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ceeding. We complain that while our government enforced the statutes of 1794 and 1797 upon the demands of Great Britain, our enemy, against the French, our friends; and in 1817 and 1818 enacted new laws, at the solicitation of Spain backed by Great Britain, against the South American republics, she disregarded her own statute law of 1819, which was not enforced in our favor, but in despite of its provisions British ships with British armaments and British crews were allowed to depart from and to refit at British ports in every part of the world until the American merchant flag disappeared from the seas. It cannot be expected that we shall long maintain a policy that, while it destroys cherished American interests operates only in favor of enemies and against friends. Great Britain cannot absolve herself from her obligations upon the pretext that we choose to discontinue such unequal and unprofitable relations with her government.

The reform of our neutrality laws is recommended in the spirit of peace, and with no desire to disturb existing friendly relations with other nations. We prefer to strengthen rather than destroy. The marvellous changes wrought in the condition of the country have worked no change in the spirit of our people. They look now, as heretofore, to universal industry for prosperity and power. There are no advantages, territorial or otherwise, incident to the possession of mere political power, that will compensate them for the loss of that industrial spirit which is the stimulant of national activity and the compensation of individual toil-the highest reward of the noblest ambition. There is no outward advantage that will not fall to us in due time. Individuals may be impatient, but the nation never. Violence imperils, anarchy and despotism destroy, the foundations of present an prospective advantage. We most desire to avoid the perils that have been fatal to republics, ancient and modern—the policy that substitutes might for right, and invests with power those who are indifferent, if not hos. tile, to the interests of masses of men. But while we prefer peace to war, and find our advantage in maintaining peace as against war, it is no longer from necessity. If we are compelled to choose between the sacrifice of our rights and an appeal to the arbitrament of war, there can be no doubt about the decision. We can no longer stand bail for the peace of the world. We have stood guard for other nations long enough. When the maintenance of national honor is identified with the defence of principles essential to the independence of States and the progress of civilization, we cannot falter on a course marked out for us by duty and destiny.

From the foundation of our government we have given evidence of our desire for peace. The statutes of 1794 and 1797 enabled Washington to disregard public opinion and maintain neutrality between France and England. The act of 1818 did the same for Spain in the contest with her colonies in America. We stepped forward to the aid of France, with men and money, when insurrectiou first threatened St. Domingo, taking upon ourselves the risk of unanthorized aid when delay would have been deniai of assistance. We did not recognize the insurrection as civil war; and when France solicited the prohibition of commerce with St. Domingo, ber request was granted. The government suppressed hostile armaments in Kentucky against Louisiana before its cession. When the South Americau states had achieved their independence and sought the conquest of Cuba, the United States, by adhering to its long-established policy and faithfully enforcing its laws, maintained the authority of Spain, although it would otherwise have held that fertile and much coveted island in its grasp. Who fails to perceive now that the possession of Cuba by Spain depends upon the fidelity with which we adhere to the policy of onr fathers, and which maintained her authority in Cuba against Mexico and Colombia in 1824?

The government declined to aid Greece in her struggle for independence and liberty, although it was urged by the united voice of the people, adhering, as Mr. Adams said, “10 its constitutional duty, clear and unequivocal.” lu 1838, executive proclamations and more stringent statutes even were published to protect Great Britain against the rebellion of that year in the possession of the Canadas. We enforced the neutrality act of 1818 agaisnt the etforts of the German states to organize a navy in the war against Denmark in 1852, and detained in our ports steamers purchased for that purpose of our people.

The recent memorable invasion of Canada offers a signal exhibition of the spirit and character of our government. Great Britain has given us no cause to respect her sense of justice or her regard for right. Our people, who derive from her their ideas of language, liberty, and law, institutions and religion, might justly expect consideration, if not favor. But, with indecent disregard of our situation, she has not lost an opportunity to embarrass

She planted slavery in America for her own selfish interests. The protits of the Atrican slave trade with this country were the foundation of many of her colossal private fortunes. Having fastened it upon us, she precipitated the question of its abolition upon us when abolition threatened our destruction. She ridiculed, resisted, and denounced emancipation, when emancipation was necessary to our existence as a nation. She gave her sympathy to rebels, of whose confederacy slavery was to be the headstone of the corner. She counienanced a rebellion of which the only effect was to sacrifice precious blood, in great part of ber own kith and kin. She lent them ihe skill of her mechanics, of which the rebels had notbing, and without which war was impossible, thus making her working men supporters of a cause the triumph of which was the degradation of labor. She gave to the rebels her sympathy as long as it was serviceable, and sold to them her power as long as they could pay for it.

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And when, in adherence to our own policy, by reluctant, questionable, and even violent execution of our laws, we preserve to her possessions the loss of which would be the precursor of other calamities and reduce her to the rank of a subordinate power, against a race to which our country is deeply indebted and which has suffered for six centuries inexcusable and ineffable wrong, she mildly approves our conduct as better than she had a right to expect.

The institutions and traditions of the American people compel sympathy for the humblest of the human family when struggling for liberty. Their literature is rank with the spirit of oppressed races grappling with tyranny and nations fighting for independence. Their faith in these ideas has been strengthened by the results of their own struggle. It is impossible for them not to wish well to the cause of patriots everywhere. They gave their good wishes to Switzerland, France, Spanish America, Poland, Greece, Hungary, and every country that sought relief from tyranny. They cannot withhold from Ireland an expression of their hopes for the restoration of its independence. They believe, with Pitt, that Ireland is entitled to the same privileges as England, and Irishmen to the same rights as Englishmen. They believe, with Wilberforce, that England owes reparation to Ireland.

Mr. Grote, the classic historian of Greece, remembering that mythologists recognized three Jupiters, sees, in reviewing English history, two Englands; one noble, wise, and strong, one sordid, brutal, insensible to right, and indifferent what is done in its name. “For six centuries,” he says, “the bad England bas kept vigil for Ireland, while for the rest of the world it bas generally slept.” We cannot affirm that it has slept for America, but we agree with him that the general fact is attested by European and, we may add, American opinion, which reveres English history at large but regards the Irish part of it with resentment, wonder, and

We believe with him that “ England cannot study the history of Ireland without losing her self-respect, nor the character of its people without advantage.”

The sympathy we extend to all nations struggling for independence is strengthened in this case by a sense of obligation due to these people for their assistance in the development of our country. But independent of any consideration of this character, if to our sense of their wrong we add the recollection of our own, the popular interest in their favor is sufficiently explained. The intervention of our governinent under such circumstances is proof of our fidelity to our obligations to other nations, and ought to satisfy the world that we have no desire to disturb its peace. It is rather to maintain our relations with other natious that we ask the favorable consideration of the measures herewith reported.

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Report of the minority. The undersigned, while concurring in the necessity and propriety of a revision of the neutrality laws of the United States, are unwilling to recommend the important changes proposed by the committee without nore careful and mature deliberation than it is possible, at this late stage of the session, to bestow upon the subject. They therefore recommend the adoption of the following joint resolution in place of the bill reported by the committee:

Resolred by the House of Representatives, (the Senate concurring,) That a joint committee of three members of the Senate and six members of the House of Representatives be appointed to revise the several statutes affecting the neutral relations of the people of the United States with those of other nations, and to consider and report what legislation is necessary to secure to the jeople of the United States the rights enjoyed by other nations, to secure the largest liberty of intercourse and trade consistent with permanent peace, and to harmonize the statutes of the United States upon this subject with those of other nations, and with the progressive spirit of the age.

HENRY J. RAYMOND.

J. W. PATTERSON. AN ACT more effectually to preserve the neutral relations of the United States. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That if any citizen of the United States shall, within the territory or jurisdiction thereof, accept and exercise a commission to serve a foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people in war, by land or by sea, against any prince, state, colony, district, or people with whom the United States are at peace, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and sball, upon conviction thereof, be punished by fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding two years, or either, at the discretion of the court in which such otfender shall be convicted.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall, within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, enlist or enter himself, or bire or retain auother person to enlist or enter himself, or to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted or entered into the service of any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, as a soldier, or as a marine or seaman on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by fine not exceeding one thousand dullars, and imprisonment not exceeding one year, or either of them, at the discretion of the court in which such offender shall be convicted : Provided, That this act shall not be construed to extend to any subject or citizen of any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, who shall transiently be within the United States, and shall on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer, which, at the time of its arrival within the United States, was fitted and equipped as such, enlist or enter himself, or hire or retain another subject or citizen of the same foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, who is transiently in the United States, to enlist or enter himself, to serve such foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people on board such vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer, if the United States shall then be at peace with such foreign foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall, within the limits of the United States, fit out and arm, or attempt to fit out and arm, or procure to be fitted out and armed, or shall knowingly be concerned in the furnishing, fitting out and arming of any ship, or vessel with intent that such ship or vessel shall be employed in the service of any foreign prince, state, colony, district, or people, to cruise or commit hostilities against the subjects, citizens, or property of any foreign prince, or state, or any colony, district or people with whom the United States are at peace, or shall issue or deliver a commission within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States for any ship or vessel to the intent that she may be employed as aforesaid, or shall have on board any person or persons who shall have been enlisted, or shall have engaged to enlist or serve, or shall be departing from the jurisdiction of the United States with intent to enlist or serve in contravention of the provisions of this act, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall upon conviction thereof be punished by fine not exceedling three thousand dollars, and imprisonment not more than three years, or either of them, at the discretion of the court in which such offender shall be convicted ; and every such ship and vessel, with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, together with all materials, arms, ammunition, and stores, which may bave been procured for the building and equipment thereof, shall be forfeited to the United States of America.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any collector of the customs who is by law empowered to make seizures for any forfeiture incurred under any of the laws of customs, to seize such ships and vessels in such places and in such manner in which the officers of the customs are empowered to make seizures under the laws for the collection and protection of the revenue, and that every such ship and vessel, with the tackle, apparel, and furniture, together with all materials, arms, ammunition, and stores which may belong to or be on board such ship or vessel, may be prosecuted or condemned for the violation of the provisions of this act, in like manner as ships or vessels may be prosecuted and condemned for any breach of the laws made for the collection and protection of the revenue.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall, within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, increase or augment, or procure to be increased or augmented, or shall knowingly be concerned in increasing or augmenting the force of any ship of war, or cruiser, or other armed vessel, which, at the time of her arrival within the United States, was a ship of war, or cruiser, or armed vessel in the service of any foreign prince, or state, or colony, district, or people, or belonging to the subjects or citizens of any of such prince or state, or of any colony, district, or people, the same being at war with any foreign prince or state, or of any colony, district, or people with whom the United States are at peace, by adding to the number of guns of such vessels, or by changing those on board of her for guns of a larger calibre, or by the addition thereto of any equipment solely applicable to war, or shall have on board any person or persons who shall have been enlisted or engaged to enlist or serve, or who shall be departing from the jurisdiction of the United States with intent to enlist or serve in contravention of the provisions of this act, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall upon conviction thereof be pun. ished by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not more than one year, or either of them, at the discretion of the court in which such offender shall be convicted.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the district courts shall take cognizance of all complaints, iuformations, indictments, or other prosecutions, by whomsoever instituted, in cases of captures made within the waters of the United States, or within a marine league of the coasts or shores thereof.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That in every case in which a vessel shall be fitted out and armed, or in which the force of any vessel of war, cruiser, or other armed vessel shall be increased or augmented, and in every case of the capture of a ship or vessel within the jurisdiction or protection of the United States, as before defined, and in every case in which any process issuing out of any cout of the United States shall be disobeyed or resisted by any person or persons having the custody of any vessel of war, cruiser, or other armed vessel of any foreign prince or state, or of any colony, district, or people, or of any subjects or citizens of any foreign prince, state, or of any colony, district, or people, in such case it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, or such other person as he shall have empowered for that purpose, to employ such part of the land and naval forces of the United States, or of the militia thereof, for the purpose of takin, possession of and detaining any such ship or vessel, with her prize or prizes, if any, in order to the execution of the prohibition and penalties of this act, and to the restoring the prize or prizes in the cases in which Testoration shall have been adjudged.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, or such person as he shall empower for that purpose, to employ such part of the land and naval forces of the United States, or of the militia thereof, as shall be necessary to compel any foreign ship or vessel to depart the United States in all cases in which, by the laws of nations or the treaties of the United States, they ought not to remain within the United States.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That offences made punishable by the provisions of this act, committed by citizens of the United States beyond the jurisdiction of the United States, may be prosecuted and tried before any court having jurisdiction of the offences prohibited by this act.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act, or in any other existing law, shall be so construed as to prohibit citizens of the United States from selling vessels, ships, or steamers built within the limits thereof, or materials or munitions of war the growth or product of the same, to inhabitants of other countries or to governments not at war with the United States: Provided, That the operation of this section of this act shall be suspended by the President of the United States with regard to any classes of purchases whenever or wherever the maintenance of friendly relations with any foreign nation may, in his judgment, require it.

SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That nothing in the foregoing act shall be construed to prevent the prosecution or punishment of treason, or any piracy or other felony defined by the laws of the United States.

Sec. 12. And be il further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act, or inflicting any further or other penalty or forfeiture than are herein. before provided for the acts forbidden herein, are hereby repealed. Passed the House of Representatives July 26, 1866. Attest:

EDWARD MCPHERSON, Clerk, By CLINTON LLOYD, Chief Clerk.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

[Extract.] No. 1819.)

DEPARTMENT OF State,

Washington, July 30, 1866. Sir: I have your despatch of the 12th instant, No. 1235. It gives us pleasure to learn that you find Lord Stanley exhibiting a friendly spirit with regard to the relations between the United States and Great Britain.

Sir Frederick Bruce, the British representative here, is, I think, deeply impressed with the necessity of arriving, by some means, at a better understanding than has bitherto existed concerning the claims of our citizens for indemnities for injuries sustained during the war.

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I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., 80., 80., sc.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 1820.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 30, 1866. SIR: I transmit herewith, for your information, a copy of the President's message to the House of Representatives, together with copies of the documents which accompanied it, in answer to two resolutions of the House of the 23d instant, in regard to the disposition of the Fenian prisoners. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles FRANCIS Adams, Esq., Sc., fc., fc.

To the House of Representatives :

In answer to two resolutions of the House of Representatives of the 23d instant, in the following words:

" Resolved, That the House of Representatives respectfully request the President of the United States to urge upon the Canadian authorities, and also the British government, the release of the Fenian prisoners recently captured in Canada.

Resolved, That this House respectfully request the President to cause the prosecutions instituted in the United States courts against the Fenians to be discontinued, if compatible with the public interests”

I transmit a report of the Secretary of State upon the subject, together with the document which accompanied it.

ANDREW JOHNSON. WASHINGTON, July 26, 1866.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 26, 1866. The Secretary of State, to whom were referred two resolutions of the House of Representatives passed on the 23d of July instant, in the following words, respectively:

" Resolved, That the House of Representatives respectfully request the President of the United States to urge upon the Canadian authorities, and also the British government, the release of the Fenian prisoners recently captured in Canada.

Resolved, That this House respectfully request the President to cause the prosecutions instituted in the United States courts against the Fenians to be discontinued, if compatible with the public interests”— has the honor to report, in regard to the first resolution, that the government of the United States holds no correspondence directly upon any subject with the Canadian authorities, mentioned in the said resolution, or with the authorities of any colony, province, or dependency of any other sovereign state ; and that, on the contrary, all its correspondence concerning questions which arise in, or affect or relate to, such colonies, provinces, or dependencies, is always conducted exclusively with such sovereign government.

On the 11th of June last a note was addressed by this department to the honorable Sir Frederick W. A. Bruce, her Majesty's minister plenipotentiary residing in the United States, of which a copy is hereunto annexed.*

It is proper to say, in relation to that note, first, that the reports mentioned therein to the effect that prisoners had been taken on the soil of the United States and conveyed to Canada, and threatened by Canadian agents with immediate execution without legal trial, were found on examination to be untrue, and without foundation in fact.

It is due to the British government to say, in the second place, that the representations made in the said note have been received and taken into consideration by the British government and by the Canadian authorities in a friendly manner.

The resolution of the House of Representatives first recited, harmonizing as it does with the spirit of the aforesaid note, will be brought to the attention of her Majesty's government, and of the Canadian authorities, with the expression of a belief, on the part of the President, that affairs upon the frontier have happily come into a condition in which the clemency requested by Congress may be exteuded without danger to the pul peace, and with advantage to the interests of peace and harmony between the two nations.

I have already received your directions that the second of the said resolutions be taken into consideration by the proper departments of the government, with a desire that it may be found practicable to reconcile the humane policy recommended with the maintenance of law and order, the safety of the public peace, and tho good faith and honor of the United States.

The PRESIDENT.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

(Extract. 1

No. 1823.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, August 2, 1866. SIR: Your interesting despatch of the 19th of July, No. 1242, has been received. We are yet without information of the details or even of the bases of the pacification which is so unexpectedly announced as having already taken place in Europe.

* For enclosure see correspondence with British legation.

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