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having passed both Houses of Congress, received the signature of the President on the 18th of June. Preparations were immediately made for the commencement of hostilities.

“ The grounds of the war, as set forth in the President's message to Congress, were—The impressment of American seamen, by the British ; the blockade of her enemies' ports, supported by no adequate forces, in consequence of which, the American commerce had been plundered in every sea, and the great staples of the country cut off from their legitimate markets; and the British orders in council.”

“The right of search" constituted an important point of controversy. Great Britain claimed, among her prerogatives, to take her native born subjects for her navy, wherever found, and of searching American vessels for this purpose. Native born British subjects, who had voluntarily enlisted on board our vessels, were frequently seized by the officers of the British navy, and, under color of seizing their own subjects, thousands of American sea. men were impressed into the British service.

'Great Britain and France were at this time at war with each other, and had involved most of the European powers in their controversies. In 1806, the British government issued an order in council, declaring the ports and rivers,

om the Elbe to Brest to be in a state of blockade. By this order, all American vessels trading to these and intervening ports were liable to seizure and condemnation. The French soon after issued the “ Berlin Decree," by which all the British Islands were declared to be in a state of blockade, and all intercourse with them prohibited. In January, 1807, the British government issued an order in council, prohibiting all coasting trade with France ; and, in November, the celebrated British orders in council,

When was war declared.

What were the grounds of the war, as set forth in the president's message ?—What constituted an important point of controversy? What is said of impressments ?-Of the state of Great Britain and France at this time?

prohibiting all commercial intercourse with France and her allies, all nations at war with Great Britain, and all places from which the British flag was excluded. This was retaliated on the part of France in December by the Milan Decree," declaring every vessel denationalized, which shall have submitted to a search by a British ship, and every vessel a good prize which should sail to or from Great Britain, or any of its colonies, or countries, occupied by British troops.'

While America was endeavoring to maintain a neutrality and continue her commerce with the belligerents, they continued to array against each other these violent commercial edicts, in direct violation of the law of nations, and the most solemn treaties. In consequence of these edicts, the British and French cruisers were let loose upon the American commerce, by whom a large number of our merchantmen were captured, and an immense amount of American property seized and condemned.

In December Congress passed an act, laying an embargo on all vessels within the jurisdiction of the United States. This measure failing to coerce the belligerents into an acknowledgment of our rights, an act was pass ed, March following, by which all trade and intercourse with France and England was prohibited. This was retaliated on the part of France, the following year, by the “Rambouillet decree,” ordering all American vessels and cargoes, arriving in any of the ports of France, or countries occupied by French troops, to be seized and condemned.

Congress, May following, passed an act, excluding British and French armed vessels from the waters of the United States ; but providing, that in case either of these nations should modify its edicts, before the 3d of March, 1811, so that they should cease to violate neutral commerce, commercial intercourse with such nation might be

What measures were taken by congress to coerce the belligerents into an acknowledgment of our rights ? ---How was this retaliated by France ?What act of congress in May ?

Give some account of the orders in council, and French decrees.

What infirence had these on the commercial interests of the Americans ?

to pass

renewed. In consequence of this act, official intelligence was soon after received by the American government, that the French decrees were revoked.

No concessions were, however, made on the part of Great Britain, and her orders in council were still rigidly enforced. While affairs were in this posture, an encounter took place, May 1814, between the American frigate, President, commanded by Capt. Rogers, and the British sloop of war, Little Belt, commanded by Capt. Bingham, in which the latter suffered severely in her men and rigging. The attack 'was commenced by the Little Belt without previous provocation, or justifiable cause.—War now appeared to be the only alternative; and Congress, having been assembled by proclamation in November, proceeded, in accordance with the recommendation of the president,

bills preparatory to a state of hostilities. The opinions of Congress, and of the people of the United States, were much at variance on the policy and expediency of the war. By the friends of the existing administration, constituting the republican party, the measure was warmly supported, and the war declared to be unavoidable and just. By the federal party it was as warmly opposed, and declared to be impolitic, unnecessary, and unjust. The federal party, at this time constituting the minority in Congress, entered their solemn protest against it.

T'he commencement of the war was unfortunately signalized by the surrrender of Detroit, with about two thousand five hundred men to the enemy. Gen. Hull, the commander, was charged with treason, cowardice, and unofficerlike conduct, and tried before a court mar. tial. On the first charge the court declined giving an opinion ; on the two last, he was sentenced to death. The sentence was, however, remitted by the president.

What intelligence was soon after received ?- -What was the state of the controversy in relation to Great Britain at this time?

What naval occurrence is mentioned ?- What were the sentiments of the people of the United States as to the policy and expediency of the war?- - What is said of the commencement of the war?

SEC. II. The attention of the Americans was early directed to the invasion of Canada, and troops to the number of eight or ten thousand were collected along the line for this purpose. They were distributed into three divisions—The North Western army under Gen. Harrison; the army of the Centre under Gen. Stephen Van Rensselaer at Lewistown; and the army of the North in the vicinity of Plattsburg, under Gen. Dearborn, the commander in chief. Great exertions were also made for preparing a naval force upon the lakes, the command of which was entrusted to Com. Chauncey.

After the surrender of Detroit, the Americans had but one vessel of war on these waters, the Oneida, of sixteen guns on lake Ontario, commanded by Lieut. Woolsey. Com. Chauncey, with a body of seamen, arrived at Sackett's Harbor about the first of October, and several schooners, which had been employed as traders on the lake, were immediately purchased and fitted out as vessels of war.

Lieut. Elliot was despatched to Black Rock to make arrangements there for building a naval force superior to that of the enemy on lake Erie. Soon after his arrival, an opportunity was offered for a display of the most determined heroism.

On the 8th of October, two British vessels, the Detroit, late the United States brig Adams, and the brig Caledonia, came down the lake from Malden, and anchored under the guns of fort Erie, situated nearly opposite Black Rock. Elliot immediately determined to make an attack, and if possible get possession of them, and accordingly despatched an express to hasten the arrival of some sailors who were hourly expected. They arrived about noon, fifty in number, and were allowed only till midnight to refresh themselves, when, being reinforced by fifty of the regular land forces, they put off from the mouth of Buffalo creek in two boats with Lieut. Elliot at their head.

11. To what was the attention of the Americans early directed ?What disposition was made of the troops ? -What exertions were made on the lakes ?

What was the state of the American naval force on the lakes ?What measures were taken ?

Having rowed into the lake above the vessels, they drifted down with the current, till they were hailed by a sentinel on board one of them, when they instantly sprang to their oars, and closing in upon the vessels; they jumped on board, drove the British below, and in ten minutes from their getting alongside, the prisoners were all secured, and the vessels under way.

Unfortunately the wind was not sufficiently strong to carry them up against the current into the lake, and both ran aground. The Caledonia, however, was beached uuder the protection of one of the batteries at Black Rock, but the Detroit lay near the head of the island in the middle of the river exposed to the batteries and flying artillery of the enemy.

The Americans returned their fire from the Detroit; but finding they could not bring their guns to bear with advantage, the prisoners were all got on shore and the brig deserted. During the day several unsuccessful attempts were made by the British, to board and destroy the military stores in the Detroit, but they were mostly secured by the Americans, after which she was set on fire and abandoned. The loss of the Americans in this enterprise was only two killed, and four wounded.*

Sec. III. On the 13th of October, a detachment from the army of the centre, consisting of about one thousand men, crossed the Niagara river, and attacked the British on the heights of Queenstown. They succeeded in dislodging the enemy; but not being reinforced

* Historical Register.

Give some account of the enterprise at Fort Erie. 111. What can you say of the attack on Queenstown?

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