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Mr. ERSKINE TO Mr. SMITH. tant and honourable command, im
Washington, April 17. 1809. mediately ensued, his Majesty is SIR,--I have the honour to inform willing to 'restore the men forcibly you, that I have received his Majesty's taken out of the Chesapeake, and commands to represent to the go if acceptable to the American government of the United States, that vernment, to make a suitable provibis Majesty is animated by the most sion for the unfortunate sufferers on sincere desire for an adjustment of that occasion. the differences which have unhappi- I have the honour to be, with senly so long prevailed between the timents of the highest respect and two countries, the recapitulation of consideration, Sir, your most obe which might have a tendency to im- dient humble servant, pede, if not prevent an amicable
D. M. ERSKINE. understanding
The hon. Robert Smith Esq. It having been represented to his Secretary of State, &c. sc. Majesty's government, that the con- Department of State, April 17. gress of the United States in their SIR, -1 have laid before the preproceedings at the opening of the sident your note, in which you have, last session, had evinced an inten- in the name and by the order of his tion of passing certain laws, which Britannic Majesty, declared that would place the relations of Great his Britannic Majesty is desirous of Britain with the United States upon making an honourable reparation an equal footing, in all respects for the aggression committed by a with the other belligerent powers, I British naval officer in the attack have accordingly received his Ma- on the United States' frigate the jesty's commands, in the event of Chesapeake; that, in addition to such laws taking place, to offer, on his prompt disavowal of the act, his the part of his Majesty, an honour- Majesty, as a mark of his displeaable reparation for the aggression sure, did immediately recal the of committed by a British naval officer, fending officer from a highly imporin the attack on the United States' tant and honourable command; and frigate Chesapeake.
that he is willing to restore the men Considering the act passed by the forcibly taken out of the Chesapeake, congress of the United States on the and, if acceptable to the American 1st of March (usually termed the government, to make a suitable pronon-intercourse act), as having pro- vision for the unfortunate sufferers duced a state of equality in the re- on that occasion. lations of the two belligerent powers,
The government of the United with respect to the United States, States, having at all times enterhave to submit, conformably to in- tained a sincere desire for an adjuststructions, for the consideration of ment of the differences which have the American government, such so long and so unhappily subsisted terms of satisfaction and reparation, between the two countries, the preas his Majesty is induced to believe sident cannot but receive with pleawill be accepted, in the same spirit sure, assurances that his Britannic of conciliation with which they are Majesty is animated by the same proposed.
disposition, and that he is ready, in In addition to the prompt disa- conformity to this disposition, to vowal made by his Majesty, on be- make atonement for the insult and ing apprized of the unauthorized aggression committed by one of his act committed hy his naval wfficer, naval officers in the attack on the whose recal, as a mark of the King's United States' frigate, the Chesadispleasure, from an highly impor- peake,
As it appears at the same time, having removed a painful.cause of that in making this offer, his Bri- difference, but as affording a fair tannic Majesty derives a motive prospect of a complete and cordial from the equality, now existing, in undertanding being re-established be the relations of the United States, tween the two countries. with the two belligerent powers, the The favourable change in the res president owes it to the occasion, lations of his Majesty with the Uniand to himself, to let it be under- ted States, which has been produstood, that this equality is a result ced by the act (usually termed the incident to a state of things, grow- non-intercourse act) passed in the ing out of distinct considerations. last session of congress, was also
With this explanation, as requi- anticipated by his Majesty, and has. site as it is frank, I am authorised to encouraged a further hope, that a inform you that the president ac- reconsideration of the existing differcepts the note delivered by you in ences might lead to their satisfactory the name and by the order of his adjustment. Britannic Majesty, and will consi- On these grounds and expectader the same with the engagement tions, I am instructed to communicontained therein, when fulfilled, as cate to the American government, a satisfaction for the insult and inju- his Majesty's determination of sendry of which he has complained. But ing to the United States, an Envoy I have it in express charge from the extraordinary invested with full powe president to state, that while he for- ers to conclude a treaty on all the bears to insist on a further punish- points of the relations between the ment of the offending officer, he is two countries. not the less sensible of the justice In the mean time, with a view to and utility of such an example, nor contribute to the attainment of so the less persuaded that it would desirable an object; his Majesty best comport with what is due from would be willing to withdraw his his Britannic Majesty to his own orders in council of January and honour. I have the honour to be, November 1807, so far as respects with the highest respect and consi- the United States, in the persuasion deration, Sir, your most obedient that the president would issue a proservant,
R. SMITH. clamation for the renewal of the inThe Hon. David M. Erskine, Esq. tercourse with Great Britain, and
Envoy Extraordinary, and Minis- that whatever difference of opinion ter Plenipotentiary of his Britannic should arise in the interpretation of Majesty.
the terms of such an agreement will Mr. ERSKINE to Mr. SMITH. be removed in the proposed nego
Washington, April 18. ciation. SIR-I have the honour of infor- I have the honour to be with sena ming you that his Majesty, having timents of the highest consideration been persuaded that the honourable and esteem, Sir, your most obedient reparation which he had caused to humble servant, be tendered for the unauthorised at
D. M. ERSKINE. tack upon the American frigate Che- Hon. Robert Smith, fc. fc. sapeake would be accepted by the Mr. SMITH TO Mr. ERSKINE. government of the United States in
Department of State, April 18. the same spirit of conciliation, with SIR-The note which I had the which it was proposed, has instruc- honour of receiving from you this ted me to express bis satisfaction, day, I lost no time in laying before should such a happy termination of the president, who, being sincerely that affair take place; not only as desirous of a satisfactory adjustment
of the differences unhappily existing November 1807, so far as respects between Great Britain and the Uni- the United States, I have the hos ted States, has authorised me to as- nour of informing you that the presure you, that he will meet with a sident will accordingly, and in purdisposition correspondent with that suance of the eleventh section of the of his Britannic Majesty, the deter- statute commonly called the non-inmination of his Majesty to send to tercourse act, issue a proclamation, the United States a special envoy, so that the trade of the United States invested with full powers to con- · with Great Britain may on the same clude a treaty on all the points of day be renewed, in the manner prothe relations between the two coun- vided in the said section. tries.
I have the honour to be, &c. &c. I am further authorised to assure
R. SMITH. you that in case his Britannic Ma
PROCLAMATION. jesty should in the mean time with. By the President of the United States draw his orders in council of Janua- of America. ry and November 1807, so far as Whereas it is provided by the 11th respects the United States, the
section of the act of congress, ensident will not fail to issue a pro- titled “ An act to interdict the comclamation by virtue of the authority mercial intercourse between the Uniand for the purposes specified in the ted States and Great Britain and eleventh section of the statute, com-, France and their dependencies, and monly called the non-intercourse for other purposes,” that“ in case act. I have the honour, &c. either France or Great Britain shall
R. SMITH. so revoke and nullify such edicts, as Mr. ERSKINE TO Mr. SMITH. that they shall cease to violate the
Washington, April 19. neutral commerce of the United SIR, -In consequence of the ac- States," the president is authorised ceptance, by the president, as stated to declare the same by proclamation, in your letter dated the 18th inst. after which the trade suspended by of the proposals made by me on the the said act, and by an act laying part of his Majesty, in my letter an embargo on all ships and vessels of the same day, for the renewal of in 'the ports and harbours of the the intercourse between the respec- United States, and the several acts tive countries, I am authorised to supplementary thereto, may be redeclare that his Majesty's orders in newed with the nations so doing, council of January and November And whereas the Hon. D. M. Ers1807, will have been withdrawn as kine, his Britannic Majesty's envoy
cts the United States on the extraordinary and minister plenipo10th day of June next.
tentiary, has, by the order and in I have the honour to be, with the name of his Sovereign, declared great respect and consideration, Sir, to this government that the British your most obedient Servant, orders in council of January and
D. M. ERSKINE. November 1807, will have been Hon. Robert Smith, fc.
withdrawn, as respects the United Mr. SMITH TO Mr. ERSKINE. States, on the 10th of June next:
Department of State, April 19. Now, therefore, I, James Madison, SIR, --Having laid before the pre- President of the United States, do sident
your note of this day, con- hereby proclaim that the orders in taining
an assurance, that his Bri- council aforesaid, ' will have been tannic Majesty will, on the 10th withdrawn on the said 10th June day of June next, have withdrawn next; after which day the trade of his orders in council of January and the United States with Great Britain, as suspended by the act of Majesty in council, issued on the congress above mentioned, and an 26th. of April last. act laying an embargo on all ships In consequence of official commuand vessels in the ports and har- nications sent to me from his Mabours of the United States, and the jesty's government, since the adopseveral acts supplementary thereto, tion of that measure, I am enabled may be renewed. EXTRA SESSION.
to assure you that it has no connecGiven under my hand and seal of tion whatever with the overtures the U. S. at Washington, April 19, which I have been authorised to 1809, and 33d. of the independence make to the government of the United of the United States.
States, and that I am persuaded that JAMES MADDISON. the terms of the agreement so hapMr. CANNING TO Mr. Pinckney. pily concluded by the recent nego
Foreign Office, April 30. ciation, will be strictly fulfilled on SIR, -When I had the honour to the part of his Majesty. transmit to you, on the 24th.of De- The internal evidence of the order cember last, the orders in council itself would fully justify the foregopassed on the 21st of that month, I ing construction; and moreover it referred to that passage of my official will not have escaped your notice, note of the 23d. of September, 1808, that the repeal has not thereby been in which I stated to you, that " it made of the order of the 7th of Jais not improbable indeed that some nuary, 1807, which according to the alterations may be made in the or- engagement I have entered into, on ders in council, as they are at pre- the part of his Majesty, is to be sent framed, alterations calculated abrogated with the other orders, in not to abate their spirit or impair consequence of the adjustment of their principle, but to adapt them differences between the two countries, more exactly to the different state of and the confidence entertained of a things which has fortunately grown further conciliatory understanding, up in Europe, and to combine all - I have the honour to be, with the practicable relief to neutrals with a highest respect and consideration, more severe pressure upon thcenemy," Sir, your most obedient humble ser--and I at the same time explained to vant,
D. M. ERSKINE. you the grounds on which the design The Hon. R. Smith, &c. of the larger alterations which had Mr. SMITH TO Mr. ERSKINE. been in contemplation in September Department of State, June 16. was for the time laid aside.- By the Sir.--I have the honour to acorder of council, which I have now knowledge the receipt of your note the honour to inclose to you, that of this day, communicating the ordesign, as explained in my official ders' in council, issued by his Brinote of September 23d. is fully car- tannic Majesty on the 26th of April ried into execution. I have the ho- last. nour to be, with the highest consi- However well persuaded the prederation, Sir, your most obedient sident may, at all times, have been, humble servant,
that the arrangement, so happily efGEORGE CANNING. fected by the late negociation, would W. Pinckney Esq. &c. &c.
be strictly fulfilled on the part of his [Here follows the British order of Britannic Majesty, he has, neverthethe 26th of April.]
less, received with satisfaction your Mr. ERSKINE to Mr. SMITH. renewed assurance to that effect, with
Washington, June 15. the further assurance, founded Sir, I have the honour to in- official communications to you from close the copy of an order of his your government since the adoption
of the order in council of the 26th. strictions; and relying on the conApril, that that order was not in- ciliatory disposition of the United tended to have any connection what- States, had transmitted to their legaever with the overtures which you tion here, provisional, instructions, have been authorised to make to the not only to offer satisfaction for the government of the United States. attack on the frigate Chesapeake, I have the honour to be, with the and to make known the determinahighest respect, your most obedient tion of his Britannic Majesty to send servant,
R. SMITH. an envoy extraordinary with powers Hon. D. M. Erskine.
to conclude a treaty on all points between the two countries ; hut,
moreover, to signify his willingness, Washington, May 24.- This day in the mean time, to withdraw his both houses of congress assembled orders in council, in the persuasion in their respective chambers. In that the intercourse with Great Brisenate 21 members attended. In the tain would be renewed on the part lower house, at the first call, 120 of the United States.—These steps members appeared.
of the British government led to the Gen. Varnum is re-elected Speaker. correspondence and the proclamation HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. now laid before you; by virtue of Washington, May 23.- This day, which, the commerce between the at twelve o'clock, the President of two countries, will be renewable the United States communicated, by after the 10th day of June next. Mr. Graham, the following message
Whilst I take pleasure in doing to both houses of congress.
justice to the councils of his BriFellow Citizens of the Senate, and of tannic Majesty, which, no longer
the House of Representatives. adhering to the policy which made On this first occasion of meeting an abandonment by France of her you, it affords me much satisfaction decrees a pre-requisite to a revocato be able to communicate the com- tion of the British orders, have submencement of a favourable change stituted the amicable course which in our foreign relations; the critical has issued thus happily ; I cannot state of which induced a session of do less than refer to the proposal congress at this early period. heretofore made on the part of the
In consequence of the provisions United States, embracing a like resof the act interdicting commercial toration of the suspended commerce, intercourse with Great Britain and as a proof of the spirit of accommoFrance, our ministers at London and 'dation which has at no time been Paris were, without delay, instructed intermitted ; and to the result which to let it be understood by the French now calls for our congratulations, and British governments, that the as corroborating the principles, by authority vested in the executive, to which the public councils have been renew commercial intercourse with guided during a period of the most their respective nations, would be trying embarrassments. exercised in the case specified by The discontinuance of the British that act. Soon after these instruc- orders' as they respect the United tions were dispatched, it was found States, having been thus arranged, that the British government, antici- a communication of the event has pating, from early proceedings of been forwarded, in one of our pubcongress at their last session, the . lic vessels, to our minister plenipostate of our laws, which has had tentiary at Paris ; with instructions the effect of placing the two bellige- to avail himself of the important fent powers on a footing of equal re. addition thereby made, to the con