James Madison Papers

George Joy to James Maury, 11 May 1813

George Joy to James Maury

London 11th May 1813

Dear Sir,

I was very glad to find by your favor of the 22nd that my Anticipation had met your approbation. I have had similar Expressions of satisfaction from several of my friends. The Monthly and Critical Reviews for April have recommended it; and I have consented, at the request of the Editors of the Pamphleteer, to the publication of a second Edition in their next.1 For you must note that I am £150 out of pocket by printing and dispersing Publications for the benefit of our Government; from them I never have and never shall receive a farthing; and I am glad of any opportunity of dispersing my Efforts to establish, what I believe to be the true Case, free of Expence.

To this new Edition I have furnished some additions which were omitted before, cheifly from the mere haste in which it was necessary to work it thro’ the Press.

I […] as you […] I am […] of the ignorance of this people in respect to the most important facts connected with the Dispute. You would be astonished at the round assertions I have had to contradict in respect to the Law for naturalising Seamen in this Country. I have met with one of them this very Morning at the Tavistock from Gentlemen of respectability and otherwise well informed.

In the preface to the second Edition and Notes that I now hand you in M.S., with a printed Copy of the first Edition, you will see, with a slight occasional reference to the printed part, and without wading through it again, the additions that will be contained in the second. I have just heard that there will be two opportunities shortly from your port, for the first of which this may be in time: for the last I think I shall be able to send the whole in print. I pray you therefore, if this should only be in time to be sent, to do me the favor to enclose it […] reading for […] to […] to take Copy from the Extract of the statute near the Close of the Preface to the second Edition, you may find it useful with the incredulous. I copied it myself from the statute Book Many Months ago, and have given several Copies of it to the Ungodly of late to confirm their faith.

As I cannot write Mr: M. by this Conveyance; I would thank you to give this letter Currency with the Parcel; and am always very truly and respect⟨fully⟩ Dear sir Your very hble servt:

Geo: Joy

I cover also a Parcel for the President of Harvard […] thank you to […]

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Extensively damaged at lower margins.

1“Anticipation of Marginal Notes on the Declaration of Government of the Ninth of January, 1813. in the American National Intelligencer,” a paragraph-by-paragraph refutation of the Prince Regent’s 9 Jan. 1813 statement on “the causes and origin of the war,” appeared in the May 1813 issue of the Pamphleteer. In his declaration, the Prince Regent had asserted that the “real cause of the present war” was the “marked partiality” of the United States “in assisting the aggressive tyrany of France.” The blockade of European ports declared by the British in 1806 had been legal; by disputing its legality the United States was in effect justifying the Berlin and Milan decrees, which were acts of unprovoked French aggression, and against which the United States had failed to register adequate protest. The Embargo and Nonintercourse Acts subsequently passed by Congress were “principally leveled against … Great Britain,” and the conditions on which the United States offered to revoke them were more favorable toward France than Great Britain. Further, the Prince Regent argued, the repeal of the Berlin and Milan decrees by the French government was only conditional, and likely a ruse, but had been treated as authentic and absolute by the United States. When the British government nevertheless repealed its orders in council contingent on the reciprocal repeal of U.S. trade restrictions, and offered terms for an armistice, it was rebuffed by Congress’s passage of a law prohibiting all trade with Great Britain, and by U.S. insistence on unacceptable armistice conditions that included, among others, Great Britain’s renunciation of its right of impressment. That right, the Prince Regent insisted, was nonnegotiable; naturalization in the United States did not absolve British subjects of their duty to serve the crown.

Joy contested these arguments in detail in the body of his essay. In the preface, he attributed recent U.S. naval victories to the fighting skills and desire for revenge acquired by American sailors previously impressed by the British, and criticized Lord Richard Wellesley and admiralty judge Sir William Scott for taking positions less accommodating toward the United States than those they had formerly held. He included an extract from a statute that, “for the better encouraging foreign mariners and seamen” to serve on British ships, granted naturalization as a British subject to any foreigner who did so for two years. Comparing such inducement to “the tedious process of five years’ residence under record, and all the formalities of the American law, which a seaman must encounter like every other man” in order to gain U.S. citizenship, Joy argued, showed that no “undue encouragement is held out by the American government, to entice our seamen into their service” (The Pamphleteer 1 [1813]: 487–538).

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