Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/40

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Ch. 2.

Cabinet was widely scattered, and some time passed before its members could be reassembled. Gallatin was last to arrive; but July 2, at a full meeting, the President read the draft of a proclamation, which was approved, and the proclamation issued on the same day. It rehearsed the story of American injuries and forbearance, and of British aggressions upon neutral rights; and so moderate was its tone as to convey rather the idea of deprecation than of anger:—

"Hospitality under such circumstances ceases to be a duty; and a continuance of it, with such uncontrolled abuses, would tend only, by multiplying injuries and irritations, to bring on a rupture between the two nations. This extreme resort is equally opposed to the interests of both, as it is to assurances of the most friendly dispositions on the part of the British government, in the midst of which this outrage has been committed. In this light the subject cannot but present itself to that government, and strengthen the motives to an honorable reparation of the wrong which has been done, and to that effectual control of its naval commanders which alone can justify the government of the United States in the exercise of those hospitalities it is now constrained to discontinue."

With this preamble the proclamation required all armed vessels of Great Britain to depart from American waters; and in case of their failing to do so, the President forbade intercourse with them, and prohibited supplies to be furnished them.

At the same Cabinet meeting, according to Jeffer-