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8961. WAR OF 1812, Prolongation of.

—As soon as we heard of her partial repeal of
her Orders of Council, we offered instantly to
suspend hostilities by an armistice, if she would
suspend her impressments, and meet us in arrangements
for securing our citizens against
them. She refused to do it, because impracticable
by any arrangement, as she pretends; but,
in truth, because a body of sixty to eighty thousand
of the finest seamen in the world, which
we possess, is too great a resource for manning
her exaggerated navy, to be relinquished, as
long as she can keep it open. Peace is in her
hand, whenever she will renounce the practice
of aggression on the persons of our citizens.
If she thinks it worth eternal war, eternal war
we must have. She alleges that the sameness
of language, of manners, of appearance, renders
it impossible to distinguish us from her subjects.
But because we speak English, and look
like them, are we to be punished? Are free
and independent men to be submitted to their
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. vi, 118.
(May. 1813)