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January 3, 2013

Imprisonment of seamen


“I should be extremely sorry that the imprudent act of an officer should involve consequences so particularly severe as the present instance must naturally produce, if repeated – and although it is very much my wish, during the continuance of the differences existing between the two nations, to adopt every measure that might render the effect of war less rigorous, yet, in another point of view, the conviction of the duty I owe my country would, in the event of such grievances as I have already stated being continued, not admit of any hesitation in retaliatory decisions – but as I am strongly persuaded of the high liberality of your sentiments, and that the act complained of has originated entirely with the officer who committed it, and that it will be as censurable in your consideration as it deserves, I rely upon your taking such steps as will prevent a recurrence of conduct so extremely reprehensible in every shape.

“I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant. (signed) 

JOHN BORLASE WARREN, Admiral of the Blue, and Commander in Chief, &c.”


Mr. Monroe to Sir John Borlase Warren. 

“SIR – I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 30th Sept. complaining that Commodore Rodgers, commanding a squadron of the U. States navy at the port of Boston, had taken 12 British seamen, lately belonging to his Britannic Majesty’s ship the Guerriere, from a Cartel in the harbor of Boston, and that he detained them on board the President, a frigate of the U. States, as hostages.

“I am instructed to inform you, that enquiries shall be made into the circumstances attending, and the causes which produced the act, of which you complain – and that such measures will be taken, on a knowledge of them, as may comport with the rights of both nations, and may be proper in the case to which they relate.

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