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to offer for your consideration, feeling as I do anxious to extend my last efforts in behalf of those seamen who are entitled to them, and at the same time being impressed with the idea, that it would be foreign to you, sir, to retain any Americans in the service of the navy of Great Britain contrary to their disposition, during the present conflict. I therefore take the liberty of ad_ding to my former request, that you will be pleased to grant orders that such seamen may be discharged from duty on board his majesty's ships on this station. With sentiments of the highest respect, &c. (Signed)
WILLIAM H. SAVAGE.
No. 2. Copy of vice-admiral Stirling's secretary's letter in answer to
mine to the vice-admiral of 6th August, 1812. Sir,
Admiral's Penn, Aug. 7, 1812. I am desired by vice-admiral Stirling to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date, and to acquaint you that directions were given some days ago, that all seamen in the squadron under his command, who can prove themselves to be American born subjects, should be sent to the prison ship until an exchange of prisoners is established between the two countries, in consequence of the late declaration of war by the United States against Great Britain.
I return herewith the papers which accompanied your letter, and am, sir, &c. &c.
(Signed) CHAS. STIRLING, jun. Secretary.
No. 3. Extract of a letter from William H. Savage, esq. late agent for
American seamen and commerce at Jamaica, to Charles Stirling, jun. esq. dated
Kingston, Sept. 16, 1812. In answer to my letter of the 6th ultimo, you were pleased to inform me that directions had been given by the vice-admiral some days prior to the date of my letter for the removal of all native Americans (who could prove themselves such) from on board H. M. ships to that of the prison-ship; but as some time has now elapsed since you were pleased to give me this information, and learning that some instances of detention at present exist on board H. M. schooner Decouverte, I am led to embrace the subject again, as in one instance I shall hope to satisfy viceadiniral Stirling of the man's being entitled to his removal from duty on board H. M. schooner of war. The person alluded to is Elijah Stirling, an American seaman, who was impressed
from on board the British merchant ship Brilliant at the bay of Honduras, in the early part of the year 1810, by H. M. schooner Flor del Mar, and has since been detained on board of various of H. M. ships on this station, although provided with a regular protection, which instrument this man got conveyed to me about the 20th of September following, and which was by me forwarded to admiral Rowley, accompanied (as usual in like cases) with a request that the man might be discharged. On the receipt of my letter the admiral answered through his secretary, that the nature of Stirling's impressment was such, that he could not comply with my request ; but which answer was unaccompanied in return with the protection in question, and what has become of it I am unable to say.
About this period I was led to understand from admiral Rowley, that all American seamen who should be impressed from on board
any British merchantvessel, would be retained in the service of his majesty, but that all American seamen who should be impressed from on board of American vessels, would, on application, accompanied by proof, be discharged. As this information was received about the period of my application for the discharge of Stirling, I was led to conclude it stampt the nature of his impressment, and what confirmed it in my mind was, that I received similar assurances to various applications made for American seamen, who had under various circumstances shipped on board of British ships, and were from thence impressed on board of H. M. ships of war, all of which I hope the admiral will be pleased to take into consideration ; for to insist on the service of this man, I think, will be a dereliction to the marked manner of his amiable endeavours to distinguish and relieve American seamen from duty on board the squadron under his command. I beg to enclose a note from Mr. Meek (the late secretary) relative to my application for this man's discharge, and to observe, that it is possible the protection may yet be found among
papers of the late secretary, as it has not been usual to return me the protections of those men whose applications for discharge were not complied with.
I beg furthermore to observe, that there appears also to be on board his majesty's schooner Decouverte, two other American seamen, viz. John Englefield and Richard Lauderkin, the former of whom asserts that he served his apprenticeship to the trade of a cooper, at Boston, but has lost his protection; the latter declares himself to be a native of Rhode Island, and that his protection has been destroyed by Mr. Olliver, commander of his majesty's schooner Decouverte. I shall not now animadvert on the impropriety of such a circumstance, but request, should the VOL. I. PART I.
instances here cited be found correct, that they may meet the attention of the vice-admiral.
No. 4. Extract of a letter from vice-admiral Stirling's secretary, to W. H. Savage, esq. in answer to his of the 16th September, 1812.
Admiral's Penn, 19th September, 1812. I have just received your letter of the 16th instant, which I have laid before vice-admiral Stirling, and I am directed to acquaint you, that Elijah Stirling, and other persons on board of his majesty's schooner Decouverte, said to be American seamen, have not, when called upon, produced proof of being subjects of the United States. They do not fall under the description of persons which I informed you in my letter of the 7th ult. were intended to be discharged from the king's service, and to be detained on board the prison ship until an exchange of prisoners takes place with America.
The note from Mr. Meek, dated the 21st September, 1810, is returned herewith ; and as it appears thereby that admiral Rowley thought the circumstances under which Elijah Stirling was impressed, did not permit him to be discharged, vice-admiral Stirling does not feel himself justified in attending to the man's wishes on a bare assertion. The protection you allude to is not to be found among admiral Rowley's papers left in this office.
Message from the President of the United States, transmitting
copies of a correspondence between John Mitchell, agent for American prisoners of war at Halifax, and the British admiral commanding at that station ; also, copies of a letter from
commodore Rodgers to the Secretary of the Navy. To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
I transmit, for the information of congress, copies of a correspondence between John Mitchell, agent for American prisoners of war at Halifax, and the British admiral commanding at that station.
I transmit for the like purpose, copies of a letter from commodore Rodgers to the secretary of the navy,
JAMES MADISON. January 22d, 1813.
Extract of a letter from John Mitchell, esq. agent for American prisoners of war at Halifax, to the secretary of state, dated
5th December, 1812. I cover you a copy of a correspondence, which took place in consequence of different applications I received, either by letter or personal, from persons detained on board his Britannic majesty's ships of war in this place.
Í formerly mentioned to you that the admiral had assured me, that he would discharge all the citizens of the United States who were in the fleet, and actually did discharge several. This induced me to think I should be correct, and in the perfect line of my duty, in sending him a list of the applicants to me, and requesting an enquiry to be made, and discharges granted to all who were citizens of the United States; I, therefore, covered him a list of the names now enclosed to you, which produced his letter to me of same date (1st Dec. 1812.)
I read it with surprize, because some of the men had informed me their captains had refused to report them to the admiral Now, if no one here was or is allowed to do it, their situation is hopeless.
It is not my place, sir, to reason with you on this business. Proof of nativity, in his first letter, is a strong expression; and how few are in possession of it, and how many who cannot obtain it!
The second paragraph, in the second letter, prevents my interfering; and I have since been obliged to send a man away, requesting him to apply to his commanding officer.
Copy of a letter from Yohn Mitchell, esq. agent for American
prisoners of war at Halifax, to admiral sir John Borlase
IVarren, dated Sir,
1st December, 1812. Since the sailing of the last cartels, in which you were pleased to send home several Americans, who had been in his Britannic majesty's service, others, who are now on board the Centurion and Statira, have requested of me to procure their discharge, and to be sent home.
Will you, sir, have the goodness to direct an inquiry, and order the release of such as are citizens of the United States?
Besides the enclosed list, I am told there are others, whose names I have not. I have the honour to be, &c. &c. &c. , (Signed)
Agent, &c. & C.
Copy of a letter from admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, to
John Mitchell, esq. agent for American prisoners of war at Halifax, dated
1st December, 1812. I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, respecting some men, therein mentioned, on board his majesty's ships under my command, said to be citizens of the United States, and in reply beg to acquaint you, that whenever I have received representations from the captains of his majesty's ships, of any part of their crews being citizens of America, with sufficient proof of their nativity, I have directed their discharge from the service.
I must observe to you, that I cannot permit the interference of any applications from men belonging to his majesty's ships, but through their commanding officers; and in your department, of prisoners of war only, I shall at all times be most happy to receive your communications. I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) JOHN BORLASE WARREN.
Copy of a letter from John Mitchell, esq. agent for American
prisoners of war at Halifax, to admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, dated
3d December, 1812. I had yesterday the honour to receive your letter, dated the 1st instant, and observe that you cannot permit the interference of any application from mén on board his Britannic majesty's ships of war, but through their commanding officers. · Desirous of conforming as far as possible to established regulations, permit me the honour to inquire of your excellency, if by your letter I am to understand that I am not to receive the applications of seamen declaring themselves citizens of the United States, who are on board of his majesty's ships of war, and communicate the same to you? If this is the meaning, I shall most certainly conform, though I must lament the regulation, I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) JOHN MITCHELL, Agent, &c. &c. Copy of a letter from admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, to
Fohn Mitchell, esq. agent for American prisoners of war at
4th December, 1812. In reply to your letter, dated yesterday, I have to acquaint you, that whenever any address is made relative to men on