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34 AMERICAN STATE PAPER5,

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war. It seems more like the offspring of her pre-eminent power on the ocean, in the two wars of 1756, and that which lately ended, than the legitimate doctrine of right and justice. In the war of 1756, Dutch vessels by special license from France, were permitted to export the produce of the French colonies. These were captured and condemned, on the ground, that by adoption they had become French vessels. Afterwards the property was carried to Monte Christi, and exported thence in Dutch vessels. Particular trades, and special privileges were also allowed by France, to vessels belonging to citizens of Amsterdam, as a gratification for their peculiar exertions to induce the stadtholder to take part with France against Great Britain. Vessels and their cargoes so circumstanced, were captured and condemned by the British, and this principle was then brought forward to justify their conduct, as covering, in their courts, all the cases by a rule as extensive as was the power and cupidity of their cruisers on the sea. . In the war for the independence of America, this principle, set up for the first time in that which preceded it, and contrary to former practice, was abandoned. This is exemplified in the following case, viz: A vessel bound from Marseilles to Martinico, and back again, was taken on the outward voyage ; the vice admiralty court at Antigua gave half freight. On appeal, the lords of appeal gave the whole. It is said in answer to this, that France opened her colonies, and though it was during the existence of war, yet it was the profession of keeping them always so, but was afterwards found delusive. The lords of appeal, however, in the case of the Danish vessel, could not have a&ed upon such grounds : for their decision was in 1786, three years after the peace, and after it was manifest, if any doubt had before existed, that the general opening of the trade between the colonies and the mother country, to foreigners, was a temporary expedient, and dependent on the duration of the war. The claim before them was merely equitable, being for freight of that part of the voyage which had not been performed, and to obtain which the party claiming is bound to shew, that he has offended no law and interfered with no rights of the belligerent. What renders the conduct of Great Britain peculiarly injurious to the merchants of our country at this time, is the extension of this offensive doctrine, contrary to her own express and publick declaration of the law during the last war ; for it was then declared, that the importation from an enemy’s colony, to the country to which the sliip belonged, and the subsequent oxportation was lawful ; and so of property, the produce of the parent country, going from the United States to the colony—Wide cases of Immanual and Polly, in Robinson's Admiralty Reports, before cited. Whereas property going from the United_States, the produce of an enemy's country, to her colony, although bona fide imported and landed in the United States, and exported on the sole account and risk of the American merchant, is now taken and condemned, on the grounds that the same perfon and vessel imported and exported the same articles; and thus, by an arbitrary interpretation of the intention of the merchant, the second voyage is adjudged to be a continuance of the first. If this new and extraordinary doćtrine of continuity is maintained on the part of Great Britain, and acquiesced in by the United States, a very large property, now afloat, may be subject to condemnation, and it must follow, that an extensive trade, which has been carried on with great advantage by the United #. for these twelve years, and admitted to be lawful, will be totally anniilated. The Indus, and cargo, have becn condemned on the mere possibility, that the same might go to Europe, from Boston, in case of a peace, in which event Great Britain could pretend to no authority to question the voyage she should make. Now, to adopt a principle of dubious right in its own nature, and then to extend such principle to a further restriction of the trade of the neutral withVol. III. Appendix. D

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