James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to the House of Representatives, 6 July 1812 (Abstract)

§ To the House of Representatives

6 July 1812. Transmits a report from the secretary of state1 in compliance with the House resolution of 30 Jan. 1812.2

Printed copy and copy of enclosure (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:583–85); Tr of enclosure (DNA: RG 233, Reports and Communications from the Secretary of State, 6A-E1). RC and enclosure received and tabled by the House on 6 July (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 1st sess., 1584). For enclosure, see n. 1.

1Monroe’s report, dated 6 July 1812 (5 pp.), provided “Six Several lists of Captures, seizures and Condemnations of the ships and merchandise of the Citizens of the United States, under the authority of the governments of Europe.” Acknowledging that his figures were “unavoidably imperfect,” Monroe estimated that Great Britain had captured 528 American vessels prior to the passage of the orders in council of November 1807 and 389 vessels subsequently. Prior to the Berlin and Milan decrees, France had captured 206 American vessels, while 307 vessels were captured under those decrees and 45 had been captured since their revocation. The government of Naples had captured 47 American vessels. Monroe stated that France and Naples had abandoned the decrees under which American vessels were captured, while the British orders in council had continued in effect at least until the moment when the U.S. declared war on Great Britain. Furthermore, it was uncertain whether Great Britain’s blockade of 1806 had been superseded by the orders in council or whether it would remain in effect even if the orders were repealed.

2On a motion of Abijah Bigelow of Massachusetts, the House had resolved “That the President of the United States be requested to cause to be laid before this House, such information as he may possess in relation to the seizure, capture, and condemnation of the ships and merchandise of citizens of the United States, under the authority of the Governments of Europe, or either of them, which has not been heretofore communicated.” On a motion by William Blackledge of North Carolina, the resolution was amended to include a request for “the regulation, order, and decree, under which the said captures were made, and information, as far as may be, how far the said decree, order, or regulation, be abandoned or persevered in, by the nation making such capture” (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 1st sess., 1006).

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