Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/14

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4
Ch 1.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

The admiral's conception of the "customs and usage of civilized nations" did not expressly require the use of force; and any captain or commander who received this circular must at once have asked whether, in case the American captain should refuse to allow a search,—as was certain,—force should be employed. The order, dated June 1, 1807, was sent to Chesapeake Bay by the frigate "Leopard," commanded by Captain S. P. Humphreys; and since the "Leopard" was the admiral's flagship, Captain Humphreys was probably acquainted with the meaning of his instructions. The "Leopard" arrived at Lynnhaven on the morning of June 21; and Captain Humphreys reported his arrival and orders to Captain John Erskine Douglas of the "Bellona," a line-of-battle ship, then lying with the "Melampus" frigate in Lynnhaven Bay, enjoying the hospitality of the American government. Apparently Captain Douglas carried verbal explanations of the order from Captain Humphreys, for he made no attempt to qualify its extremest meaning. The "Leopard" remained twenty-four hours with the "Bellona," while the two commanders were in consultation. The next morning, June 22, at 4 a.m., the "Leopard" made sail,[1] and two hours later re-anchored a few miles to the eastward, and about three miles north of Cape Henry Lighthouse.

The "Chesapeake," during the difficulties at Norfolk and afterward, lay in the Eastern Branch at Wash-

  1. James's Naval History, iv. 329