Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/38

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28
Ch. 2.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.
"You must be perfectly aware," said he, "that the British flag never has been, nor will be, insulted with impunity. You must also be aware that it has been, and still is, in my power to obstruct the whole trade of the Chesapeake since the late circumstance; which I desisted from, trusting that general unanimity would be restored.... Agreeably to my intentions, I have proceeded to Hampton Roads, with the squadron under my command, to await your answer, which I trust you will favor me with without delay."

He demanded that the prohibition of intercourse should be "immediately annulled." The Mayor sent Littleton Tazewell to carry an answer to this warlike demand from the "Bellona," and Tazewell was somewhat surprised to find Captain Douglas highly conciliatory, and unable to see what the people of Norfolk could have found in his letter which could be regarded as "menacing;" but meanwhile all Virginia was aroused, an attack on Norfolk was generally expected, the coast was patrolled by an armed force, and the British men-of-war were threatened by mounted militia.

In the Northern States the feeling was little less violent. Public meetings were everywhere held. At New York, July 2, the citizens, at a meeting over which De Witt Clinton presided, denounced "the dastardly and unprovoked attack" on the "Chesapeake," and pledged themselves to support the government "in whatever measures it may deem necessary to adopt in the present crisis of affairs." At Boston,