p.3 A letter from Governor Cass to the commanding officer of the British naval vessel Tecumseh, dated
Detroit, June 6, 1816.
Sir; - It has been officially represented to me, that in several instances within a few days vessels bound from ports of the United States upon Lake Erie, to this place, have been boarded by parties of men from an armed vessel of his B.M. lying off Amherstburgh.
These parties have entered the vessels while passing thro the usual channel of communication between Lakes Erie and Huron, in one instance with the avowed object of taking therefrom two men, under pretence of their being British deserters, and in all instances with objects, so far as they could be ascertained from the questions and conduct of the boarding officer, which furnish no justification for a British officer forcibly entering a vessel of the United States.
The manner in which this service has been performed has had no tendency to diminish the effect which the character of such transactions is calculated to produce.
The conduct of the boarding officer has been arrogant and imperious.
In an aggression like this, the Government of the United States can alone determine what course the honor and interest of the nation requires should be taken.
But until their decision shall be made upon the subject, it becomes my duty to remonstrate against a practice for which the laws of nations afford no pretence; which is inconsistent with the relations existing between the respective governments; and the continuance of which must be attended with serious and important consequences.
Very respectfully Sir, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant.
The Officer, etc.
It is wished that the answer to this note had accompanied it; as it probably would have shown that these searchings are very common on the frontiers of nations, and arise out of the zeal of officers to apprehend deserters; are not intended to violate neutral rights, and are wholly unknown and unauthorized by the governments of the offenders.
Tenders will be received at the Agent Victualler's Office, Point Frederick, on or before the 31st instant, for the supply of Vegetables for the Crews of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels on Lake Ontario. The period of the contract, with other particulars may be known at the Office. July 24th, 1816.