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ficers and crew, during the chase, was perfectly correct and free from censure.”
SAMUEL EVANS, President.
Acting Judge Advocate.
Navy Department, January 20th, 1816.
In obedience to the resolution of the honourable senate of the United States, passed on the 21st day of December 1815, directing the secretary of the navy" to communicate to the senate whether any, and if any, what steps have been taken during the recess, to ascertain the most convenient harbours in the waters of the Chesapeake bay, for the reception of ships of war;” and “whether the middle ground, between the capes of said bay, has been explored, with a view to that object, and the result of such examination."
I haye the honour to report, that orders have been given, through the commissioners of the navy board, to captain Arthur Sinclair, to survey York river, in Virginia, for the purpose of ascertaining the advantages of that place for the establishment of a navy yard, &c. copy of which is herewith enclosed.
Orders have also been given for a survey of the Tangier islands in the Chesapeake bay These orders will be carried into effect early in the spring.
No examination of the middle ground between the capes of the Chesapeake bay has been undertaken, or even contemplated, except as connected with the general plan of survey of the whole coast; nor has it been deemed practicable to make improvements upon that ground, either for a shelter or harbour for our ships of war, or for the purposes of defence. If a project of this nature should be considered by congress as essential to public utility or local defence, the necessary measures will be taken to carry it into effect with all possible despatch.
I have the honour to be,
B. W. CROWNINSHIELD. The honourable the president of the senate.
Navy Commissioner's office, November 3, 1815. SIR,
Tue board of navy commissioners under the impression that an eligible site for a nary yard may be found on York river, Virginia, require of you to proceed thither, with a suitable engineer or draftsman, to be by you appointed for the purpose, and use your best exertions to procure every information, so as to enable the commissioners to form a satisfactory opinion upon the subject.
A navy yard should combine the advantages of free and easy egress and ingress to ships of the largest draft of water at all seasons of the year-healthiness of situation-security against attack by land or by water-a good harbour-a stream of water for docking and labour-saving machinery-security from icom-a facility in getting to sea with guns, provisions, and stores on board and space sufficient for work-shops, rope-walks, store-bouses, sheds, and every other necessary building. Other advantages, such as a facility in procuring timber and naval stores are desirable; but these are considered indispensable. In the examination which you are required to make you will attend to and minutely report upon each of the points stated; and when you shall have found a site which, in your opinion, may embrace all these advantages, you will carefully take an accurate survey of it, and send such survey, with a minute description to the board of commissioners, with the terms upon which such site may be purchased. And if more than one place should be found suitable for a navy yard, you will in like manner survey and describe it, and inform the board as to the terms upon which it may be procured; and you will give your opinion to the board, with the reasons upon which it may be founded, as to which of the two places you may, under all circumstances, consider the best adapted for a navy yard.
The surveys must be made so as to embrace the approach from the sea, and the channels now known to afford navigation for line of battle ships. To enable you to execnte these instructions with facility, the tender Despatch is placed subject to your orders. When this service shall have been performed, you will send the Despatch back to this place.
Respectfully, &c. (Signed)
JNO. RODGERS, President. Capt. A. Sinclair, of the navy, present.
ANECDOTE OF THE ACTION ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN. Immediately after the action on Lake Champlain commenced, a game cock on board commodore Macdonough's ship few up the fore hatch way, and lighted on the ship’s bell, where he crowed with all his might, till the bell was struck by a shot, and knocked to pieces. He then flew up into the rigging, and continued crowing till the action ceased. Many of the seamen considered the circumstance as a favourable omen.
SUPPLEMENTARY NOTE TO CAPTAIN MACDONOUGH'S LIFE.
Page 208.-On some occasion which occurred at Syracuse.—This occasion, we are told, was as follows: While the American fleet lay at Messi. na, Macdonough was detained one night on shore till all the ships' boats had returned to the fleet. He then hired a boat to take him on board; but finding three instead of two men (the usual complement) going in it, he sus. pected them of some evil design, and refused to go; whereupon they drew ilieir poniards and attacked him in the manner related.
AFFAIRS OF SOUTH AMERICA.
Having obtained a copy of the annexed paper, with permission to publish it, we
are induced to lay it before our readers: it derives some interest from the actual state of the Spanish provinces in our neighbourhood.
In the spring of the year 1809, the cause of Spain seemed hopeless. The departure of the British army, after the death of its commander, sir John Moore; the defection of most of the Spanish leaders; the capture of Madrid by the emperor Napoleon, and the powerful armies which were advancing at his command-and which, it was believed, he might augment as far as necessary by continued re-enforcements from the various states of his immense empire-seemed to ensure the speedy subjugation of the whole Iberian peninsula. The consequences of such an event were much dreaded in the Spanish colonies: from the deep-rooted and deadly mutual abhorrence existing between their native and European inhabitants, it was generally apprehended that the conquest and final dissolution of the government of the mother country would be the signal of a war of extermination between them.
In these circumstances, the author of the annexed paper, who had given much attention to these subjects, conceived the design of preventing that calamity; of uniting the adverse
parties; and of effecting a conciliatory and beneficial change in the Spanish colonial governments (which in the contemplated catastrophe it would be impossible to maintain in their then actual state) with the consent and aid of those governments themselves, and without any of the crimes, convulsions, or inconveniencies of a revolution. For this purpose he prepared a memorial, of which the following is a translation, and sent
manuscript copies of it to the viceroy of New Spain, and the captains-general, and governors of several of the Spanish provinces in America. The marquis of Someruelos, then governor-general of Cuba, as well as some of the other chiefs to whom the memorial had been communicated, expressed their gratitude and thanks to its author; but they considered that it would be improper to adopt the plan in question, or any similar one, whilst even the faintest hope could be entertained of the independence of Spain, or of any part of the Spanish monarchy in Europe.
The memorial was, however, transmitted by the marquis Someruelos to the central junta-as the supreme council of government was called—which then sat in Seville, and which was soon afterwards driven to Cadiz by a French army; but the subsequent risings in Caracass, Santa Fe, and Mexico, and the civil contests which ensued, elouded every prospect of conciliation. The Spanish regency at Cadiz (the successors of the central junta) did, indeed, endeavour to conciliate the discontented and resisting colonies, by proffering as the price of their submission, some of the privileges which the memorialist had recommended to be conferred on them long before, generously, unconditionally, and unasked for. The proffered boon came too late:—the parties could no longer trust each other: and what inight have been gratefully received by obedient colonies, was rejected with disdain by provinces demanding, in arms, the prerogatives of independent states.
A Memorial proposing a Constitution of Government for the Spa
nish Colonies, in the event of the fall of Spain. Addressed to the Viceroys and Governors of Spanish America.
The situation of Spain is interesting to all the world. Every heart must sympathize with her brave and faithful people, whose devotion to the cause of patriotism and honour is rendered more conspicuous by the perfidy of their cruel invader. If she falls, the chains of Europe are rivetted for a century; and what shall resist the power by which Europe is overwhelmed?
The intelligence from Spain has been for some time past afflicting; but from a proclamation of the marquis de Someruelos, issued on the 12th of March, and received here April 27th, 1809, the danger seems imminent. His excellency endeavours with great art, and in his wonted style of energetic, glowing, and inspiring eloquence, to keep up the public mind; but there are passages in his discourse which indicate that he has received some disastrous information.
The marquis complains of the apathy of those under his government, and that their pecuniary contributions are not proportionate to their wealth and the exigency of the kingdom. As it is in the highest degree incumbent on the Spanish colonies-by every principle of duty, policy, and honour,--to afford their mother country every possible aid to sustain her in her arduous and glorious struggle, while there remains any the slightest hope of her success; and even when that hope fails, to facilitate the migration to America of her illustrious though unfortunate defenders; ought not some means of supply to be adopted more certain and more productive than the voluntary obventions of patriotism—too often lukewarm, or controlled and overborne by avarice? Would not an augmentation of the duties of customs, or some considerable tax on property or income to continue only during the war-be better suited to the wants as well as the dignity of the empire, than those occasional donations, which are ostentatiously doled out by the citizen as a favour, when much larger sums might be rightfully demanded of him as an impost?
If the intelligence on which his excellency's proclamation is founded, import that Spain is on the eve of being subdued, her colonies should instantly deliberate on the measures essential to their preservation. Their position, if Spain be conquered; is perilous in the extreme. Great Britain and Ireland will be exposed to invasion from many quarters--on the north and on the south their flanks are turned. Should a strong French feet, having an army on board, escape from any port of Europe, whatever may be their ultimate destination, the British fleets must, for some time, keep the British seas, for the defence of the British islands. The enemy might thus get a start of four or five weeks, and land his troops in Cuba or at Vera Cruz.