Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/13

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1807
3
THE "CHESAPEAKE" AND "LEOPARD."

The admiral in command of the British ships on the North American station was George Cranfield Berkeley, a brother of the Earl of Berkeley. To him, at Halifax, the British officers in Chesapeake Bay reported their grievances; and Admiral Berkeley, without waiting for authority from England, issued the following orders, addressed to all the ships under his command:—

"Whereas many seamen, subjects of his Britannic Majesty, and serving in his ships and vessels as per margin ["Bellona," "Belleisle," "Triumph," "Chichester," "Halifax," "Zenobia"], while at anchor in the Chesapeake, deserted and entered on board the United States frigate called the 'Chesapeake,' and openly paraded the streets of Norfolk, in sight of their officers, under the American flag, protected by the magistrates of the town and the recruiting officer belonging to the above-mentioned American frigate, which magistrates and naval officer refused giving them up, although demanded by his Britannic Majesty's consul, as well as the captains of the ships from which the said men had deserted:
"The captains and commanders of his Majesty's ships and vessels under my command are therefore hereby required and directed, in case of meeting with the American frigate 'Chesapeake' at sea, and without the limits of the United States, to show to the captain of her this order, and to require to search his ship for the deserters from the before-mentioned ships, and to proceed and search for the same; and if a similar demand should be made by the American, he is to be permitted to search for any deserters from their service, according to the customs and usage of civilized nations on terms of peace and amity with each other."