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List of papers accompanying the report of the Secretary of State to the President, of February 27, 1856.
Mr. Crampton to Mr. Marcy, April 21, 1854.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy, (extract) July 13, 1855, with an accompaniment.
Mr. Marcy to Mr. Buchanan, July 15, 1855.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy, (extract,) July 20, 1855, with an accompaniment.
The same to the same, (extract,) August 3, 1855.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy, (extract,) September 28, 1855, with accompaniments.
Mr. Marcy to Mr. Buchanan, October 1, 1855.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy, (extract,) October 3, 1855.
Lord Clarendon to Mr. Crampton, November 16, 1855.
Mr. Marcy to Mr. Buchanan, December 28, 1855, with a copy of the report of the case of the United States against Henry Hertz, and of the proceedings relative to the barque Maury.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy, (extract,) February 1, 1856.
Mr. Crampton to Mr. Marcy.
WASHINGTON, April 21, 1854.
The undersigned, her Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States of America, has received orders from his government to make to the Secretary of State of the United States the following communication:
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and his Majesty the Emperor of the French, being compelled to take up arms for the purpose of repelling the aggression of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia upon the Ottoman Empire, and being desirous to lessen as much as possible the disastrous consequences to commerce resulting from a state of warfare, their Majesties have resolved, for the present, not to authorize the issue of letters of marque. In making this resolution known, they think it right to announce, at the same time, the principles upon which they will be guided during the course of this war with regard to the navigation and commerce of neutrals.
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland has accordingly published the accompanying declaration, which is identical with that published by his Majesty the Emperor of the French.
In thus restricting within the narrowest limits the exercise of their rights as belligerents, the allied governments confidently trust that the governments of countries which may remain neutral during this war will sincerely exert every effort to enforce upon their subjects or citizens the necessity of observing the strictest neutrality.
Her Britannic Majesty's government entertains the confident hope that the United States government will receive with satisfaction the announcement of the resolutions thus taken in common by the two allied governments, and that it will, in the spirit of just reciprocity, give orders that no privateer under Russian colors shall be equipped or victualled, or admitted with its prizes, in the ports of the United States, and also that the citizens of the United States shall rigorously . abstain from taking part in armaments of this nature, or in any other measure opposed to the duties of a strict neutrality.
The undersigned has the honor to avail himself of this occasion to renew to the Secretary of State of the United States the assurance of his highest consideration.
Hon. W. L. MARCY,
Secretary of State, &c., &c.
JOHN F. CRAMPTON.
Mr. Marcy to Mr. Crampton.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 28, 1854.
The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has had the honor to receive the note of Mr. Crampton, her Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, of the 21st instant, accompanied by the declaration of her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in regard to the rule which will for the present be observed towards those powers with which she is at peace, in the existing war with Russia.
The undersigned has submitted those communications to the President, and received his direction to express to her Majesty's government his satisfaction that the principle that free ships make free goods, which the United States have so long and so strenuously contended for as a neutral right, and in which some of the leading powers of Europe have concurred, is to have a qualified sanction by the practical observance of it in the present war by both Great Britain and France-two of the most powerful nations of Europe.
Notwithstanding the sincere gratification which her Majesty's declaration has given to the President, it would have been enhanced if the rule alluded to had been announced as one which would be observed not only in the present, but in every future war in which Great Britain shall be a party. The unconditional sanction of
this rule by the British and French governments, together with the practical observance of it in the present war, would cause it to be henceforth recognised throughout the civilized world as a general principle of international law. This government, from its very commencement, has labored for its recognition as a neutral right. It has incorporated it in many of its treaties with foreign powers. France, Russia, Prussia, and other nations, have, in various ways, fully concurred with the United States in regarding it as a sound and salutary principle, in all respects proper to be incorporated into the law of nations.
The same consideration which has induced her Britannic Majesty, in concurrence with the Emperor of the French, to present it as a concession in the present war, the desire to preserve the commerce of neutrals from all unnecessary obstruction," will, it is presumed, have equal weight with the belligerents in any future war, and satisfy them that the claims of the principal maritime powers, while neutral, to have it recognised as a rule of international law, are well founded, and should be no longer contested.
To settle the principle that free ships make free goods, except articles contraband of war, and to prevent it from being called again in question from any quarter or under any circumstances, the United States are desirous to unite with other powers in a declaration that it shall be observed by each, hereafter, as a rule of international law.
The exemption of the property of neutrals, not contraband, from seizure and confiscation when laden on board an enemy's vessel, is a right now generally recognised by the law of nations. The President is pleased to perceive, from the declaration of her Britannic Majesty, that the course to be pursued by her cruisers will not bring it into question in the present war.
The undersigned is directed by the President to state to her Majesty's minister to this government that the United States, while claiming the full enjoyment of their rights as a neutral power, will observe the strictest neutrality towards each and all the belligerents. The laws of this country impose severe restrictions not only upon its own citizens, but upon all persons who may be residents within any of the territories of the United States, against equipping privateers, receiving commissions, or enlisting men therein, for the purpose of taking a part in any foreign war. It is not apprehended that there will be any attempt to violate the laws; but should the just expectation of the President be disappointed, he will not fail in his duty to use all the power with which he is invested to enforce obedience to them. Considerations of interest and the obligations of duty alike give assurance that the citizens of the United States will in no way compromit the neutrality of their country by participating in the contest in which the principal powers of Europe are now unhappily engaged. The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to renew to Mr. Crampton the assurance of his distinguished consideration.
JOHN F. CRAMPTON, Esq., &c., &c.
W. L. MARCY.
[Same, mutatis mutandis, to he Count de Sartiges.]
Lord Clarendon to Mr. Crampton.
[Delivered to Mr. Marcy in the course of the month of May, 1855.]
FOREIGN OFFICE, April 12, 1855.
SIR I entirely approve of your proceedings, as reported in your despatch No. 57, of the 12th ult., with respect to the proposed enlistment in the Queen's service of foreigners and British subjects in the United States.
The instructions which I addressed to you upon this subject, and those which were sent to the governor of Nova Scotia, were founded upon the reports from various quarters that reached her Majesty's government of the desire felt by many British subjects as well as Germans in the United States to enter the Queen's service for the purpose of taking part in the war in the East; but the law of the United States with respect to enlistment, however conducted, is not only very just but very stringent, according to the report which is enclosed in your despatch, and her Majesty's government would on no account run any risk of infringing this law of the United States.
J. F. CRAMPTON, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Marcy to Mr. Buchanan.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
SIR Some time since, it became known that a plan was on foot to enlist soldiers within the limits of the United States to serve in the British army, and that rendezvous for that purpose had been actually opened in some of our principal cities. Besides being a disregard of our sovereign rights as an independent nation, the procedure was a clear and manifest infringement of our laws, enacted for the express purpose of maintaining our neutral relations with other powers. It was not reasonable to suspect that this scheme was in any way countenanced by the British government, or any of its subordinate authorities resident within the United States or in the British North American provinces; but a further examination into the matter has disclosed the fact that it has had not only the countenance, but the active support of some of these authorities, and, to some extent, the sanction of the British government.
When intimations were thrown out that the British consuls in this country were aiding and encouraging this scheme of enlistment within our limits, Mr. Crampton, her Britannic Majesty's minister to this government, showed me the copy of a letter, which he had addressed to one of them, disapproving of the proceeding, and discountenancing it as a violation of our laws. After this act on the part of the British minister, it was confidently believed that this scheme, however it may have originated, and with whatever countenance it might have been
at first looked on by British functionaries, would at once have been abandoned. This reasonable expectation has not been realized; for efforts to raise recruits within the United States for the British army have not been intermitted, but are still prosecuted with energy. To arrest a course of proceedings which so seriously compromitted our neutrality, prosecutions, by the order of the government, were instituted against the offenders. This led to developments which established the fact that the governor of Nova Scotia, apparently with the knowledge and approval of her Majesty's government, had a direct agency in this illegal proceeding.
I herewith send you a copy of an order or notification which has been published in our newspapers, and believed to be genuine, purporting to have been issued by that functionary. It clearly appears from this document that the recruits were to be drawn from the United States; that the engagements with them were to be made within our limits, in open violation of the second section of the act of Congress of the 20th April, 1818; and that British officials were the agents furnished with the means for carrying the illegal measure into effect. These agents have been engaged within our jurisdiction devoting themselves to the execution of this plan.
Notwithstanding the legal measures taken by the officers of the United States to suppress the procedure, the work is still going on. We have accounts of persons constantly leaving the United States for the British provinces, under engagements, contracted here, to enter into the British military service. Such engagements are as much an infringement of our laws as more formal enlistments.
I am directed by the President to instruct you to call the attention of her Majesty's government to this subject. He desires you to ascertain how far persons in official station under the British government acted in the first instance in this matter with its approbation, and what measures, if any, it has since taken to restrain their unjustifiable conduct.
In the early stage of the present war the British government turned its attention towards our neutrality laws, and particularly to the provisions which forbid the fitting out and manning privateers for foreign service. Any remissness on our part in enforcing such provisions would have been regarded by that government as a violation of our neutral relations. No one need be at a loss to conjecture how our conduct would have been viewed by the allies, or what would have been their course towards this country if it had not denounced and resisted any attempt on the part of their enemy to send its agents into our seaports to fit out privateers and engage sailors to man them; but would this government be less censurably neglectful of the duties of neutrality by permitting one of the belligerent powers to recruit its armies within our borders, than by permitting another to resort to our seaports for the purpose of organizing a privateer force to take a part in the present war?
Notwithstanding the ceaseless efforts which this government has made for several years past to restrain our citizens, and foreigners among us, from getting up enterprises to invade or disturb the neighboring possessions of a European power, the British press has loudly