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liberty, peace, order, and humanity, must all rejoice in this decisive appointment, and on the suppression of the Censorship of the Press, and the dissolution of the Pseudo-Senate and degraded Chamber of Deputies, who would submit to deliberate, as it was called, on a change of government, without any authority from the people, and with an host of invading and besieging strangers at their gates. The characteristic and magnanimous instance of intrusting captured Vienna to her own troops; to which I would add his generous dismissal of the armies of Austria and Prussia; and the King and Emperor themselves—35,000 men completely in his power, speaks the man the general, the liberal statesman: his attention to this day of the wounded Austrian officers—his love, founded on knowledge and true approbation, of the arts and sciences—his remembrance of the widow of Rousseau, when neglected and in indigence—his power during his late astonishing enterprize over the best feelings of the human heart, which no man ever has to such an extent, unless those feelings have first possession of his own :-all these contradict the disgusting and horrible portraits by which our abandoned papers have endeavoured to feed and enflame eternal war.—The Suffolk Chronicle would not insert my letter in which I endeavoured to obtain a REQUISITION to the HIGH SHERIFF, to call, as early as possible, a County Meeting, to consider of a Petition to prevent our being made a party to a war for the purpose of interfering with the internal government of France, after the clearest and fullest manifestation of the national will.
- -CAPEL Loft.
REpoRT on THE RETALIATING SYSTEM, &c.
The following is a report made by a committee of the senate, on the subject of the pretences whereon our late enemy justified his devastations of private property and of public buildings, unconnected with the purposes of war. As great pains have been taken by the factious prints to discolour the facts on this subject, with a view to palliate the atrocities committed at Washington and elsewhere by the British forces, in violation of the usages of war and the dictates of humanity, it is satisfactory to receive a statement of facts on this head from the highest authority,
In Senate, March 3, 1815.
The Committee on foreign relations, to whom was referred the message of the President of the United States on the 26th of September last, respecting the unauthorised mode of warfare adopted by the enemy, on the plea of retaliation, report, that, although the war has happily terminated, they deem it important to rescue the American government from unworthy imputations with which it has been assailed during its progress. They have, therefore, endeavoured to ascertain whether the destruction of York, in Upper Canada, and the other cases assumed by our late enemy, as authorising a departure from the settled rules of civilized warfare, were of a character to justify or extenuate their conduct. The result of the inquiries of the Committee, manifesting to the world, that the plea which has been advanced for the destruction of the American capital, and the plunder of private property, is without foundation, will be found in the communications of the secretaries of the departments of war and navy, and of General Dearborn, commander of the American forces in the attack on York, herewith submitted.
Department of State, Feb. 28, 1815.
SIR-I have had the honour to receive your letter, requesting, on behalf of the committee of foreign relations, any information which this department possesses, relative to the misconduct that has been imputed to the American troops in Upper Canada during the late war, and in reply, I have the honour to state, that the charges appear to be confined to three. 1st, The alleged burning of York; 2d, the burning of Newark, and 3d, the burning of the Indian villages usually called the Moravian towns. 1st. The burning of York, or any of its public edifices or of any of its private houses, has never been presented to the view of the American government by its own officers, as matter of information; and it never was exhibited by the British government, or any of its officers, as matter of complaint; until it was asserted in the address of the governor in chief to the provincial parliament of Canada, on the 24th of January, 1815, “that as a just retribution, the proud capitol at Washington, has experienced a similar fate to that inflicted by an American force on the seat of government in Upper Camada.” This assertion, having led to an inquiry, I am enabled, from official documents, and general information, to state the following facts of the case, for the information of the committee. The town of York, in Upper Canada, was taken by the American army under the command of General Dearborn, on the 27th of April, 1813, and it was evacuated on the succeeding 1st of May; although it was again visited for a day, by an American squadron under the command of Commodore Chauncey, on the 4th of August. At the time of the capture, the British troops on their retreat set fire to their magazine, and great injury was done by the explosion, to property as well as to persons within the range of its effects. At the time of the capture, as well as at the time of Commodore Chauncey’s visit, the public stores were seized, and the public store houses were destroyed; but the destruction of public edifices for civil uses, or of private property, was not only unauthorised, but positively forbidden by the American commanders; and it is understood that no private house was destroyed by the American troops. It has recently, however, appeared, that a public building, of little value, called the Parliament House (not the Government House) in which it is said that an American scalp was found, as a part of the decoration of the speaker's chair, had been burnt; whether it was so, and if it was, whether it was an accidental consequence of the confusion in which the explosion of the magazine involved the town, or the unauthorised act of some exasperated individual, has not been ascertained. The
silence of the military and civil officers of
the provincial government of Canada, seem to indicate that the transaction was not deemed, when it occurred, a cause, either for retaliation or reproach.–2d. The burning of Newark, adjacent to fort George, occurred on the 10th December, S13,--The act was vindicated
by the American general, as necessary to
his military operations ; but as soon as the American government heard of it, instructions, dated the 6th of January, 1814, were given by the department of war, to major general Wilkinson, “to disavow the conduct of the officer who committed it, and to transmit to governor Provost a copy of the order, under colour of which that officer had acted.” This disavowal was accordingly communicated, and on the 10th Feb. 1814, governor Provost answered, “that it had been with great satisfaction he had received the assurance, that the perpetration of the burning of the town of Newark, was both unauthorised by the American government, and abhorrent to every American feeling; that if any outrages had ensued the wanton and unjustifiable destruction of Newark, passing the bounds of just retaliation, they were to be attributed to the influence of irritated passions, on the part of the unfortunate sufferers by that event, which, in a state of active warfare, it had not been possible altogether to restrain, and that it was as little congenial to the disposition of his majesty's government, at it was to that of the government of the United States, deliberately to adopt any plan of policy, which had for its object the devastation of private property.” But the disavowal of the American government was not the only expiation of the unauthorized offence committed by its officer; for the British government undertook itself, to redress the wrong. A few days after the burning of Newark the British and Indian troops crossed the Niagara for this purpose; they surprized and seized fort Niagara ; they burnt the villages of Lewistown, Manchester, Tuscarora, Buffalo, and Black Rock, desolating the whole of the Niagara frontier, and dispersing the inhabitants, in the extremity of the winter. Sir George Prevost himself appears to have been satisfied with the vengeance that had been inflicted; and, in his proclamation of the 12th of January, 1814, he expressly declared, that for the burning of Newark, “the opportunity of punishment had occurred; that a full measure of retaliation had taken place, and that it was not his intention to pursue further a system of warfare, so revolting to his own feelings, and so little congenial to the British character, unless the future measures of the enemy should compel him again to resort to it.” With
his answer to Major-General Wilkinson, Extract of a letter from Commodore Isaac
which has been already noticed, he trans
mitted a copy of the proclamation, “as
expressive of the determination as to his future line of conduct,” and added, “that
he was happy to learn, that there was no
probability, that any measures, on the part of the American government, would oblige him to depart from it.”—3d. The places usually called the Moravian towns, were mere collections of Indian huts and cabins, on the river Retrench or Thames, not probably worth, in the whole, one The Indians who inhabit them, among whom were some notoriously hostile to the United States, had
made incursions the most cruel into their territory. When, therefore, the American army under General Harrison invaded
Canada on the of , 1813, the huts and cabins of the hostile Indians were destroyed. But this species of warfare has been invariably pursued by every nation engaged in war with the Indians of the American Continent. However it may
be regretted on the score of humanity, it
Chauncey, to the Secretary of the Navy, dated Off York, U. C. April, 20, 1813.
“The enemy set fire to some of the principal stores, containing large quantities of naval and military stores, as well as a large ship upon the stocks, nearly finished.” . . . ~ From the same to the same, dated
Off Niagara, Aug. 14, 1815.
“ In the evening of the 30th ult. we weighed and stood for York, arrived and anchored in that harbour, at about 3, P. M. on the 31st ; ran the schooners into the upper harbour, landed the marines and soldiers, under the command of Col. Scott, without opposition; found several hundred barrels of flour and provisions in the public storehouses, five pieces of cannon, eleven boats, and a quantity of shot, shells, and other stores; all which was either destroyed or brought away. On the 1st inst. after having received on board all that the vessels could take, I directed the barracks and public store houses to be burned; we then re-embarked the men, and proceeded to this place, where we arrived yesterday.”
Letter from General Henry Dearborn to the Hon. Joseph B. Varnum, a member of the Senate. Boston, October 17, 1814. ,
DFAR SIR.—In reply to your letter of the 11th instant. I assure you in the most explicit manner, that no public or private buildings were burned or destroyed by the troops under my command, at York, in Upper Canada, excepting two blockhouses, and one or two sheds belonging to the navy yard.—I placed a strong guard in the town with positive orders . to prevent any plunder or depredation on the inhabitants; and when leaving the place, a letter was received from Judge Scott, chief justice of the superior court, in which he expressed his thanks for the humane treatment the inhabitants had experienced from our troops, and for my particular attention to the safety of their persons and property. A frigate, on the stocks, and a large storehouse, containing their naval stores, were set on fire by the enemy, subsequent to their offer of surrendering the troops and public property. Several of the most valuable public buildings, con
nected with their principal military positions, were destroyed by the explosion of their magazine, which proved so fatal to our troops; and although there were strong provocations for burning and destroyiug the town, nothing of the kind took place, more than I have already mentioned, either by the army or navy. Yours' with respectful esteem, H. DEARBorx. Hon. Joseph B. Varnum.
PETITIons AGAINST THE WAR.
The example of the Livery of London has not been followed by the Citizens of Nottingham alone. In the City of Westminster, and in the Borough, petitions have been voted by the electors against involving the country in all the horrors of a new war with France. These, I am afraid, will have little effect, if the Allies, as is pretended, are bent on renewing the work of slaughter. These are not the times when the people are to expect that their voice will be heard, even by their representatives. But who have they to blame for this 2 Why, none but themselves. It is they who have all along willingly contributed to carry on the war. It is they, many of them, who now make the greatest noise about the pernicious consequences of the last war, that were the first to call for it. Poor drivellers! do they suppose that after investing corruption with the vast power they have done; after giving it the unlimited controul of the national purse; after submitting the neck to that yoke; do these credulous dupes of a crafty system expect, that the noisy lamentations they now set up to procure attention will be met with any thing but a deafear. No, no; it is not the way to tame the jackal to feed him with human flesh; it is not the way to eradicate corruption to pour plenty into the lap of the corrupt. Those who have all along been sincere in their desire for peace have been but few in number. They are entitied, and have a legitimate claim, to be heard, but I have little com
able result, even although nine-tenths of our population were to remonstrate against the measure. The country has supplied the means of commencing, at least, the Those now possessing these means, have given pretty good proofs that they are not of disposing minds for peace. It is useless, therefore, to talk to them on that subject. Have all those, who are now petitioning against the war, been careful not to contribute to its support? How can they expect, after opening their purses, and willingly paying their quota of war taxes, that they should have any thing else but war?—It is the taxes that occasions all the mischief. It is the taxes, the soul and sinews of war, which have involved the country in its present distress. Until, therefore, measures are adopted, and constitutional measures there are, to bring these taxes within moderate bounds, war we must have, war we shall have, and war will sooner or later involve the country in irrecoverable ruin.
TRIUMPH of WestMINSTER, AND PURITY of ELECTIon.—The friends of freedom will, I am persuaded, be gratified to learn, that the eighth anniversary of Sir Francis Burdett's election to represent the city of Westminster, is to be held in the Crown and Anchor Tavern, on Tuesday the 23d instant; and that Sir Francis is to be in the Chair. * * *
Printed and Published by G. Houston, No. 192, Strand; where all Communications addressed to the Editor, are requested to be forwarded.
vol. xxvii. No. 21.]
LoNDON, SATURDAY, MAY 27, Isis. Prices.
641] To CORRESPONDENTS,
IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Botley, near Southampton, 20th May, 1815.
I have, within these few days, had tendered to me, through the Post, a small parcel from America, with “newspapers” written on it. This parcel had, as appears by the Post-mark, been sent from Liverpool to London, and from London to Botley. The charge on it was nine shillings and six-pence sterling; that is to say, however, in our paper money, being about, at this time, a dollar and a half. I did not take the parcel, of course, much as I wished to see its contents. From this account, it will be perceived, that, unless parcels of newspapers, coming from America, be actually conveyed by the bearer of them either to me at Botley (which can seldom happen), or to London, the object in sending them must be defeated; for, a file of daily papers, for only one month, sent to me by post from any out-port, would cost, at least, the price of a good large fat hog. I remember one parcel, which came to me, charged with nine pounds some odd shillings of postage, which is now the price of a hog of seventeen score weight.—As I am very desirous to receive, frequently, papers from America, and as the papers in that country are not, as ours are, loaded with a tax equal to more than one half of their retail price, I will point out the manner in which they may be sent to me.—The parcel should be addressed to me by name, “to “the care of the Publisher of Cobbett's “ Weekly Political Register, London.” But, it ought, if the vessel go to London, to be carried by the master, or mate, or by some careful person; and, if the vessel arrive at some out-port, the parcel, with the same direction on it, should be carried
to some office, whence a London Coach
departs. There it should be delivered, and the bearer should see it booked, as we eall it.—By these means American papers will reach me with very little trouble, and at an expence of which I should think nothing.—All single letters from America
may be addressed to me at Botley, near Southampton, and be put, at once, into any post-office in this country.—The hireling, who conduct nine-tenths of the newspa. pers in London, have all possible facilities in receiving American newspapers. But, they publish from them that only which suits their purpose. Their object is to mislead the people here; or, to keep them in the dark; and, they cull out every pássage calculated to answer this end. Besides, there are very few papers (the National Intelligencer excepted), which are sent to England, except the papers called Federal. The persons who send these papers, if not English by birth, are English by connection. Thus we see only one side of the picture; and hence it was, that malignant and beastly as is the Editor of our Times newspaper, for instance, the fellow really might be deceived himself by the cookoo clamour of the Aristocratical American newspapers; but, hence, though I could get a sight of none but the same sort of papers, I was not deceived, because I had had that experience, which enabled me to put a proper value upon what I saw in these papers.--It is of great consequence to the cause of truth and freedom, that the Republican papers should come to us from America, and that other Republican works should also reach us; for, it is from this Island that opinions and facts go forth to produce impression on the mind of the world. Bound up as our press is, we, by one means or another, contrive to get a great deal into circulation. We are nearer the grand scenes of action than you are; and, if you wish your principles and your example to have their due and speedy effect, we must be the principal vehicle of them.—Some one at Philadelphia has recently sent me a parcel of American papers, received at Philadelphia from other places, from which I perceive, that my Letters to Lord Liverpool have been republished in all parts of the Republic, from Boston to Savannah, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Flattering as this is to my self-love, it is much more gratifying to me as d o the powers of the press, and * \