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Extract of a Letter from Commodore Decalur to the Secre
tary of the Navy. U. States Frigate Chesapeake, Norfolk, July 12, 1807.
6. The British squadron, lying in Hampton Roads, bring to every vessel passing to this place, but have not detained any. The Bellona and Leopard continue in their former situation in the Roads : the Triumph and Melampus have weighed, and are now at anchor in Lynnhaven bay."
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES RELATIVE TO EX-BASHAW OF TRIPOLI. NOV. 11, 1807.
[See Vol. Confidential Documents.]
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Nov. 13, 1807. ACCORDING to the request expressed in your resolution of the eighteenth instant, I now transmit a copy of my proclamation interdicting our harbours and waters to British armed vessels, and forbidding intercourse with them, referred to in my message of the 27th of October last.
To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting: I CERTIFY, That the writing contained on the annexed eight pages, is a true copy of a proclamation issued by the President of the United States, duly compared with the original remaining in this department. In faith whereof, I, James Madison, Secretary for the de
partment of State of the United States of America,
have signed these presents, and caused the seal of my oflice to be affixed hereto, at the city of Washington, this nineteenth day of November, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and seven, and in the thirty-second year of the Independence of the United States.
BY THOMAS JEFFERSON,
A PROCLAMATION. During the wars which, for some time, have unhappily prevailed among the powers of Europe, the United States of America, firm in their principles of peace, have endeavoured by justice, by a regular discharge of all their national and social duties, and by every friendly office their situation has admitted, to maintain, with all the belligerents, their accustomed relations of friendship, hospitality, and commercial intercourse. Taking no part in the questions which animate these powers against each other, nor permitting themselves to entertain a wish but for the restoration of general peace, they have observed with good faith the neutrality they assumed, and they believe that no instance of a departure from its duties can be justly imputed to them by any nation. A free use of their harbours and waters, the means of refitting and of refreshment, of succour to their sick and suffering, have, at all times, and on equal principles, been extended to all, and this too, amidst a constant recurrence of acts of insubordination to the laws, of violence to the persons and of trespasses on the property of our citizens, committed by officers of one of the belligerent parties received among us. In truth, these abuses of the laws of hospitality have, with few exceptions, become habitual to the commanders of the British armed vessels hovering on our coasts, and frequenting our harbours. They have been the subject of repeated representations to their government. Assurances have been given that proper orders should restrain them within the limits of the rights, and of the respect due to a friendly nation; but these orders and assurances have been without cffect; no instance of punishment for past wrongs has taken place. At lengih à deed, transcending
all we have hitherto seen or suffered, brings the publick sensibility to a serious crisis, and our forbearance to a necessary pause. A frigate of the United States, trusting to a state of peace, and leaving her harbour on a distant service, has been surprised and attacked by a British vessel of superior force, one of a squadron then lying in our waters and covering the transaction, and has been disabled from service, with the loss of a number of men killed and wounded. This enormity was not only without provocation or justifiable cause, but was committed with the avowed purpose of taking by force, from a ship of war of the United States, a part of her crew; and that no circumstance might be wanting to mark its character, it had been previously ascertained that the seamen demanded were native citizens of the United States. Having effected her purpose, she returned to anchor with her squadron within our jurisdiction. Hospitality under such circumstances ceases to be a duty : and a continuance of it, with such uncontrolled abuses, would tend only by multiplying injuries and irritations to bring on a rupture between the two nations. This extreme resort is equally opposed to the interests of both, as it is to assurances of the most friendly dispositions on the part of the British government, in the midst of which this outrage has been committed. In this light the subject cannot but present itself to that government, and strengthen the motives to an honourable reparation of the wrong which has been done, and to that effectual control of its naval commanders, which alone can justify the government of the United States, in the exercise of those hospitalities it is now constrained to discontinue.
In consideration of these circumstances and of the right of every nation to regulate its own police, to provide for its peace and for the safety of its citizens, and consequently to refuse the admission of armed vessels into its harbours or waters, either in such numbers or of such descriptions, as are inconsistent with these, or with the maintenance of the authority of the laws, I have thought proper, in pursuance of the authorities specially given by law, to issue this my proclamation, hereby requiring all armed vessels bearing commissions under the government of Great Britain, now within the harbours or waters of the United States, immediately and without any delay to depart from the same, VOR. VI.
and interdicting the entrance of all the said harbours and waters to the said armed vessels, and to all others bearing commissions under the authority of the British government.
And if the said vessels, or any of them, shall fail to depart as aforesaid, or if they or any others, so interdicted, shall hereafter enter the harbours or waters aforesaid, I do in that case forbid all intercourse with them or any of them, their officers or crews, and do prohibit all supplies and aid from being furnished to them or any of them.
And I do declare and make known, that if any person, from or within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, shall afford any aid to any such vessel contrary to the prohibition contained in this proclamation, either in repairing any such vessel, or in furnishing her, her officers or crew, with supplies of any kind, or in any manner whatsoever, or if any pilot shall assist in navigating any of the said armed vessels, unless it be for the purpose of carrying them, in the first instance, beyond the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, or unless it be in the case of a vessel forced by distress, or charged with publick despatches as herein after provided for, such person or persons shall, on conviction, suffer all the pains and penalties by the laws provided for such offences.
And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office, civil or military, within or under the authority of the United States, and all others, citizens or inhabitants thereof, or being within the same, with vigilance and promptitude to exert their respective authorities, and to be aiding and assisting to the carrying this proclamation, and every part thereof, into full cffect.
Provided nevertheless, that if any such vessel shall be forced into the harbours or waters of the United States by distress, by the dangers of the sea, or by the pursuit of an enemy, or shall enter them charged with despatches or business from their government, or shall be a publick packet for the conveyance of letters and despatches, the commanding oflicer immediately reporting his vessel to the collector of the district, stating the object or cause of entering the said harbours or waters, and conforming himself to the regulations in that case prescribed under the authority of the laws, shall be allowed the benefit of such regulations respecting repairs, supplies, stay, intercourse
and departure, as shall be permitted under the same authority.
In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the (l. s.] United States to be affixed to these presents and
signed the same.
the year of our Lord 1807, and of the sovereignty and
TH : JEFFERSON.
Secretary of State.
PROY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES RELATIVE.
[See Vol. Confidential Documents.]
ON A LETTER FROM WILLIAM EATON TO THE SPEAKER OF
DECEMBER 18, 1807. The committee to whom was referred the letter of William Eaton, communicating a memorial from Hamet Caramalli, ex-bashaw of Tripoli, report
That the memorial is dated “ Syracuse, the 18th of February, 1807," in which the memorialist states that he has sacrificed all his means of support, and exposed his life in the service of the United States; that he is in exilement at Syracuse, far from his family, and deprived of every convenience of life; that he had hoped to be recompensed by an equivalent to his usefulness, and to his sacri.