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essentially weaken or impair. The oath administered to me in my capacity of a legislator was, "that the state of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign, and independent state;" and this solemn oath, taken before an assembled people, and in the presence of the Supreme Being, I consider a sacred pledge that I will defend, uphold, and maintain the rights and interests of this state against all hostile attempts whatsoever. To me it is a matter of indifference, whether the attack upon these rights proceeds directly and openly from the Great Usurper and common enemy of all civilized states, or whether the same be made through the partiality or the mistakes of the men whom a majority of our citizens have unfortunately elevated to ill-deserved power.' -page 1.
Before our New England farmer' proceeds to examine the gross partiality for France displayed in Mr. Madison's manifesto, and the black and bloody representation' therein made of the conduct of Great Britain, for the unworthy purpose of gratifying the malice of Buonaparte, he deems it proper to glance at some of the events in the history of Mr. Madison's public character and conduct, which, we perfectly agree with him, are the more important to be known, as they tend to shew an habitual inclination to the views and interests of the tyrant of Europe; and to satisfy every reasonable man, that this war of Mr. Madison is, to all intents and purposes, a French war, and not an American one: that he has plunged into it, as we have said, for French interests; nay more, that he has plunged into it in conformity with repeated orders from France.
Mr. Madison, we are told, was, in early life, a leading man of the French party in the revolutionary congress, which endeavoured to bend all the efforts and energies of America to the views of the French cabinet. Mr. Madison was of the party who instructed the American ministers abroad to make no peace without the consent and concurrence of France; he was one of those who opposed the treaty of peace made by Mr. Jay and Mr. Adams; who, in compliance with the wishes of France, attempted a censure upon those ministers for having dared to negociate a most advantageous and honourable treaty without the consent of the French government. True to his first opinions, Mr. Madison was resolutely bent, at a subsequent period, to promote the views and interests of revolutionary France. In 1794 he strenuously opposed General Washington's pacific mission to England; he was in favour, as he has uniformly been, of direct hostility with Great Britain; he was in favour of the sequestration of British property; and opposed every measure that tended to heal the breach between the two countries. To please the revolutionary rulers of France, he proposed a warfare on British commerce. The resolutions which he then brought forward were the same, in character, with the continental
tinental system of Buonaparte; and of the same complexion with the corresponding, co-operating measures of embargo and non-intercourse, the precious offspring of Jefferson and himself. It was Mr. Madison who arraigned our colonial system, and apologised for the French decrees as mere municipal regulations; who condemned Great Britain for prohibiting a trade with her open enemy, and excused France for cutting off America from all trade with friendly and neutral powers; who defended the infamous aggressions of Buonaparte on those powers, as a legitimate exercise of unquestionable sovereignty. It was Mr. Madison who wrote against the author of War in Disguise.' It was Mr. Madison who, in a moment of intemperate zeal for his friend and ally, indiscreetly told Mr. Randolph that France wanted money, and must have it!' it was this same Mr. Madison who, when Secretary of State, did not disguise his opinion that England must fall in the struggle with France, and that therefore the wisest policy for America to pursue was that of conciliating Buonaparte.
Such is the picture of Mr. Madison's conduct in relation to the two belligerents, before he had the boldness to come out and declare himself on the side of France; before he dared to tell this people (as by his measures he has done) that their fortunes must be hereafter inseparably attached to those of Buonaparte, and that we must be tied to the chariot wheels of this conqueror, in his triumphal entry into his capital.' -p. 9.
But it is not merely the political partialities of the President that rouse the indignation of the New England farmer;' he is equally scandalized at his want of political veracity, which has destroyed all confidence in his public assertions; which has disgraced America in the eyes of the whole world by the gross exaggerations against Great Britain contained in his manifesto; and, among other things, by a repetition of his former message with respect to the pretended discovery of Henry's intrigues, wherein he asserts a calumny against his fellow citizens, which he knew to be false and unfounded.
'Instead of honourably acquitting the citizens of Boston, as he ought to have done, of any participation in Henry's views or designs, he boldly asserts that "Henry was employed in intrigues with disaffected citizens in the United States, having for their object a subversion of our government, and a dismemberment of the union."
'Now he well knew, at the time he penned that sentence, (and he has since repeated the same sentence in the manifesto) that Henry expressly declared that he never opened the subject of his mission to any citizen of the United States.
'A man capable of so insidious and unfounded an aspersion on the citizens of his own country, on men who will not yield to him in patriotism or spirit, might well be expected to be little scrupulous about the terms he might use towards a foreign nation, especially when those terms
of reproach fall in with the passions of the ignorant part of his supporters, whom it has been the business of their leaders to inflame and to deceive.'-p. 6.
Such is Mr. Madison's political character as described by the New England farmer. His hostile feeling against England, and his partiality for France, will be farther developed as we proceed in the examination of his message to Congress, which impelled that body to declare, by a smail majority, an offensive war against Great Britain. This examination will comprize the first of the five heads under which the farmer' arranges his arguments against the war, and the only one, in fact, in which British interests' are particularly concerned. Under this head he has shewn, with great clearness, that all the charges brought forward by Mr. Madison against Great Britain are grossly exaggerated, and that they might all of them without exception have been adjusted, if the American government had been so disposed-but that the alleged causes of complaint have purposely been made to produce considerable irritation, in conformity with the expectations and wishes of France.
It was too remarkable a feature, in this message of the President, to be overlooked by the New England farmer, that the first and most prominent point should relate to the impressment of American seamen. The language of complaint is studied to inflame and irritate the passions of the populace; and, at the same time, an insidious attack is made on the British doctrine of claiming and taking her own seamen out of American merchant ships, though she does it on the established public law that every sovereign has a right to the services of his subjects, and especially in time of war'—a doctrine maintained by all sovereign states, and sanctioned by the opi nions of Grotius, Vattell, Puffendorff, and all other writers on the law of nations, and a practice enforced by Great Britain towards America, generally speaking, with more moderation than is consis tent with so alarming, so serious, so distressing an evil, as that which results from harbouring English seamen in the merchant ships of America. That among a number of men sprung from the same parent stock, speaking the same language, having, the same habits, and engaged in the same pursuits, an American may occasionally be mistaken for an Englishman, ought not to be a matter of surprize; much less of such wilful misrepresentations; for we have no hesitation in saying it is an absolute falsehood, though asserted by such high authority and in so formal and solemn a manner, that, under pretext of searching for her seamen, thousands of American citizens, under the safeguard of public laws, and of their national flag, have been torn from their country and from every thing dear to them.' We have stated in a former article that the whole number of real Americans serving at any one time in our navy did not exceed one thousand.
thousand. On farther inquiry, we are perfectly satisfied that they do not amount to any thing like half that number; and that, instead of three out of four who carry about with them certificates of American citizenship,' nine out of ten are native Scotchmen or Irishmen. In corroboration of our statement let us hear the opinion of the New England farmer—
The whole number of sailors, pretended to have been impressed from our ships, for fifteen years past, was 6258 out of 70,000, and of which all but 1500 have been restored. Of this remainder, at least one half are probably British seamen, and of the residue it is probable that at least another moiety entered voluntarily. The whole number of British seamen in their marine, or public ships only, is 150,000, and in their merchant ships, over whom they have a perfect control, 240,000. Is it probable, we ask, that for the sake of gaining 1500 seamen, they would hazard the peace of their country?'
Certainly not. We have already stated that the government
has no desire for the services of American seamen in the British navy; and we believe that our officers feel as little desire to be troubled with them; but it is their duty to insist upon the right of examining the crews of American vessels, in order to ascertain whether any British seamen, or deserters from the navy may be evading the service of their country, under the feigned character of American citizens; which is the more necessary as the American government is known to encourage this disgraceful seduction. It is to check, as the Farmer justly supposes, the disposition of our seamen to enter into the American service, of whom, he says, it is generally admitted that they have from 30 to 50,000-to say nothing of those who are known to be serving in their ships of war from which we have disclaimed the right of taking them. But let us, with the author, consider the question in the abstract.
'A belligerent and neutral nation speak the same language and have the same general character. The belligerent wants her citizens for the defence of her existence. The neutral wants them for profit-the neutral offers thirty dollars per month, and the belligerent can afford but fifteen. The belligerent loses 40,000 seamen, which the neutral harbours and employs.
"The belligerent assumes the right to reclaim her own subjects, and so far as respects them she is right; she is supported by the law of nations; but in the exercise of this right instances of mistake or misconduct will occur: ought the neutral to complain unless she takes effectual measures to prevent the entry of the seamen of the belligerent into her service? much less ought she to complain if she entices by high rewards, and countenances by fraudulent protections, such seamen of the belligerent in deserting the standard of their country;-yet such is the fact well known to every man on the sea coast-Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia employ three foreign seamen to one
American-yet these are the men from whom our complaints proceed." ~p. 11.
We have it indeed under the hands of fifteen hundred free electors of the county of Rockingham, in their eloquent and spirited memorial to Mr. Madison against the war, that the impressment of American seamen is a subject of great misrepresentation;' that the number of cases has been extravagantly exaggerated;' that the reputed number bears little relation to the true number;'— that many of the memorialists, constantly employed in commercial pursuits from 1783 until the ocean became unnavigable, as to them, by the embargo of 1807, never suffered the loss of one native American seaman by impressment.' 'It is well worthy of notice,' they observe, that the greatest apparent feeling on this subject of impressment, and the greatest disposition to wage war on that account, are entertained by the representatives of those states which have no seamen at all of their own.'
Whence then proceeds all this prodigious whining about the cruelty of dragging American citizens on board ships of war of a foreign nation, of exiling them to distant and deadly climes, of risquing their precious lives in the battles of their oppressors, and of making them the melancholy instruments of taking away those of their own brethren? Such moral aud pathetic preaching, as the farmer observes, sits but ill on the lips of that man who encourages the seduction of British subjects from their allegiance, and then compels them to turn their arms against their sovereign and fellow subjects. It ill becomes him to talk of the severity of British discipline, at the moment that a brave British sailor was brutally tarred and feathered on board the American frigate Essex, because he refused to violate his oath of allegiance! We will not stop to degrade the British navy by condescending to enter into any comparison between the high order, the discipline and comfort of an English man of war and an American frigate-we disdain any such comparison; but we cannot forbear noticing the contrast between the honourable and manly feeling of Captain Dacres, (who, rather than desire men calling themselves Americans, to fight against their assumed country, submitted to weaken his already reduced crew,) with the infamous conduct of Rodgers, who, on his arrival at Boston, finding that neither art nor bribery could prevail on the Guerriere's men to forfeit their allegiance and become traitors, ordered them to be turned out into the street, with the view of accomplishing his purpose by exposing them to distress and starvation.*
The next unfounded assertion of Mr. Madison states, that the
* See Court Martial on Captain Dacres, and the Guerriere ship's company.