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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - 02539 (Page 14)

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - 02539
[30] cannot be put in competition with the mischief which may result from the irritation justly
excited, by this practice, throughout the United States. The extent & the justice of the
resentments it produces, may be estimated, in Britain, by enquiring what impressions woud be
made on them by similar conduct on the part of this government.
Shoud we impress from the merchant service of Britain not only Americans but
foreigners, & even british subjects, how long woud such a course of injury unredressd, be
permited to pass unreveng
? How long woud the government be content with unsuccessful
remonstrance & unavailing memorials? I believe in that only the most prompt correction of, &
satisfaction for, the above, woud be admited as satisfaction in such a case.
If the principles of this government forbid it to retaliate by impressments, there is yet
another mode which might be resorted to. We might authorize our ships of war, tho not to
impress, yet to recruit, sailors on board british merchantmen. Such are the inducements to enter
into our naval service, that we believe even this practice woud very seriously affect the
navigation of Britain. [31] How, Sir, woud it be receivd by the british nation?
Is it not more advisable to desist from, & to take effectual measures to prevent, an
acknowledgd wrong, than, by perseverance in that wrong, to excite against themselves the well
founded resentments of America, & force our government into measures which may very
possibly terminate in an open rupture?
As we are unacquainted with the present actual state of things in Europe, & the President
has the most entire confidence in you, it is not his wish to injoin on you a representation to the
ministers of his britannic Majority, in the terms of this letter. It is only intended to convey to you
the feelings & sentiments of the government & people of America, & to instruct you from the
President himself, to call the very serious attention of the british government, in such terms of
respect & earnestness as to yourself shall seem advisable, to the mighty subjects of complaint
which have here been stated.
With great & sincere respect & esteem
I am dear Sir your obed
. Serv

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