« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
the Berlin decree, his majesty would consent to revoke that decree.”
After this clear exposition, we think that no reasonable being can entertain any doubts of Mr. Madison's intrigues with France.
The third reason urged by Mr. Madison's party against the British Orders in Council is, that America did not submit to the Berlin and Milan decrees; that in spite of France and its interdictions, she contined to trade with England; that this was the only mode of resistance which she had, but that if others were within her reach, she was at liberty to cluse her own time and the manner of employing them.
• To this,' says the farmer, “ I answer, that as to the British trade, we pursued it only because it was profitable, and not for the purpose of proving to France that we despised or opposed her decrees. So far were we from despising those decrees, it is a humiliating truth, that France has unremitingiy inflicted upon us the severest punishment for trading at all with Great Britain, although we had narrowed that trade by our own laws, in a manner that co-operated essentially with the designs of the French government; she did this by arms, by the law of strength ;-we had adequate peaceable means of redress, or, at least, such as we have thought powerful against Great Britain - we neglected to use them. If Great Britain, notwithstanding this acquiescence, had no right to retaliate on France, because we might be incidentally, though not intentionally, injured, then it will follow, that neutrals hereafter may be as partial as ihey please, and that the most unjust belligerent may always wound, or possibly ruin, his enemy through the sides of the neutral.'—p. 25.
If Mr. Madison had even catented himself with remaining passive-if he had not justified the French decrees-if he had thus reasoned with himself - France will act as she thinks fit on the continent, where England cannot touch her, but we shall be protected at least on the ocean, where she cannot touch England; it belongs not then to us to resent the one, nor to resist the other let us continue strictly neutral;' had he adopted this line of concluct, the trade of America must have continued to flourish, and France, ere this, have been compeller! to revoke her obnoxious decrees. But other councils prevailed. Mr. Jefferson, with as rancorous a hatred of England as Mr. Madison could possibly entertain, and as strong a prepossession in favor of France,-contrived to keep himself out of the toils: but his pupil became the weak yet willing tool of the French party. Had le but summoned sufficient courage to set before the eyes of the nation the true character of the great contending parties in Europe, instead of plunging his fellow citizens into the deepest distress. by rushing into an unjust and unnecessary war with one of them, he would have reasoned, with the New England farmer,-
VOL. VIII. NO. XV.
“Great Britain stands in a situation which may be called unexam. pled. Her maritime power is greater than that of any other nation since we have any authentic histories of civilized society: opposed to her is the gigantic dominion of France, enjoyed and swayed by one of the most ambitious, daring, successful, and unprincipled men whom the world has produced-a man, who has shewn that he neither respects the venerable institutions of religion, nor the faith of treaties, nor the established laws of civilized nations-a declared enemy to the ancient dynasties of monarchical states, as well as to the humble citizens of free republics. He has spared no people whom his arms could subdue, and there are none whom he has subdued that he has not reduced to the lowest stage of servitude and misery-if against this monstrous power, Great Britain, by her invincible marine, has alone been enabled to make a successful stand, what is it to us whether this stand be made out of regard to the interests of the remaining free and independent states, or for her own interests-while England maintains her maritime dominion, we at least are safe and free-let us not then interpose our puny efforts to weaken that dominion which is our only security against the lawless ambition of France.'
This would have been wisdom-this would have deserved the name of strict peutrality. Instead of which, Mr. Madison has joined this • foe to all free states' in a conspiracy against the maritime rights of Great Britain, obtained by the valour of her children, sanctioned by time and treaties, and by the public law of nations. He bas now thrown off the flimsy mask. The following article, wbich appeared in the National Intelligencer, as much the organ of the American executive as the Moniteur is that of Buonaparte, cannot be mistaken.
The Orders in Council of the British government are now no longer a question with the United States ; the question of peace now requires only a proper and vigorous use of the ample means which the
governo ment is possessed of, to render it speedy, decisive, and glorious. Peace, when it comes, must bring with it more than the confession of British outrage by the retraction of its avowed tyranny; it is not a mere cessation to do wrong that can now produce a peace--wrongs done must be redressed, and a guarantee must be given, in the face of the world, for the restoration of our enslaved citizens, and the respect due to our fag, which, like the soil we inherit, must in future secure all that sails under it. The rights of neutrals must be recognized, and the British, like the first tyrants of the Swiss, must no longer expect a free people to bow down and worship the symbols of British usurpation.'
This is to the purpose, this is completely intelligible; it does not ask us to give up one point, or to relax in any, or all; it is a peremptory demand to surrender, in a mass, all those maritime rights for which we have been struggling for more than two hundred years, and to which we owe our present pre-eminence. It requires of us to permit, without molestation, a French army
to be transported in American bottoms for the invasion of Ireland, or the capture of Jamaica. It invites the seamen of our fleets to desert their country's service and to seek protection under the American flag; it demands not only a free and uninterrupted trade with our inveterate enemy, but to carry on the commerce of that enemy, and for his account. In short, it demands that ' free ships make free goods, aye, and free men'too!-and to what are we to make these deadly sacrifices? To the unreasonable and factious clamours of the vilest rabble that was ever associated from all quarters of the globe, headed by a man who has lent himself to the views and interests of France. What! after all the hard fought battles which our ancestors have sustained against the Van Tromps, the De Ruyters, and De Witts; after all the precious blood that has been spilt, and the loads of treasure expended, in order to establish our naval preponderance on a solid and lasting basis, are we now called upon to forego those rights and cede that dominion which conquest has conferred, which time has rendered sacred, and treaties have confirmed, to the base intrigues and the paltry personal interest of a special pleading, transatlantic sophister? Is it for this that Hawke and Rodney, Howe and St. Vincent, conquered? Is it for this that the immortal Nelson bled? No, let us rather renew with increased tenacity, and exact from America in particular, what, in our opinion, ought never to have dropped, our demand of the acknowledgment of His Majesty's sovereignty in his own seas, by the salute of the flag and topsail!' And with regard to the searching of American ships, let us say to Mr. Madison, as King Charles I. said at the head of his Board of Admiralty-It is our right, and shall be continued.' When the honor of the British Aay is in danger, we are not apprehensive that any set of ministers will be so tame, or any faction bold enough to compromise that honor, and with it the interests of the nation.
We cannot take leave of the extraordinary manifesto of the American president, without noticing a farther instance of his malignant disposition towards this country. He says,
' In reviewing the conduct of Great Britain towards the United States, our attention is necessarily drawn to the warfare just renewed by the savages on one of our extensive frontiers; a warfare which is known to spare neither age nor sex, and to be distinguished by features peculiarly shocking to humanity. It is difficult to account for the activity and combinations, which have for some time been developing themselves, among the tribes in constant intercourse with British traders and garrisons, without connecting their bostility with that influence.' As it is difficult to account for it, ergo it is easy to fix it on the 02
English. Such is Mr. Madison's logic. As he knew perfectly well that his insinuations were as destitute -of foundation as the ' unauthenticated examples,' which he recollects,' of British “interpositions heretofore furnished, it would have been more honorable for him to abstain from any such inference, unsupported as it was by any kind of proof. Mr. Jefferson, with all his dislike to England, was above this baseness: in bis message of 1807, adverting to Burr's conspiracy, some surmises,' says he, have been hazarded that this enterprize is to receive aid from certain foreign powers—but these surmises are without proof or probability. This was a fair and liberal construction. But what is the fact with regard to the warfare just renewed by the savages? Major General Brock has furnished us with a distinct reply to this question in his letter of August 17th to Sir George Prevost. • When this contest commenced, many of the Indian nations were engaged in active warfare with the United States, notwithstanding the constant endeavours of this government to dissuade them from it. Some of the principal chiefs happened to be at Amherstburgh, trying to procure a supply of arms and ammunition, which, for years, had been withheld, agreeably to the instructions received from Sir James Craig, and since repeated by your excellency.'*
From the same authority we know how to appreciate this warfare which is known to spare neither age nor sex, and to be distinguished by features peculiarly shocking to humanity.' The General thus proceeds: ‘From that moment they took a most active part, and appeared foremost on every occasion; they were led yesterday by Colonel Elliott and Captain M‘Kee, and nothing could exceed their order and steadiness. A few prisoners were taken by them during the advance, whom they treated with every humanity; and it affords me much pleasure in assuring your Excellency that such was their forbearance and atlention to what was required of them, that the enemy sustained no other loss in men than what was occasioned by the fire of our batteries.'t
What then becomes of the “ tomahawks and scalping-knives' of General Hull? but we forbear to say one word on this man, whose disgraceful proclamation was fully authorized by the terms and sentiments of Mr. Madison's war message—we leave him to the contempt which he is likely to experience from one party, and can scarcely pity the sacrifice to which he is as likely to be doomed by the other—a sacrifice which he can only hope to escape by a transfer of the odium to the master under whose instructions he acted.
It is not our intention to accompany the New England Farme
* London Gazette of 6th October, 1812.
through the other four heads of his argument, in which he ably demonstrates the inexpediency and the imbecility of the president's war measures, the conduct which the citizens of the Uvited States ought to pursue, and the inevitable ruin of the prosperity and independence of the country from a French alliance. These are all ? American objects of vital importance to that country; to us they are but of collateral interest. We are pleased, however, to see, not only in this pamphlet, but in all the memorials and addresses from vast bodies of free electors in the northern states, a firin and decided abhorrence of French principles aud Freuch alliance. In one of these memorials, to which we have before alluded, the conviction is so strongly impressed on the minds of the memorialists that nothing but destruction to the republic must follow a French connection—that, after weighing well the consequences of their conduct, they resolutely determine to resist any such connection. • We will,' say they, in no event assist in uniting the republic of America with the military despotism of France. We will have no connection with her principles or her power. If her arined troops, under whatever name or character, should come bither, we will regard them as enemies. No pressure, domestic or foreign, shall ever compel us to connect our interests with those of the Ilouse of Corsica, or to yoke ourselves to the triumphal car of the conqueror and the tyrant of Europe. Had sentiments like these prevailed in the corrupt courts of Europe, the conqueror and the tyrant would long ago have ceased to scourge mankind.'
With a state, which can boast of citizens entertaining sentiments like these, most anxiously must we wish the restoration and conti nuance of peace, and we have had occasion to express too often, to be now under the necessity of repeating our conviction, that the true interests of Great Britain and the United States of America are intimately blended with each other. They can be forcibly separated only by the mistaken policy of their rulers. How widely Mr. Madison is mistaken in his policy, which submits the guidance of his political conduct to the councils of France, cannot be more strougly shewn than by the eloquent and energetic memorial of the inhabitants of Rockingham which we have just quoted. But the obvious and, as we think, proved existence of that subserviency to France on the part of the American government, will, we hope, guard our own rulers against mistakes of another description. Concession and conciliation have their limits. War is a dreadful evil, but its calamities are not mitigated, and are likely to be prolonged, by being felt on one side only. In the history of Europe, the inferences from which, for auglit we see, may apply equally to America, wars have been more usually brought to a lappy issue by retaliation, however sanguinary, than by patience, however mild and