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investigation, and beg a candid answer, if those copies are true, and if the originals were issued at your office. I have the honour to be, &c. JAN. HEN. CH. HEINEKEN.
To David Gelston, Collector of the port of New York.
American Consulate, St. Petersburg, July 17, 1809.
SIR, The enclosed papers accompanied a ship which arrived here late last autumn, and wintered here, called the Aurora, of New York. This vessel was provided with a false register, the only marine paper whose genuineness we are able to ascertain, and upon which the government here condemned her for the benefit of the crown: from this fact it is indubitable that all the enclosed documents are forgeries.
I herewith transmit them to you, with a request that after the necessary examination shall have been made, you will be pleased to forward them to the department of state in America, the secretary whereof I have duly advised of the same.
I am very truly and respectfully, sir, &c.
S. Bourne, Esq. Consul General
List of Papers belonging to a ship called the Aurora, of New York, transmitted to S. Bourne, Esq. at Amsterdam, for examination, with a request to send them after the same shall have been made, with a report thereof, to the Department of State.
No. 1. Role d'Equipage, certified in the name of George R. Curtis, agent of Silvanus Bourne, Rotterdam.
No. 2. Certificate for the landing of the cargo brought from New York, signed George R. Curtis, Rotterdam, 4th March, 1803.
No. 3. Certificate for the deposit of the ship's papers, signed George R. Curtis, 26th Sept. 1808.
No. 4. Bill of health, signed A. Reuter, secretary, dated Rotterdam, 26th Sept. 1808.
No. 5. An expedition in the Dutch language, for Riga, to said ship, dated 26th Sept. signed Gogel, and countersigned 26th Sept. Rotterdam, Jan Schadee.
No. 6. A second expedition for do. do. in Dutch, dated Rotterdam, 26th Sept. 1808.
LEVETT HARRIS, Consul Gen. of the U. S.
St. Petersburg, July 17, 1809.
Mr. Curtis to Mr. Bourne. Rotterdam, Aug. 25, 1809.
DEAR SIR,-I refer you to my report upon the papers of the Aurora, which are returned herewith, for all the answer I can give to your esteemed lines of yesterday's date, which however will no doubt prove satisfactory. It is not the first time I have seen these kind of documents; the French consul here laid before me a short while ago a similar set, but executed with much greater skill than these have any claim to. I was sorry I had not the good fortune to find you at home as I passed through Amsterdam the other day; it would have interested me to hear your opinion of American politicks at this juncture.
Yours with esteem,
S. Bourne, Esq. Amsterdam.
GEORGE R. CURTIS.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. MARCH 27, 1810.
IN consequence of your resolution of the 26th instant, an inquiry has been made into the correspondence of our minister at the court of London with the department of state, from which it appears that no official communication has been received from him, since his receipt of the letter of November 23d last, from the Secretary of State. A letter
of January 4th, 1810, has been received from that minister by Mr. Smith; but being stated to be private and unoffi eial, and involving moreover personal considerations of a delicate nature, a copy is considered as not within the purview of the call made by the House.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. MAY 1, 1810.
I TRANSMIT to the House a report of the Secretary of State, complying with their resolution of the 30th of April. JAMES MADISON.
In pursuance of the resolution of the House of Represen tatives of yesterday, the Secretary of State has the honour of transmitting to the President of the United States, the accompanying papers marked A. B. C. D. E. and F.
No information has been received, that any communication has been made to our minister at London, on the part of the British government, " in answer to any note presented by him in pursuance of instructions given on the 23d November, 1809."
No answers have been given to the "propositions or overtures, made on the part of the United States to the governments of Great Britain and France, respecting any of the orders and decrees affecting neutral commerce," which have not been heretofore, or which are not herewith communicated.
All which is respectfully submitted.
Department of State, May 1, 1810.
Extract of a Letter from General Armstrong to M. Champagny. Paris, Sept. 8, 1809.
"I HAD the honour of receiving your excellency's letter of the 22d of August last, in exposition of the principles adopted by his majesty with regard to neutral commerce. I shall hasten to transmit a copy of this note to my government."
The Secretary of State to General Armstrong. Department of State, Dec. 1, 1809.
SIR,-Enclosed you have five copies of the President's message and of its accompanying documents. They will afford you a view of the existing state of things here, and particularly of the ground taken in the correspondence with the British minister. You will perceive that the deliberations of Congress at their present session cannot but be embarrassed by the painful consideration, that the two principal belligerents have been, for some time, alike regardless of our neutral rights, and that they manifest no disposition to relinquish, in any degree, their unreasonable pretensions.
You will also herewith receive a copy of a letter to Mr. Pinkney, which will show the light in which Mr. Champagny's letter is viewed by the President, and at the same time the course of proceeding prescribed to our minister in London. You will of course understand it to be wished that you should ascertain the meaning of the French government, as to the condition on which it has been proposed to revoke the Berlin decree. On the principle which seems to be assumed by M. Champagny, nothing more ought to be required than a recall by Great Britain of her proclamation or illegal blockades, which are of a date prior to that of the Berlin decree, or a formal decla
ration that they are not now in force. Should this be done and be followed by an annulment of all the decrees and orders in chronological order, and Great Britain should afterwards put in force old or proclaim new blockades, contrary to the law of nations, it would produce questions. between her and the United States, which the French government is bound to leave to the United States, at least until it shall find it necessary to bring forward complaints of an acquiescence on our part, not consistent with the neutrality professed by us.
You will yourself, and, if necessary you will let the French government understand, that we do not consider ourselves bound to contest the legality of a blockade which may be conformable to the definitions heretofore maintained by the United States, and particularly to the definition contained in the treaty of June and October, 1801, between Great Britain and Russia. However founded the definition of M. Champagny may be in reason and general utility, and consequently however desirable to be made the established law on the subject of blockades, a different practice has too long prevailed among all nations, France as well as others, and is too strongly authenticated by the writers of admitted authority, to be combated by the Unit
If you should receive from the French government explanations proper to be communicated to Mr. Pinkney, you will not fail to transmit the same to him without delay. And should they be such as to make it important that Mr. Pinkney should immediately found thereon an application to the British government to prepare the way for a repeal of the Berlin decree, you will be pleased to hasten the communication to him by a special messenger. Whatever the explanations may be, you will of course transmit them to this department, with such other information as may be interesting.
With great respect, &c.
General John Armstrong, &c. &c. &c.