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under convoy, referring that to ulterior discussion ; but before the convention was signed, the emperor of Russia succeeded in securing the agreement of the governments of Prussia, Sweden and Denmark, to unite with Russia in an armed neutrality against Great Britain, and in August, 1800, an embargo, without notice, in violation of the treaty between Russia and Great Britain of 1766, was laid by Russia on British property in Russian ports. After much intermediate correspondence, resulting in no measures of pacification, on the 14th of January, 1801, the British government laid an embargo on Russian, Danish and Prussian vessels in her ports. To this succeeded various measures, more or less hostile in their character, between the contending parties, culminating in the battle of Copenhagen on the 2d of April, 1801, which laid the Danish capital at the mercy of Great Britain. An armistice suc- . ceeded, during which it was agreed that the connection of Denmark with the armed neutrality should be suspended. Paul, the emperor of Russia died about the same time, and being succeeded by Alexander, friendly negotiations were immediately entered into with Great Britain, in which the principle of “free ships, free goods," theretofore claimed by Russia, was abandoned, and the prin. ciple that the presence of ships of war as a convoy, should protect neutral merchants from search, was recognized by Great Britain. A treaty with these stipulations was concluded, and acceded to by Sweden on the 30th of March, and by Denmark on the 23d of October, 1802.

A resistance to the right of search by a neutral, as we have seen, subjects both vessel and cargo to

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confiscation; but a resistance to search by an enemy
does not entail the penalty of confiscation upon
neutral cargo on board the vessel, because such a
resistance violates no belligerent duty

duty on the part
of the master, who is justified in escaping if he can.

In 1810 the Danish government passed an ordi. nance, by which they declared subject to condemnation, “ such vessels as, notwithstanding their flag is considered neutral, as well with regard to Great Britain, as with the powers at war with the same nation, still, either in the Atlantic or Baltic, have made use of English convoy.”

Several American vessels, sailing under British convoy, were captured for violation of this ordinance, and, together with the cargoes, were condemned. An interesting correspondence ensued between Denmark and the United States, for a detailed statement of which, the student is referred o the valuable treatise of Dr. Wheaton. The ifficulty was settled by a payment of a sum by enmark, accepted as sufficient to liquidate Amerin claims, but no decision was agreed to upon the estion of the right claimed by Denmark, it being ulated that the settlement should not be in. ed as a precedent by either party. The right of searching neutral merchant vessels The right of he purpose of ascertaining if any persons owing ships of war. iance as subjects or citizens to the nation of the hing vessel are employed on board, has been

the subject of angry discussion and national ts.


Catherina Elizabeth, 5 Rob., 232.
aton's Elements of International Law, II., 260, 278.


Great Britain has heretofore demanded that the right, for this purpose, should apply indiscrimi. nately to all vessels. This right was resisted by Holland in 1653, and although that nation was beaten by the English in the hostilities ensuing, yet she never submitted to this claim by Great Britain in the terms of any subsequent pacification.

This claim, too, on the part of Great Britain, gave rise to a serious collision between that country and the United States, early in the present century, which resulted in open hostilities in 1812, the occasion and the history of which are familiar to the intelligent reader. Upon the return of peace, the treaty which was

, entered into at Ghent, did not include a settlement of this question. At a subsequent period, in 1818, negotiations upon the subject were resumed, and the question, not only of impressment, but of blockade, contraband, trade with the colonies of a belligerent, prize courts, letters of marque, and all the great questions involving the great interests of commerce in time of war, were elaborately discussed, for the purpose of being defined and settled by conventional stipulations.

By the 4th article of the proposed treaty Great Britain was to surrender all claim of right to im. pressment on the high seas, and it was agreed be: tween the negotiators that formal lists of American and British seamen should be made, and that they should determine the rights of nationality in any disputed case. But on the part of Great Britain it was desired that all seamen who were to be considered citizens of the United States should be natural. ized before the signature of the treaty; while on


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the part of the United States, it was desired that the limitation should extend to the ratification of the treaty, and upon this trivial difference the negotiations of 1818 terminated.'

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In the discussions between the United States and Great Britain, in 1842, growing out of the differences relative to the north-eastern boundary of the United States, dividing the state of Maine from the British possessions, and which resulted in the Ashburton treaty, Mr. Webster on the part of the United States government, declared, that the rule as to the right of search, hereafter to be in. sisted upon, would be,“ that every regularly documented American merchant vessel, would be evidence that the seamen on board were American, and would find their protection in the flag that was over them.”

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Although the right of search is obviously and Right of essentially a belligerent right, there being no power of the supwhatever in government vessels to search merchant- pression of the men in time of peace, yet such a power or privilege, like any other, may be mutually conceded, by treaty between nations. We accordingly find that such privilege has been in this manner accorded and established in the single case of searching vessels navigating in certain latitudes to ascertain if they have any slaves on board.

Treaty stipulations to this effect were entered into between Great Britain and Portugal in July,

Vide Mr. Rush's Narrative of a Residence at the Court of London, p. 376.

1817; between Great Britain and Spain in September, 1817; between Great Britain and the Netherlands in May, 1818; and between Great Britain and Sweden in 1824.

By such mutual concessions, national pride and national jealousy were alike sacrificed in the great cause of humanity; and this, on the part of Great Britain especially, was indeed, no inconsiderable sacrifice-fully justifying the noble sentiments expressed upon the occasion by Sir James Mackintosh :

“For myself, I feel a pride in the British flag being, for this object alone, subjected to search by foreign ships. It has now risen to loftier honor by bending to the cause of justice and humanity. That which has braved the mighty, now lowers itself to the feeble and defenceless, to those, who, far from being able to make us any return, will never hear of what we have done for them, and are probably ignorant of our name.

Neutral terri. tory inviolable by belligerents.

One topic only remains for consideration, embraced within the general subject of this chapterand that is, the immunity of neutral territory from the violence of belligerents.

It is a well-established principle in the law of nations, that no hostile operations can be conducted or committed in a neutral territory. This immunity extends not only to the actual territory, but the entire neutral jurisdiction, which includes the ports, harbors, and bays of a neutral state, and such distance from the shore as the custom of

Mackintosh's Life, by his Son, vol. II, 393, S94.

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