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Mr. Pinkney continued to prosecute his professional pursuits with unwearied assiduity, until the year 1806, when he was again called into the service of his country by events which were even then thought to be of great concern, and which ultimately involved the United States in war with Great Britain.

In the course of the ensuing year after his return from England, several cases of capture of our merchant vessels, engaged in carrying the produce of the colonies of the enemies of Great Britain to Europe had occurred, which threatened the total destruction of that important branch of our carrying trade. These seizures were grounded upon a revival, by the British government of a doctrine which had acquired the denomination of the Rule of the War of 1756, from the circumstance of its having been first applied by the Courts of Prize in that celebrated war. The French (then at war with Great Britain,) finding their colonial trade almost entirely cut off by the maritime superiority of the British, relaxed their monopoly of that trade, and allowed the Dutch (then neutral) to carry on the commerce between the mother country and her colonies, under special licenses or passes, granted to Dutch ships for this particular purpose, excluding, at the same time, all other neutrals from the same trade. Many Dutch vessels so employed were captured by the British cruizers, and, together with their cargoes, condemned by the Prize Courts, upon the principle that by such employ

ment they were, in effect, incorporated into the French navigation, having adopted the character and trade of the enemy, and identified themselves with his interests and purposes. They were, in the opinion of these Courts, to be considered like transports in the enemy's service, and hence liable to capture and confiscation, upon the same principle as property condemned by way of penalty for resistance to search, for breach of blockade, for carrying military persons or despatches, or as contraband of war; in all which cases the property is considered, pro hac vice, as enemy's property, and so completely identified with his interests as to acquire a hostile character. But it is obvious to remark that there is all the difference between this principle and the doctrine which interdicts to neutrals, during war, all trade not open to them in time of peace, that there is between the granting by the enemy of special licenses to the subjects of the belligerent state, protecting their property from capture in a particular trade, which the policy of the enemy induces him to tolerate, and a general exemption of such trade from capture. The former is clearly cause of confiscation, whilst the latter has no such effect. The rule of the war of 1756 was founded upon the former principle, and likewise upon a construction of the treaties between Great Britain and Holland, in which the former power contended was conceded to the latter a freedom of commerce only as to her accustomed trade in time peace. The Rule lay dormant during the war


of the American revolution; but was afterwards revived during the first war of the French revolution, and extended to the prohibition of all neutral traffic whatsoever with the colonies, and upon the coasts of an enemy. But as indemnity was given by the Commissioners under the treaty of 1794 for captures made upon this pretext, and as it had been expressly admitted in Lord Hawkesbury's letter to Mr. King, of April 11th, 1801, (enclosing an official report of Sir John Nicholl, then Advocate General,) that the colonial trade might be carried on circuitously by neutrals, and that landing the cargo broke the continuity of voyage, so as to legalize the trade thus carried on, there was the more reason for surprise and complaint on the part of the government and people of the United States at this unexpected attack upon our


The revival and extended application of this Rule gave rise to numerous publications both on this and the other side of the Atlantic; in which the respective pretensions of both countries were elaborately discussed. Among these was a pamphlet, entitled, War in Disguise, or the Frauds of Neutral Flags, written by Mr. Stephen, an English barrister, who had been much engaged in the argument of Prize Causes, before the Lords of Appeal, and was supposed to enjoy the confidence of the ministry. This production was examined, and its reasonings successfully combated by a very able writer in the Edinburgh

Review.* It was also answered by Mr. Gouverneur Morris; and the whole subject was afterwards thoroughly discussed by Mr. Madison, in a work entitled, "An Examination of the British "doctrine which subjects to capture a neutral "trade, not open in time of peace." Different memorials were presented to Congress from the commercial cities of the Union, remonstrating with zeal and energy against this dangerous pretension. Among these was a Memorial from the merchants of Baltimore, which was drawn up by Mr. Pinkney, and was communicated by the President to Congress on the 29th of January, 1806.†

The distinguished part which Mr. Pinkney took in this important discussion, and the thorough knowledge of the subject shown in this paper, together with the valuable experience he had acquired during his former residence in England, induced Mr. Jefferson to invite him to assist in the negociations with the British government on this and the other points of difference between the two countries. With this view, he was appointed in April, 1806, jointly with Mr. Monroe, (then the minister resident of the United States in London,) as minister extraordinary to treat with the British cabinet on those subjects. He, therefore, once more left his professional pursuits, and embarked with his family for England in May, and on his arrival immediately pro

Vol. VIII. No. XV. April, 1806. + See PART SECOND, No. II.

ceeded, in conjunction with Mr. Monroe, to execute the duties confided to them.

Some time after his arrival in England, Mr. Pinkney received from his friend, Mr. Cooke, a letter informing him that his motives in accepting this appointment had been subjected to much misconstruction. The following answer to this letter will show in what manner he justified his conduct.

"LONDON, October 5th, 1806.

"MY DEAR SIR,-I am very much indebted to you for your truly kind letter of the 4th of August, which has just reached me. It contains the best proof in the world of your good opinion and regard. It speaks to me with candour, and, at the same time that it betrays the partiality of a long-tried friendship, guards me against the disappointment to which a sanguine and credulous temper might expose me, and enables me to anticipate in season the misconceptions and calumnies which are preparing for me. This anticipation is certainly wholesome; but it is unpleasant, notwithstanding The language of reproach is new to me, and I fear I shall not easily learn to bear it with a good grace from a country which I have ardently loved and faithfully served with the best years of my life. The consciousness that I do not, and cannot deserve it, consoles me in one view, while it mortifies me in another. I am proud of the unqualified conviction of my heart and understanding, that I am incapable of any thing that an honest man should blush to avow; but it gives me pain to find that no purity of motive, or integrity of conduct, can afford shelter in this world from the vilest and most disgusting imputations. Our country is young, and ought to be generous and charitable; and I believe that the great bulk of our people are so. But I do not need to have my actions charitably interpreted. I ask only a just construction of them; I care not how rigorous, if it be not malignant. It seemed natural to suppose, that putting former character out of the question, the circum

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