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that in Bahia only in its very aggravating circumstances, and in the bloodshed that ensued. The French frigate La Modeste was quietly at anchor in this neutral harbor when a British ship-of-the-line came alongside. Suddenly the British commander summoned the Frenchman to surrender. On his refusal, the frigate was boarded, and three hundred of the unarmed crew were massacred. The frigate was carried to England. Such is the account given by a French author, who complains bitterly that the British Government did nothing to punish the outrage. The Genoese Government was powerless; and the French Convention, in a decree marked by great moderation, proceeded to release it from all responsibility, although at a later day it appears to have paid two millions of francs as an indemnity. The reader curious in dates will not fail to observe that it was in the very year when the neutrality of Genoa was thus set at defiance that the British minister in the United States claimed the surrender of a ship seized by a French frigate in defiance. of our neutrality. Such are famous contradictions of national conduct. A British ship captured by France in neutral waters was surrendered at the demand of Great Britain; a French ship captured by Great Britain in neutral waters was hurried off by the captor as prize of war.
6. The same author who has described the outrage in the harbor of Genoa adds that Admiral Nelson afterwards carried off another French vessel in full view of the Genoese batteries.2
1 Cussy, Phases et Causes Célèbres du Droit Maritime, Tom. II. pp. 70,
2 Ibid., Tom. II. p. 71.
7. Another instance appears, where Admiral Nelson, in 1798, entered the neutral port of Leghorn, and seized a fleet of Genoese ships with rich cargoes. The author who records this outrage makes it "yet otherwise culpable on account of the high position of the personage, who, without respect for the independence and dignity of a friendly and neutral nation, assumed the moral responsibility of it." 1
8. The same lawlessness governing British commanders in Leghorn and Genoa appeared also this side of the Atlantic. In August, 1795, an audacious attempt was made by the British ship-of-war Africa to seize the French minister, M. Fauchet, when on his way from New York to Newport, on board the sloop Peggy, within the waters of the United States. The sloop was boarded at the entrance of Newport harbor, and within two miles of the light-house, and the trunks of the minister were overhauled; but he had already left at an intermediate port, so that the trespassers were disappointed. M. Fauchet, in a communication to his successor, M. Adet, says: "I shall express to you but one afflicting sentiment, which is, that in a free State, with a government in which England has just acquired a friend, there is no safety for myself or my papers; for, in a word, as it was from a public packet-boat in a neutral port that I was to have been carried off, there is no reason why I should not be taken on the highway or in an inn, if it could be done with impunity." Our Government vainly endeavored to obtain reparation from Great Britain for this outrage, while France, on her part, mentioned the 'impunity" of its authors among her causes of complaint against us. It is only recently that the facts
1 Cussy, Phases et Causes Célèbres du Droit Maritime, Tom. II. p. 70.
of this remarkable case have appeared in a document printed by order of the Senate.1 They help swell the present testimony.
9. Taking these instances in the order of time, we come next to outrages on the coast of Norway. The British frigate Squirrel, on entering the Norwegian port of Oster-Risoer, in 1801, then belonging to Denmark, seized a Swedish ship, and put its pilot in irons. Then coming to anchor, it deliberately captured three other Swedish vessels, and, sending on shore, kidnapped several pilots. Two or three days afterwards, a boat from another British man-of-war, the cutter Achilles, entered the Norwegian port of Egvang, and seized a French prize at anchor there, while the cutter's crew fired upon a bark having on board peaceable inhabitants, wounding one of them. The Danish Government promptly demanded reparation for these accumulated outrages, and especially the restitution of the vessels. The British minister, Lord Hawkesbury, at once declared that the guilty individuals should receive the strongest marks of disapprobation from his Government, but that, with regard to the restitution of the vessels, it was impossible for him, in the existing circumstances of the two countries, to enter into any explanation, that, if the present misunderstanding should be amicably adjusted, "these cases would naturally be carried, without loss of time, before the regular and impartial tribunals established for the decision of such causes, according to principles of justice and the Law of Nations." The Danish minister at once replied, that his sovereign would never consent that the open violation of his ports and his territory should become,
1 Executive Documents, 37th Cong. 3d Sess., Senate, No. 4.
under any pretext, the subject of deliberation and decision in any tribunals whatever, that his sovereign and territorial rights were assured, and he would not abandon them. Lord Hawkesbury was moved, in reply, to disapprove the conduct of the British officers, and to order the restitution of the Swedish vessels captured in the port of Oster-Risoer. At the very moment of this "incomplete reparation," as it has been called, Great Britain was preparing her first expedition against Copenhagen.1
10. The same French author, who, in ardor for neutral rights, has exposed the conduct of Great Britain, mentions the instance of an English frigate, in 1803, which, after capturing a Swedish vessel in a Norwegian port, entered the neutral port of Bergen, where her commander attempted to seize a Dutch vessel and two French privateers. These three vessels were saved by crawling, with permission of the Governor, under the guns of the fortress; but the attempt was a violation of the neutral waters of Bergen, which passed without reparation.2
11. M. de Cussy also mentions, that, during this same year, a British man-of-war insulted a French vessel in the neutral port of Lisbon.3
12. The next instance was again on this side of the Atlantic, and in the neutral waters of our own coast. The French ship-of-the-line L'Impétueux, separated in a storm from the fleet to which she belonged, and much disabled, was discovered, September, 1806, by several British men-of-war off Cape Henry. The French ship
1 Cussy, Phases et Causes Célèbres, Tom. II. pp. 222–224.
2 Ibid., p. 238.
3 Ibid., p. 240.
turned her head to the land, and was actually aground before the British ships came within cannon-shot. But, though in this disabled condition, and on the very shores of the United States, she received a British broadside. The French commander vainly protested that he was on neutral territory. His crew were taken prisoners, and his ship was burned. This act was a violation of the Law of Nations doubly noticeable, as the immunity of our coast "within cannon-shot" had been expressly recognized in the Treaty of 1794 between Great Britain and the United States. As the ship was burned, there could be no question of its restitution. But it does not appear that there was reparation of any kind, not even apology.1
13. The outrage upon the frigate Chesapeake properly belongs to this list, for it was a barefaced and most insulting violation of territorial jurisdiction. This was in June, 1807, while the United States were at peace with all the world. The Chesapeake, having proceeded to sea, was followed by the British frigate Leopard, lying at Hampton Roads, which, after ranging alongside, commenced a heavy fire, until the commander of the Chesapeake felt it his duty to strike his colors and to inform the British commander that the Chesapeake was his prize. It is needless to mention the details of this unparalleled enormity, or the mingled anger and humiliation which ensued in the country, as they became known. A demand for reparation was made at once; but it was only after four years of negotiation that the terms of adjustment were mutually accepted. There was no ship to restore; but the men forcibly taken from the Chesapeake were, "as far as cir
1 Cussy, Phases et Causes Célèbres, Tom. II. pp. 81, 82.