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officers of the state of New York who have violated the duties devolving upon them under the constitution of the United States.

If the East India Company, a remarkable instance of a corporation almost independent within a state, should proceed against a citizen of the United States in a case parallel to that of McLeod, the direct intervention of the British government might fail of immediate effect as remarkably as that of the executive of the United States would have done, if exerted to deliver a British subject on his trial in the tribunals of the state of New York, and yet it would be absurd to contend that the British government was a party to such a measure of hostility, though that government had admitted its injustice and endeavored to provide a remedy.

It may be said, that as the government of the United States presents itself to foreign powers in the capacity of a sovereign and independent nation, they are bound to sustain the character of a government possessed of the full powers of sovereignty, and that assuming to exercise and to exact the obligations belonging to a state, they are bound to sustain and to enforce throughout every department of the government the full authority of the state. In reply to the allegation, that the government of the United States is one of limited powers, and that certain functions of the government are exercised by the individual states, the answer of a foreign power might be, that it had negotiated with the government of the United States as one possessed of supreme authority; that the federal government presents itself in that character in assuming to conduct all the foreign relations of the confederacy, the individual parts of which are restrained by the constitution of the United States from treating with foreign powers; that if the federal government cannot enter into treaties and conventions which are binding upon every member of the union, and which the United States are capable of enforcing against the several states, no valid engagement can be made by the government, unless it is to be ensured that foreign states should be bound by treaties with the United States, the obligations of which they are not on their side capable of enforcing. But these considerations are only important as showing the right of Great Britain to indemnity, or her right to make the acts of individual states a cause of war against the United States, if she should elect to seek that mode of redress, and have no bearing upon the question, whether the government of the United States has made itself a party to any existing measures of hostility. The difficulties attending our constitution, its defects, the recusancy of state officers and the vain efforts of the executive to sustain the obligations of the nation, are all important considerations to show that the government is not committed voluntarily to such measures as make it imperative on the British government, in point of honor, to meet our hostile measures in a correspondent spirit.

It is quite too much to claim on behalf of a foreign state, that the federal government shall in all cases exercise a direct authority to enforce the fulfilment of treaties and the observance of rights which result from them, and that delay or neglect to exercise those powers which are within the competency of a despotic ruler must necessarily occasion war. Even the powers of sovereignty are so distributed in Great Britain, though a monarchical government, that it is quite possible for the different departments of the state to thwart the executive and prevent the immediate fulfilment of duties to foreign powers.

Admitting, however, that Great Britain may sustain the ground taken by her, that no claim of irresponsibility on the part of the United States can be entertained, founded upon the peculiarities of their constitution of government, and assuming that the responsibilities of the government are the same as if the separate state sovereignty did not exist, still it may well be contended that, in that view of the subject, the United States are not even responsible in any degree for the detention of McLeod by the authorities of the state of New York.

In demanding the release of McLeod, the government of Great Britain proceeded upon the principle, that the United States could not institute criminal proceedings against the subject, and remain at peace with the sovereign authorizing the act alleged to be criminal. But if the authority of the state of New York is not to be regarded by a foreign power, then the criminal proceedings are not to be viewed as emanating from the sovereign authority, nor is the commonwealth to be regarded as an actor in the indictment. If Great Britain can only consider the government of the United States in her relations with this country, and cannot take cognizance of the individual sovereignty of New York, then she cannot view her as a sovereignty for any purpose, and must regard the indictment against McLeod as having proceeded from irresponsible individuals. In this point of view the case is the same in principle as would have been the aggression on the soil of the United States and the burning of the Caroline, if the act in that case had been disclaimed by Great Britain. The United States hold Great Britain responsible for that act only because the government authorized or approved of it, and Great Britain can only regard the United States as responsible for the detention and trial of McLeod, on the ground that the government authorized and approved of those proceedings. Let us not be misunderstood. We do not maintain that the United States are not responsible for the proceedings of New York in this case whilst acting within the range of her reserved sovereignty. We arrive at the conclusion, that, although the United States, having disclaimed the measures of retaliation against Great Britain in the person of her subject, are not responsible for the indignity, that they are responsible for the actual injury and

bound to render an indemnity, in consideration of the complex system which leaves the exercise of certain functions of the commonwealth to the state sovereignty, whilst the conduct of foreign relations is assigned to the federal government. We meet the doctrine of Great Britain that she can only regard the government as one and indivisible, with the answer, that if foreign powers are not bound to consider an individual state as possessing any of the rights of sovereignty, then the consequences which attach to the exercise of such rights cannot give those foreign powers a claim to indemnity. Then if we view New York as an integral part of a consolidated nation, as a municipal division or district of the United States, occupying the same rank in relation to the federal government as Scotland and Ireland, or perhaps the English counties in relation to the kingdom of Great Britain, how is the government of the United States responsible for proceedings in criminal courts to which the commonwealth is neither directly nor indirectly a party? It can only be claimed on the ground that the United States were a party to the indictment against McLeod, as not distinguishable in principle from the state of New York in the exercise of her reserved sovereignty, because nationality is in its nature indivisible, that an incompatibility existed between negotiation and criminal proceedings thus hostile in character. If the proceedings were not instituted in the name and on the behalf of the commonwealth, then no inconsistency resulted from their pendency. It does not follow, because a foreign subject is unjustly harassed by criminal process for acting in obedience to the commands of his sovereign in the exercise of a claim of right, the justice of which may have been established or is pending in discussion, that either the injured individual or the nation to which he belongs is entitled, of course, to satisfaction or indemnity from that country under whose government the injury was inflicted. To support that claim, it is necessary to connect the govern

ment itself with the injury as a party. If the process does not emanate from a tribunal regularly established, if it is not in the name of the state, conducted by its officers and subject to its control, the government cannot be made responsible, and the injury inflicted is the wrong of individuals and can constitute no claim against the state.

If McLeod had been indicted otherwise than for a crime against the commonwealth, his only remedy would have been against the individuals at whose hands he had suffered the wrong. If a civil action had been sustained against him in any local tribunal, he would have had no remedy, however grievously amerced. It is only by connecting the commonwealth (by which we mean to express our conception of that nationality which had its existence in the complex system of federal and state sovereignty), with criminal process, that a subject of a foreign nation can render the government itself responsible for injury.

The view taken by the British ministry, of the liabilities of the federal government, seems to be founded upon the idea that our system constitutes a consolidated government, and that the several states are to be viewed as so many counties. Regarded in this light, criminal process in the name of the state would no more compromise the United States, than criminal process, in the name of the county palatine of Chester, would affect the crown of Great Britain.

But the view taken by Great Britain of our system and of her claims as resulting is erroneous, and as it is no part of our purpose to reply to those claims, and prove by her own showing that they do not exist, as we are viewing the question in point of principle, and aim only at those results which flow from principle, we must concede that the United States are, beyond all question, responsible for the acts of the sovereign state of New York within its appropriate sphere. As the detention and trial of McLeod was a grievous wrong, the United States are bound to provide a full indem

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