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voy cases, the Danish government considered, that this circumstance deprived them of their original character of neutrality. “ He who causes himself to be protected, by that act ranges himself on the side of the protector, and thus puts himself in opposition to the enemy of the protector, and evidently renounces the advantages attached to the character of friend to him, against whom he seeks protection. If Denmark should abandon this principle, the navigators of all nations would find their account in carrying on the commerce of Great Britain under the protection of English ships of war, without running any risk. We every day see that this is done, the Danish government not being able to place in the way of it sufficient obstacles.” To this arbitrary, and obviously most unjust doctrine, the American government could never accede. But Denmark still continued to enforce it; and not only the vessels already condemned were not released, but all captures of American vessels, under English convoy, were held to be legal. Great difficulties having arisen in the examination of the cases as to jurisdiction, the French government proposed, that the prizes taken by privateers with French commissions, should be transferred to Paris. But the Danish government did not consent to this. None of the vessels condemned in 1809 or 1810 were released. No further interruption being given to American commerce in the Baltic, and no hope remaining that the condemned cases would be revised, Mr. Erving left Copenhagen, in April, 1812, for Paris, leaving Mr. Forbes as an agent for the American claims. On the whole, this business terminated more favourably than could have been expected. The Danish government conducted with more justice than most of the other European states against whom this country has claims, the condemnations being few in proportion to the captures. We cannot doubt, that some illegal trade was carried on un
Convoy cases, (1810,)
der the American flag at that time. Indeed, we are officially informed of that fact, in a memorial of American ship masters to the President, in 1809, who had been taken, and carried into Christiansand. That portion of American property, left by Mr. Erving in sequestration, on which acts of condemnation had been passed, has not been settled to this day; and no change in the amount, or of the claim for indemnity, has taken place since Mr. Erving left Copenhagen, in 1812.*
* An account of these claims will be found in the Boston Monthly. Magazine, for January, 1826.
RELATIONS WITH PORTUGAL.
Trade in Mediterranean, exposed to Barbary cruisers, first led to
diplomatic intercourse—Vessels taken by Algerines as early as ’85– Before revolution protected by British passes—Number of captives in '93—Humphreys sent to Lisbon in '91—Freire to this countryLegation suspended in 1801-Smith in '97-No commercial or other treaty with Portugal.
The state of our commerce in the Mediterranean, first led to a diplomatic intercourse with Portugal. The circumstances of alliances, boundaries and original claims have conferred a peculiar character and uncommon importance upon all the relations, both of the confederation and the present government, with France, Spain and England. And though Portugal fell within the limits of the European trade, allowed by the mother country, we are not aware that the commerce of that nation, or its situation, or any other consideration, presented motives to a correspondence which were not common to nearly all the European states. But the war, in which Portugal was engaged with Algiers in the early part of President Washington's administration, suggested the expediency of sending a minister to that court.
Before the revolution, vessels from the American colonies, bound to the Mediterranean, sailed under the protection of British passes, granted to all the subjects of the empire. The trade to the Mediterranean in flour, wheat, and fish, was very considerable, employing, in 1774, about 1200 men, and 20,000 tons of shipping. But the independence of the colonies having necessarily deprived our vessels of this species of security, several fell into the hands of the Algerines, and about 130 seafaring people were carried into slavery.* The congress of the confederation, entirely destitute of funds, had no means of redeeming even the small number of individuals, taken in the second year after the peace; but knowing the importance of the Mediterranean trade and its extremely exposed state, they employed, in ’84, agents to proceed to Algiers and Morocco, for the purpose of making some sort of arrangement with those governments; this was effected with Morocco, from whom, by the friendly interference of Spain, a ship had just been delivered ; but no arrangement was made with Algiers, nor were the men, taken in '85, ransomed, the Dey demanding 59,496 dollars for all the captives, whereas the agent was only authorized by Congress to offer 200 dollars a man. After this unsuccessful attempt, Congress accepted the offer of the services of the General of the religious order of the Mathurins, t but the revolution soon after beginning in France, this fraternity perished with the others. Very
* 10 captured July '85, (21 originally captured.) 105
October '93. This was the state of the captives Nov. 13, '93, at Algiers. Several had died, and three or four had been ransomed. The first vessels were taken by the Algerines in July '85; the schooner Maria, of Boston, and ship Dauphin, of Philadelphia—the captives amounted to 21.
+ Ordo Religiosorum, S. S. Trinitatis Redemptionis Captivorum. (Bonnani.) They are called in English Mathurins, and brothers of the redemption. It was their business to go and ransom christians, held in slavery on the Barbary coast.
soon after the establishment of the constitution, negotiations were set on foot for the same purpose, but the demands of the Dey of Algiers were so exorbitant, that the government did not feel authorized to comply with them. Algiers, however, being then at war with Portugal, whose government had sent some armed vessels into the Mediterranean, in order to arrest the depredations of thecorsairs, it was thought a favourable opportunity to send a mission from the United States to the court of Lisbon, under the expectation of being able to concert a plan of mutual protection. David Humphreys, of Connecticut, was, in February '91, appointed minister resident, and soon after, this diplomatic courtesy was returned, on the part of Portugal, by the appointment of the Chevalier Freire* to the United States.
The Portuguese continued to keep an armament in the Mediterranean, and afforded essential protection to our vessels, till the autumn of the year '93; regular convoys being appointed to sail at fixed periods from certain designated ports. But in that year a truce made with Algiers, exposed our vessels as well as those of the Hanseatic towns to the cruisers of the Barbary coast. In March ’93, Col. Humphreys was directed to proceed to Algiers for the purpose of entering into some arrangement with that regency, and in '95 he was furnished with a full power to conclude a treaty with the emperor of Morocco. It is not obviously in place here to mention the proceedings of that agent with those powers. In '96, President Washington appointed Mr. John Quincy Adams, then minister resident at the Ilague, minister plenipotentiary to Lisbon. Before leaving the Hague, however, he was transferred to Berlin. William Lawton Smith, of South Carolina, was in the next year appointed with the same rank to Lisbon. Mr. Smith was the last minister to Por
* The chevalier (Cyprien-Bibeiro) Freire was transferred from this country to Madrid, and on the 29th of September, 1801, signed the celebrated treaty of Badajoz between France and Portugal.