Boston Independent Chronicle
January 04, 1808
The same arrogance and insolence appear in the federal papers, let our political situation be what it may. The same strain to vindicate the British, and calumniate the United States, is the chorus to every Federal “ditty.” When the business of the Chesapeake took place, certain papers were immediately put in requisition, by the British faction, to propagate falsehoods, and embarrass the citizens on the subject. The English ministry have been constantly urged to pursue measures in opposition to the American government, and all the difficulties we now experience are in consequence of the misrepresentations of a “contemptible minority,” who reside within the United States. There has been one continued display of enmity to our own government, and every exertion to give countenance and support to the demands and impositions of the British. The faction have kept up a constant strain of defamation against all characters employed in the service of the country, and have as uniformly eulogized every man who has shewn a disposition to excite trouble and difficulty, either at home or abroad. The moment a man became an APOSTATE, he was immediately noticed by them as worthy of their approbation, and even Burr (who but a few years ago, was anathematized as the most profligate of mankind) of the first water.
If the embargo, or any other measures of the administration are distressing to the citizens, this faction are the sole cause of the evil. They have encouraged the British to pursue their plans in taking our seamen, and by thus urging them to persist in their outrage, they have forced the government to adopt such measures as will secure our property from capture on the high seas, and our citizen sailors from impressment. If our farmers and tradesmen are injured by these measures, they must blame those British hirelings in Boston, and elsewhere, who have been incessant in describing the country as inadequate to every means of resistance—that all the monied men were opposed to the government—that dissension and jealousy pervaded every section of the United States—that that if the British persisted in their claims, the American government must give way. In short, everything has been said to encourage the English to prosecute their infamous projects, which could be said by men BRED for the purpose. A body of lawyers could not be more zealous to plead in behalf of their clients, than a few editors have been to plead in behalf of the British. They have exhausted so effectually every plea which could be made on the subject, that we do not find one new argument offered by his sacred majesty in behalf of his sacred proclamation, nor any new motive suggested to justify a perseverance in their claims. Mr. Rose [ED.: British Envoy George H. Rose] himself so anticipated in every article of his mission.
This being a fact, how imperiously insulting must those traitors be, who now talk about the “poor farmers and tradesmen.” The embargo is the most prudent and salutary measure which could be adopted to save our property and seamen from falling into the hands of British depredations. If this commercial restriction falls hard on any class of citizens, those only are to blame who have told the British they were right in firing on the Chesapeake—that it was “justifiable homicide” to kill our seamen on suspicion—that they ought to treat Mr. Monroe [ED.: Ambassador to Britain James Monroe] with indignity and contempt, if he should apply for redress—that all the well-disposed citizens who held the money, who went to meeting, who taught the assemblies catechism, and believed in the christian religion, were unanimous in vindicating the British, and ready to impeach the President. What could the English government desire more to encourage them to treat our representatives with every mark of disrespect—and what could be more desirable to the “best of kings” to support his immoderate strides towards capturing as many sailors as he pleased?
The impudence of this faction exceeds, if possible, their wickedness: for they are not content to bring the country into its present difficulty, but are now shedding their crocodile tears over the unfortunate objects of their iniquity. They first urge the British to do all the mischief in their power, and then calumniate the government for attempting to avoid the evils which they have brought upon them.—They first tell the British they ought to impress our sailors, and then find fault with the constituted authorities because they wish to secure them from such lawless outrage. Laying an embargo is as natural to counteract the depredations of the English, (in consequence of advice from their friends in Boston, &c.) as the use of water to stop a conflagration which had been kindled by an incendiary. It would be as absurd to suffer our property to be exposed to capture on the high seas, under the present decrees of Britain and France, as it would be to suffer our engines and enginemen to be placed in the middle of a street which was in flames on both sides. The answer then to the question, “why is the embargo laid?” is simply this, “that the BRITISH FACTION in Boston having encouraged the depredation on our commerce, and the capture of our seamen, the government is reduced to the necessity to lay an embargo to prevent a continuance of the outrage. If the produce of the farmer is lower, this faction must answer for it. If the tradesman is out of employ, this faction must answer for it. If bankruptcies take place in our seaports, this faction must answer for them, as they have created such difficulties in our commercial intercourse, that all public and private confidence is destroyed by their abominable misrepresentations. To comprise the whole of our political troubles in one comprehensive allegation, it is OLD TORYISM that is accountable to the farmer, tradesman, seaman, and merchant, for their present difficulties. Who cause the war in 1775, but the Tories? Who caused our sailors and seamen to perish on board the British guard-ships, but the Tories? Who caused Charlestown, Falmouth, &c. to be burnt to ashes, but the Tories? Who caused the Boston Port Bill, but the Tories? In short, the Tories and the Federalists are “one and indivisible,” and are now at work under this new-fangled name, to accomplish what they could not effect in the days of SAMUEL ADAMS and JOHN HANCOCK. They pretend to pity the poor farmers and tradesmen, but would sacrifice an hundred thousand of them to help their dear and beloved friends the English. Away with such hypocrisy, and let us baffle the enemies of our national honor by the energy of our conduct.