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With the most perfect respect and consideration, sir, your very obedient servant,
GEORGE W. ERVING.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving to Mr. Monroe, Secretary
Copenhagen, May 9, 1812. "I have the honour herewith to transmit to you duplicate of my letter No. 20 (by Mr. Lewis), dated April 18th. The note of the same date to which it refers, with the few alterations which will be found in this duplicate, was sent to Mr. de Rosenkrantz on the 21st, and was laid by him before the king on the 1st instant. In the mean time I had several conversations with that minister upon the subject of it, in which I did not fail to urge whatever might contribute to a favourable answer on the part of his majesty. Finally, on the 8th instant (yesterday), he sent to me the note of which the inclosed is a copy. You will observe, sir, the new position which our claims assume under this communication, and the reasonable expectation which it affords of a settlement hereafter. I have endeavoured to have this point placed in a more formal and explicit shape."
Mr. De Rosenkrantz. to Mr. Erving.
The undersigned, minister of state and of foreign affairs, has had to explain to Mr. Erving, special minister of the United States of America, in his note of the 9th of last month, the motives which have influenced the king his master not to grant the revision of the sentences of his supreme tribunal of admiralty, definitively terminating the causes brought before this tribunal, arising from the captures made by Danish cruizers, of vessels sailing under the flag of the United States, and that for this reason he could not persuade himself that the ulterior representations which the special minister had thought proper still to address him could produce any change in the determination of his majesty. The minister of foreign relations has however prevailed on the king his master to be pleased to examine the note which Mr. Erving addressed to him under date of the 18th of last month, reiterating the claim to redress for the wrongs previously recited, and satisfaction for which he considers it his duty still to insist upon.
The undersigned hastens to have the honour to inform the special minister that it has been enjoined on him by his sovereign to answer the above-mentioned note of the special minister by
VOL. I. PART I.
referring to the contents of his preceding note of the 9th, as to the friendly dispositions of his majesty towards the government of the United States, to add the expressions of his extreme regret that he annot agree to the opinion expressed by Mr. Erving as being that of his government, in regard to the conduct observed towards vessels under American flags, brought into the ports of his dominion by his armed vessels or by those provided with letters of marque.
The war in which the Danish nation is engaged with Great Britain, who employs every means to conceal from observation the enterprises of its merchants, in making use of foreign flags: and merchants have caused those measures, the object of which is to preclude English commerce from the advantage growing out of the disposition it has always found in the merchants of other nations, to become the agents of prohibited trade: it is too well known to Mr. Erving, and it ought to be to his government, that American merchants and mariners have frequently lent themselves to enterprises of this nature, for the Danish government to consider it necessary to multiply the proofs which it has on this subject.
It is known to the Danish government that the United States do not pretend either to approve or defend the conduct of American citizens, who, from the thirst of gain, are engaged in enterprises which expose them to loss, if the fraud is discovered: proofs are not wanting to show that they have frequently succeeded in imposing both on the officers empowered to examine captured vessels, and on the tribunals of prizes. The subterfuges to which they resort to prevent the discovery of the enemy character of the expedition have necessarily induced those intrusted by the king with the examination, as well as the tribunal, to redouble their activity, in order to fulfil the views of his majesty; but it never has been conformable with these to suffer that any injury should be sustained by the mariners and merchants of friendly nations who carry on a licit and unsuspicious com
The persevering struggle of the Danish government in favour of the principles upon which repose the liberty of the commerce and navigation of neutral nations, forbids the supposition that it would wish to derogate from them; but it has a complete right to tear the mask from the commerce of its enemy, who recognises no law in regard to navigation, as soon as neutral powers are in question. The king will not renounce the exercise of this right. If his majesty could be persuaded that in particular cases it should happen that appearances might have prevailed in the examination of some causes to the detriment of some Ame
rican citizens, who might not have been able to demonstrate sufficiently that their enterprises of commerce were legitimate, he would assuredly be led to redress just complaints, as he has on several particular occasions given proots of his favourable dispositions towards the American vessels which circumstances have conducted to the ports of his kingdom.
The king wishes, therefore, to give, himself, proofs to the government of the United States of the sentiments of justice with which he is animated.
The undersigned flatters himself, that the president of the United States will be easily persuaded that during so hard a contest as that which Denmark now sustains against the government who so evidently disavows the rights of nations engaged in navigation, the moment is not favourable to bring anew under consideration the reclamations which the government of the United States may find it convenient to make at that period in relation to the objects in discussion.
The undersigned has the honour to renew to the special minister the assurance of his high consideration.
(Signed) Copenhagen, May 8, 1812.
Message from the President of the United States, transmitting a Correspondence between the Department of War and the Governors of the States of Massachusetts and Connecticut, upon the subject of the Militia of those States.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
War Department, April 15th, 1812. I am instructed by the president of the United States to upon the executives of the several states, to take effectual measures to organize, arm, and equip, according to law, and hold in readiness to march at a moment's warning, their respective proportions of one hundred thousand militia, officers included, by virtue of an act of congress, passed the 10th instant, entitled, "An act to authorize a detachment from the militia of the United States."
This, therefore, is to require your excellency to take effectual measures for having ten thousand of the militia of Massachusetts (being her quota), detached and duly organized in companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, within the shortest period that circumstances will permit, and as nearly as possible in the following proportions of artillery, cavalry, and infantry, viz. one twentieth part of artillery, one twentieth part of cavalry, and the residue infantry. There will, however, be no objection on the part of the president of the United States, to the admission of a proportion of riflemen duly organized in distinct corps, and not exceeding one tenth part of the whole quota of the states respectively. Each corps should be properly armed and equipped for actual service.
When the detachment and organization shall have been effected, the respective corps will be exercised under the officers set over them, but will not remain embodied, or be considered as in actual service, until by subsequent orders they shall be directed to take the field.
Your excellency will please to direct that correct muster rolls and inspection returns be made of the several corps, and that copies thereof be transmitted to this department as early as possiI have the honour to be, &c.
His excellency the Governor of Massachusetts.
Sir, War Department, June 12th, 1812. I am directed by the president to request your excellency to order into the service of the United States, on the requisition of major-general Dearborn, such part of the quota of militia from the state of Massachusetts, detached conformably to the act of April 10th, 1812, as he may deem necessary for the defence of the sea coast. I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) WM. EUSTIS. His excellency Caleb Strong, Governor of Massachusetts.
Head-Quarters, Boston, June 22d, 1812.
Sir, I have received instructions from the president of the United States to call on your excellency for such part of the quota of militia from the state of Massachusetts, detached conformably to the act of congress, of April the 10th, 1812, as I may deem necessary for the defence of the sea coast; and I now have the honor of requesting your excellency to order fourteen companies of artillery, and twenty-seven companies of infantry, into the service of the United States, for the defence of the ports and harbours in this state, and the harbour of Newport. The com
panies are intended for the following ports and harbours, viz. Passamaquoddy, 1 company of artillery, and 4 companies of infantry, with a full complement of officers, to be commanded by a major. Marblehead, Salem, Cape Ann, and Newburyport, 2 companies of artillery, and 2 companies of infantry. Boston, 4 companies of artillery, and 8 companies of infantry, with one lieutenant colonel commandant, and one major; and 8 companies of infantry for the defence of Rhode Island.
Having received official information that war has been declared by congress against Great Britain, your excellency will perceive the expediency of giving facility to such measures as the crisis demands; and as the defence of the sea coast of NewEngland is at present confided to my direction, I shall, with confidence, rely on all the aid and support that the respective governors can afford, and more especially on that of the governor of the important state of Massachusetts; and I shall at all times receive, with the greatest pleasure, any advice or information that your excellency may be pleased to communicate.
With respectful consideration, I am, sir, your obedient servant,
His excellency Caleb Strong, Governor of Massachusetts.
Omitted in the Above.
Machias, 1 company of artillery; Penobscot, 1 company of artillery, and 2 companies of infantry, to be commanded by a major. Wiscassett and Damariscotta, 2 companies of artillery, one each. Kennebunk, 1 company of artillery. Portland, 2 companies of artillery, and 3 companies of infantry, to be commanded by a major.
Boston, June 26, 1812.
Not having received any notice from your excellency or the adjutant general, of what measures have been taken for calling into the service of the United States, for the defence of our sea coast, the companies of detached militia proposed in a note I had the honour of addressing to your excellency on the 22d instant, a sense of duty compels me to solicit such information on the subject as the urgency of the case demands; and I am persuaded that no unnecessary delay will disappoint my anxious desire for as early information as circumstances will admit. With great respect, &c.
(Signed) His excellency Caleb Strong, &c.