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privately gone up the country, and embarked elsewhere, without the possibility of detection. The right of the mother country to monopolize the colonial trade, so as materially to injure the colonists, he stoutly denies. That she may tax, and legislate for them, he does not at all dispute; but he is unable to discover. any principle upon which she can be entitled to starve her colonial subjects, for the sake of enriching her merchants at home, by the monopoly of the produce. Make the planter pay, he observes, as much as he now pays to government, but relieve him from the extortions of the broker and merchant. To every interference with the navigation law, he expects the keen opposi tion of all West India ship-owners; but the clamours which they will raise about the ruin of our marine, he thinks, are easily exposed by the statement, that of 21,700 ships, composing the mercantile navy of England, only 785 are engaged in the West India trade. The effects of the navigation law, he conceives, are greatly overrated; and so far from valuing the power of stopping a trade in contraband of war, he asks, when the want of stores ever kept an enemy from fighting? At the same time, he observes that the enemy has no right to complain of our maritime claims. Towards him every exertion of our hostility is justifi able; and he has no title to intermeddle with exceptions which it is the part of neutrals only to take against our conduct. He illustrates, by various cases, the embarrassments of the neutral traders, and their mercantile connexions in England, from the frequent detention of vessels by our cruizers; and shows how many houses in both countries are ruined, even when the prize courts at last refuse to condemn the cargoes. He also enlarges upon the inconsistency of throwing such impediments in the way of the American trade, when licenses are all the while granted with profusion to secure both our own traders and those of neutral states in their commerce with the enemy's ports. He enters into several details for the purpose of showing how greatly the expenses of the American trade with the West Indies are augmented by the regulation forcing the carriers of colonial produce to land and re-ship it in their own ports, and how frequently this interrupts the whole plan of a mercantile speculation. Mr Medford has been, for many years, engaged in this trade; and from the uncommon calmness of his general reasonings, we are disposed to pay great respect to his authority upon this point.

The remaining part of the tract is occupied with a comparative statement of the consequences of a war between England and America, to the interests of both countries. The progress of America in wealth and improvement, hitherto rapid beyond all example, and accelerated by the wars of other nations, would A 4

now receive a most material interruption. Her commerce would be nearly destroyed, by the exclusion of her vessels from our ports, and their capture at sea when bound for other places. Her coasts, too, would suffer from the English navy. Her revenues must be raised to the war establishment; and both her debt and taxes greatly increased. Our author further admits, that she could derive no relief whatever from the profligate measure sometimes debated, of confiscating the debts due to British merchants. He asserts, that if a balance were struck, there would be found more money due in England to the Americans than by them, from the amount of their exports directly to the British dominions, and the shares which our traders have in the other branches of American commerce. Mr Medford then enumerates the advantages which his countrymen might derive from the war. They might easily conquer Canada, the inhabitants of which, though unfavourable to America, dislike England as much. To be sure, no great benefit could result from this accession ; but it would materially injure the navigation of the English in those seas, and interrupt their supplies of ship stores. By their privateers they might almost destroy our West India trade; and though this would offer but a poor compensation for the loss of their own commerce, it would tend greatly to make England tire of the contest. They would also have the supply of the West Indies so completely in their hands, that they could occasion an insurrection in every island, by stopping the carriage of provisions;-another exertion of power, which, our author candidly admits, would only injure the enemy, without any benefit, nay, with much detriment to themselves. Of the various effects which the war would produce, the destruction of the American carrying trade would alone be beneficial to England. The loss of her North American colonies,-the danger of her West Indian settlements,-the want of a market for her goods,-the interruption of part of her supplies of grain, and of about half the cotton used in her manufactures, the depredations upon her trade by innumerable privateers,-the defalcations which all these losses would occasion in her revenues,-are considerations of so serious a nature to a country already engaged in almost universal war, bent down by debts and taxes, and maintaining with difficulty its commercial station, that our author views them as fit to deter the most resolute enemies of the American carrying trade. He concludes, by attempting to strike a sort of general balance between the losses which the two countries would sustain, and. affirms that England would suffer most; that to America the war would certainly be extremely injurious; but that to England it must prove ruinous. The former has done without commerce,


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and may try the experiment once more. The latter with difficulty survived that crisis, and is now incomparably less able to meet it. We confess, that the question of, which will be most injured, by measures confessedly very detrimental to both,' strikes us as infinitely immaterial. There is no reason whatever for preferring a war which shall injure your enemy more than yourself, to one which shall injure him less, except the difference be so enormous, that, in the one case, he is likely soon to be in your power, or at your mercy ;-a difference which, in the present instance, neither party can venture to assert. The short and plain view of the case, which we think ourselves entitled to adopt, is, that both nations would suffer more from a war than from any other event which can happen to them ;-that it is their common interest to avoid it ;-and that the points chiefly in dispute between them, are either such as justice requires to be abandoned, or a regard for their best interests should prevent them from insisting upon. We shall now illustrate this proposition, by examining the questions alluded to, and shall begin with the new claim urged on the part of England, of a right to search ships of war for seamen, both because this has never been argued, and because it will in all probability be made the avowed ground of the rupture.

It is evident, that the right to search a foreign vessel for deserters is of the very same nature, and governed by the same rules, with the right to search a neutral vessel for contraband goods. You have a right to search for those goods, only because you are injured by their being on board the vessel which trades with your enemy;-you have a right to search for your own runaway seamen who take shelter in the vessel, because you are injured by their being enabled to escape from you. If a neutral carries contraband goods, such as armed men, (which indeed treaties frequently specify in the list), to your enemy, he' takes part against you; and your remedy-your means of checking his underhand hostility, is to stop his voyage, after ascertaining the unfair object of it. If the same neutral gives shelter to your seamen, he takes part with your enemy; or, if you happen not to be at war, still he injures you, and your remedy in either case is to recover the property, after ascertaining that he has it on board. In both instances, the offence is the same, the foreign vessel has on board what she ought not to have, consistently with your rights. You are therefore entitled, say the jurists, to redress; and a detection of the injury cannot be obtained without previous search.

If the foreign vessel is a ship of war, such conduct is a direct injury, committed by the government of one nation against an


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other nation. For if an American frigate either carries troops or other contraband to France, or carries away deserters from an English man of wat, and refuses to give them up when claimed, and if the American government avows the proceeding of its ship, then is that government acting an hostile part towards England, who has, in consequence, a right to seek redress,-namely, by going to war. For all such proceedings, therefore, on the part of the foreign government, there is this proper and sufficient remedy. But if the offending vessel belong not to the foreign government, but to a private trader, the case is different. For no power can exercise such an effective controul over the actions of each of its subjects, as to prevent them from yielding to the temptations of gain, at a distance from its territory. No power can therefore be effectually responsible for the conduct of all its subjects on the high seas; and it has been found more convenient to entrust the party injured by such aggressions with the power of checking them. This arrangement seems beneficial to all parties, for it answers the chief end of the law of nations, -checking injustice without the necessity of war. Endless hostilities would result from any other arrangement. If a government were to be made responsible for each act of its subjects, and a negotiation were to ensue every time that a suspected neutral merchantman entered the enemy's port, either there must be a speedy end put to neutrality, or the affairs of the belligerent and neutral must both stand still. If the suspected vessel is a ship of war, no such inconvenience can follow from seeking redress by negotiation merely. A neutral has very few ships of war; if she has many, this is a circumstance of evidence against her, and a good ground of complaint. Not only is this remedy easy and safe to all parties, but it is the only remedy which is not exceedingly liable to abuse, and full of danger to the public peace of nations. No serious consequences are likely to arise from allowing men of war to search merchant ships; more especially if the right is confined to vessels of the state, and withheld from privateers. Nothing but hostility can result from allowing one ship of war to search another ship of war; because, if a national spirit is any where to be found, it is on board of such vessels. Moreover, the injury done to a private trader by searching. is insignificant, compared to the benefit secured to both nations. by such a practice. But the injury done to a ship of war by searching, is both much greater in itself, from the insult to the honour of the crew, and bears a much greater proportion to any good which can be supposed to result from the practice, even on the highest estimate, because there are very few such vessels to search.


For these, or similar reasons, the right of searching private ships has been acknowledged by the law of nations; but no such right has ever been admitted by that law with respect to ships of war. The following details not only prove this point, but positively demonstrate, that the claim alluded to is repugnant to the law of nations.

The right of searching merchant fhips has never been denied, except by a few very fpeculative men. But fuch a modification, of it has been more than once propofed by different powers, as would almost have amounted to an extinction of it. In 1780 and in 1801, it was maintained that the prefence of a fhip of war protected from all fearch a fleet of merchantmen under its convoy. This pofition was founded upon the inviolability of the national flag, and upon the pledge of fair dealing on the part of the merchantmen, which the presence of the convoying fhip, and the word of its commander afforded. This pretenfion of the neutral powers was carefully examined, chiefly by English civilians, who were unanimous against it, and difplayed great learning in refuting it. They reasoned both on the general confequences of extending to merchantmen the protection of the convoying flag, and from the authority of the writers on public law. Not one of their general reasonings even alludes to any right of searching the convoy fhip itfelf, although an argument of this nature would have cut the whole queftion fhort. Not one of their authorities makes any mention of fuch a kind of fearch, although a quotation of this nature would have been the best authority against the pretenfions of the armed neutrality, at a time, too, when our jurists were in no fmall degree preffed for authorities, even to make out the right of fearching fhips under convoy. *-See Sir W. Scott's Judgment in the Cafe of the Swedish Convoy-Dr Croke's Remarks on Mr Schlegel's Work-Letters of Sulpicius-Lord Grenville's Speech on the Ruffian Treaty, (Nov. 1801)-Vindication of the Ruffian Treaty.

The treaty with Ruffia, in our humble opinion, very properly refused to acknowledge the pretenfions of the armed neutrality. If there is any truth in the reafons above ftated for fearching merchantmen not convoyed, it must be admitted, that the prefence of the convoy fhip, so far from being a fufficient pledge of their innocence, is rather a circumftance of fufpicion. If a neu


It may further be remarked, that, in the courfe of the difcuffions arifing from the armed neutrality, feveral authorities were produced, (certainly not very eminent ones) even in favour of the neutral preten. fion; but no one was found exprefsly against it. So little do the writers on this fubject afford countenance to the doctrine of a ftill more extended right of fearch!

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