for the suppression of the Slave-trade.

I have the honour, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams.


No. 71.- The Right Hon. Stratford Canning to the Marquess of

Londonderry.-(Received October 9.) (Extract.)

Washington, 28th July, 1821. I have not yet received from Mr. Adams any Answer to my Note, apnouncing that His Majesty's Government had accepted the Counterproposal made on the part of this Country, for co-operating with the British Cruizers on the Coast of Africa. The Marq. of Londonderry, K.G. STRATFORD CANNING.

No. 72.- The Right Hon. Stratford Canning to the Marquess of

Londonderry.(Received October 9.) (Extract.)

Washington, 4th September, 1821. I HAVE the honour to inclose Copies of 2 Letters on the subject of the Slave-trade, which I received from Mr. Adams in the course of last month; the one containing some fresh explanations of the reasons which prevent The United States from acceding to the Slave-trade Conventions which His Majesty has concluded with the Courts of Lisbon, Brussels, and Madrid; the other communicating the Instructions under which it is intended that the American Cruizers, employed on the Coast of Africa, should in future co-operate with His Majesty's Naval Forces on that Station.

In acknowledging the receipt of these Letters, I have thought it my duty to reply rather at length (see Copy inclosed) to some of the arguments which Mr. Adams has advanced in justification of the line pursued by his Government.

I engaged in this task with less hesitation, because the Reports of your Lordship’s Negotiations on the same subject, and the other printed Correspondence accompanying my Instructions, supplied the most ample light for my direction.

The late accounts from Sierra Leone, and the result of the late Cruize on the African Coast, appear to have justly conveyed to this Country a high notion of the effect produced in that Quarter by the presence of an American Force. The Schooner Alligator returned some weeks ago, after detaining and sending home for adjudication, 4 Vessels under French Colours, suspected of being engaged in the

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Slave-trade. Of the 4 Prizes, 3 have been retaken by the respective Crews and carried to Guadaloupe or Martinique. The Commander of the Alligator alleges in his defence, that he had information against the Vessels which he captured, as being American bottoms, trading under false Colours.

Since the return of that Schooner, I am not aware of any Cruizer having been dispatched to replace her, nor can I learn that any armed Vessel destined for the Slave-service, is yet under orders for sea.

The Schooners lately employed on this Service carry 12 guns, and their burthen is about 180 tons. The Marq. of Londonderry, K.G. STRATFORD CANNING.

(Inclosure.)- The Hon. John Quincy Adams to the Right Hon.

Stratford Canning. SIR,

Department of State, Washington, 15th August, 1821. Your Letter of the 1st of June last, together with its Inclosures, has been submitted to the consideration of the President of The United States.

In the former Correspondence between us, in relation to the proposals of the British Government to The United States, inviting their accession to certain Regulations which had been agreed upon in Treaties between Great Britain and some other Powers, for a concert of operations, having in view the suppression of the African Slave-trade, the reasons were at some length assigned which restrained the American Government from assenting to those Regulations. As the simple fact, that the American Government declined acceding to the proposals of your Government, can scarcely render justice to their determination, and as the motives for it appear to have been misunderstood, I am instructed now to expose them in more detail, in evidence of the earnestness and sincerity with which The United States have pursued, and still pursue, the common and important object, the suppression of the Trade.

Long and earnestly as the Government of The United States have been engaged in contributing their exertions to that result, they have necessarily considered the range of their means for its accomplishment as limited by two principles ; first, the boundaries of their own Authority, delegated to them in the Constitution of The United States; and secondly, the respect due by them to the Independence of other Nations.

The means of co-operation for the suppression of the trade, urged upon the acceptance of The United States by the proposals of Great Britain, and exemplified by her Treaties with Spain, Portugal, and The Netherlands, were, that the Citizens of The United States, engaged in commerce upon the High Seas, should be liable under certain circumstances, in time of Peace, to have their Vessels searched, and, with

tfreir Persons, seized and carried away by the Naval Officers of a Foreign Power; subjected to the decision of a Tribunal in a Foreign Land, without benefit of the intervention of a Jury of Accusation, or of a Jury of Trial, by a Court of Judges and Umpires, half of whom would be Foreigners, and all irresponsible to the Supreme Authorities of The United States. To such modes of Trial, and by such forms of Process, were the Citizens of the Union to be subjected, under charges for offences against the Laws of their Country!

The United States had very recently issued from a War with Great Britain, principally urged in resistance to a practice of searching Neutral Merchant Vessels for Men in time of War, exercised by Great Bri. tain, as The United States deem in violation of the Laws of Nations. A proposal involving the exercise in time of Peace, of this same practice of search could not be acceded to by the 'American Government consistently with their principles.

Inadmissible as, under any circumstances whatever, they must have deemed this right of search to be, it was in one of the Treaties, to the stipulations of which their accession was invited, presented under an aspect of peculiar import, authorizing its exercise in the case even of Vessels under the Convoy of a Ship of War of their own Nation. Under the operation of this provision, the Commander of an American Convoy was not only to witness the search, seizure, and carrying away by a foreign Naval Officer, for offences against the Laws of this Country, of its own Vessels, under his immediate protection, but was to give every facility to the act.

There appeared to the American Government to be no conceivable combination of circumstances which could render the provisions of this Stipulation necessary or proper for the proposed co-operation to suppress the Slave-trade; since a Vessel under Convoy of its own Nation, must always be amenable to the examination, search, and seizure, of its Commander, thereby rendering the intrusion of a Foreign Officer for the same purpose, as unnecessary and useless for the end proposed, as it is otherwise objectionable in itself.

If both these expedients had an aspect little reconcileable to the Independence of Nations, other measures, appertaining to the system, exhibited features equally inauspicious to Individual Rights. Among the securities in the Political Institutions of the Union, deemed the most important and precious to Individual Liberty, are the rules established to shield from oppression the rights of Persons accused of crimes. The Constitution of The United States, among other humane and beneficent provisions in their favour, had ordained, that they should be called to answer no other accusation than that of a Grand Jury; that they should be sentenced only upon the Verdict of a Jury of Trial, and that they should be tried only by Judges; themselves responsible to the Justice of their Country by the process of Impeachment.


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