[blocks in formation]

To cultivate a friendly intercourse with all their European customers, but, if obliged to choose in such a crisis as this, to prefer the alliance of England, appears to be the soundest policy for the Americans. It is no doubt their interest not to quarrel with England. By a rupture they would infallibly lose the very object for which they threaten bostilities, besides incurring a great many other losses.

Ed. Rev. Randolph and others on the Neutral Questions.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

LIE. * IT is only necessary for me to observe that his Honour's present inoral charafter has been allowed by his political opponents to be unexceptionable.'

Patriot, March 28, 1809. This quotation from a newly established paper, called the Patriot, is the whole answer, which the writer has been able to find, to repel the insinuations of Marcus Brutus, in the letter to his honour, published in the Ordeal of March 11th. That letter charges his honour with being so thoroughly drilled in the service of democracy, that he might in all respects be considered the fittest leader, which could be selected from their prostituted ranks. The Patriot, in affecting to consider this an attack upon

his honour's private moral character,' admits by implication, the vices of his publick one. What are we to think, therefore, of the private morality of a man, whose publick conduct has been unconstitutional, revengeful, tyrannical and corrupt ?

Besides, the federalists have never admitted his honour's private moral character to be unexceptionable. On the contrary, when he was supposed to have been the writer of No. X. of the Farmer's Letters, he was charged with falsehood, irreligion and other vices, equally repugnant to the integrity of that charafter. Vol. 1.


[ocr errors]


RULE OF WAR OF 1756. • With respect to the general principle which disallows to neutrals in time of war a trade pot allowed to them in time of peace, it may be observed,

"That the princple is of modern date, that it is maintained, as is beJieved, by no other nation but Great-Britain ; and that it was assumed by her under the auspices of a maritime ascendancy, which rendered such a principle subservient to her particular interest. [Mr. Madison's Letter to Mr. Munroe, dated April 12, 1806. See also his Letter to Mr. Erskine, dated March 25, 1808.]

We do not wish to revive this controversy, with any intention of investigating the propriety of the principle for which the English are now contending. But merely to shew that however just our claims may be considered, on the subject of the colonial trade, the English have been treated with great unfairness in the argument, which has been produced on the question of the justice of those claims. Mr. Madison, in the paragraph we have just quoted, makes three erroneous assertions.

1st. That the principle is of modern date.

2d. That it has been maintained by no other nation but GreatBritain.

3d. That it was assumed by her under the auspices of a mari. time ascendency, which rendered such a principle subservient to her particular interest.

The principle is broadly laid down by Valin, in 1704, as an ordonance of Louis XIV. even in a more extended interpretation than the English nation contend for. The following articles from that ordonance will evince this very clearly.

Art. 2d. They (French privateers) are in like manner forbid. den to stop vessels belonging to subjects of neutral princes, going from the ports of any state whatever, even of those with which his majesty is at war, and laden on account of the owners or other subjects of neutral princes, with merchandize which shall have been received in the same country or state where they shall have departed, to return direaly into the ports and dominions of their sovereign.

Art. 3d. He also forbids them to stop vessels belonging to the subjects of neutral princes, departing from the ports of one of the states neutral or allied to his majesty, to go into another state alike neutral or allied to his majesty : provided they are not laden with merchandize of the growth or manufacture of his enemies ; in which case the merchandize sball be good prize, and the vessel shall be released.

Art. 4th. This article forbids them to stop vessels going from a neutral port to an enemies port, with the exception only contained in the 3d article.

A pamphlet published 1758, entitled The conduet of the Government of Great-Britain, with respeå to neutral nations during the present war,' makes this observation, that some powers had prohibited the commerce of neutral nations with their enemies totally,' which contains an idea of a much more extensive application, than is contended for, even by the orders in council. The preamble to a French Ordonance of this very war of 1756, to which Mr. Madison refers, as presenting the beginning of the principle by the English alone, we have these words, It must also be here observed, that the regulations established by France, during the war are not particular to her only, but that other nations have established pretty near the same.'

From this it appears that other nations had contended for this very principle, and that too from early times : which renders Mr. Madison's charges against Great Britain perfectly groundless. But

suppose we can shew that this very Rule of '56 was even less broad than the laws of nations quthorized at this time, what shift can then remain ?

A work entitled ' d defence of the Dutch West-India trade, addressed to the good people of England, by a merchant of Amsterdam,' undertakes to contest this Ruuke but how ? Not by contending that it is an infraction of the principles of international law, but by arguing on the meaning of the terms of the treaty then existing between England and Holland, by which this writer af. firms the English had • renounced their rights, which he observes the French • never did.' The terms of this treaty with the Dutch were these, 'granting to the Dutch a liberty of trading with the French when the French were at war, as they did in time of peace. This is the precise doctrine now maintained by the English, and was then considered by the Dutch writer, as by no means a departure from the law of nations, but as not warranting the construction which the English had put upon it. And besides, they had given up by other parts of the compact this very right for which they contended, and which, had there not been a treaty never would have been disputed.

The French ordonance which we just now referred to, published during this very war of 1756, takes up Valin's principle in its fullest extent and proves the Dutch author's opinion to be true, since the Dutch never made any controversy with France upon the subject.

• Ordonance and regulations delivered by the court of France to the states general of the united provinces, with the rules and and directions required to be observed by the subjects of the states, to protect their ships and cargoes from being deemed lawful prizes, if taken by any of the French ships of war or privateers ; published in the Utrecht Gazette of the 8th of July, 1756, under the title Memoir Instruxif, and is understood to refer to all neutral powers whatever.'

In the preamble of this Memoir Instruxif, the doctrine of Valin is evidently referred to and revived by this remark. The ordó. nance and the marine regulations (Valin )of France having exacted certain forms & conditions which when observed by a neutral ship, the ship is considered truly neutral; but if on the contrary, there is found a failure in any of these conditions, the ships are presumed to belong to the enemy and are to be deemed lawful prizes.' And the ordonance consists of twelve articles. The 1st. 2d. and 3d, merely relate to the kind of papers requisite, and the forms necessary to be observed respecting them. "The 4th provides that the supercargo or marine clerk must not be an enemy; and that not more than one third of the ship's crew shall be subjects of the enemy : 5th and 6th relate to the muster roll and articles contraband of war. 7th. • If the Dutch ships carry any goods or merchandize of the growth or manufatture of the enemies of France, they shall be deemed good prizes, but the ships shall be discharged.'

This article is general, and includes both the 3d and 4th articles recited from Valin ; which principle goes beyond the rule of '56, as contained in the treaty of England with the Dutch. It seems too that the French by a treaty with the States general, in 1739, had permitted this trade with the enemy; but the treaty was revoked by the French, at the conclusion of the war. From the 8th to the 12th article of the ordonance, we can discover nothing which has any bearing upon the present question.

Thus Mr. Madison's assertions are not only rendered completely nugatory, but we think the following ideas are pretty clearly made out. Ist. That the rule of war of 56,' contains no principle inconsistent with the law or practice of nations at that period; but is in truth a limitation of their principles and practice.

2d. That France is more culpable than Great Britain, on this subject.

3d. That Great-Britain never assumed the rule and interpolated it into the law of nations; but it was contained in a treaty with the Dutch, by which it was contended the English had renounced the right, which by the law of nations would have been unquestionable.

For our own parts we wish it to be understood, that though Mr. Madison is found to have been unfair in his argument with Great-Britain, in point of fact, yet we cannot consider the claims of that nation, on the subject of the colonial trade, to be indubitable, upon any principles of equity or justice, which serve for the foundation of international law. Mr. Madison has shewn his ignorance of the practice of nations notwithstanding.

To the INDEPENDENT VOTERS OF Boston, and its vicinity. THE approaching election is highly interesting to the welfare of this community ; it may be in your power to reinstate the commonwealth in its former prosperity and renown. The situation of publick affairs attaches extraordinary importance to the decision, promptitude and energy of this quarter of the state. The balance of the election will be turned either favourably or otherwise by the town of Boston. You are now engaged in a great national controversy, you have chosen the side which conforms most nearly to your opinions of the policy to be pursued at this crisis ; and it is your duty to support that side without suffering a single personal scruple to impede your determination. The Very existence of the United States, and the constitution of government are now at stake ; the crisis may be favourable, and the country saved: but it will depend upon your intelligence, your energy, and your decision. This is no ordinary election ; it is not a question merely between CHRISTOPHER Gore and LEVI LINCOLN; it is not a per

« ElőzőTovább »