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12 Honors, I am simply pursuing the chain of evidence in this case, to show the effects of the sympathy in favor of one of the parties and against the other, which the Secretary of State says had become in a manner "national." The next document is a letter of the Secretary of State to the District Attorney, Sept. 11, 1839: "Sir: Since the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, relative to the case of the Spanish schooner 'Amistad,' brought into the port of New London on the 26th ultimo, by Lieutenant Gedney, of the surveying brig Washington, a communication has been addressed to this department by the minister of Her Catholic Majesty, claiming the vessel, cargo and blacks," [vessel, cargo and blacks, the Court will observe,] "on board, as Spanish property, and demanding its immediate release. Mr. Calderon's application will be immediately transmitted to the President for his decision upon it, with which you will be made acquainted without unnecessary delay. In the mean time you will take care that no proceeding of your Circuit Court, or of any other judicial tribunal, places the vessel, cargo, or slaves beyond the control of the Federal Executive. "I am, sir, your obedient servant, "JOHN FORSYTH." I know not how, in decent language, to speak of this assertion of the Secretary, that the minister of Her Catholic Majesty had claimed the Africans "as Spanish property." In Gulliver's novels, he is represented as traveling among a nation of beings, who were very rational in many things, although they were not exactly human, and they had a very cool way of using language in reference to deeds that are not laudable. When they wished to characterize a declaration as absolutely contrary to truth, they say the man has "said the thing that is not." It is not possible for me to express the truth respecting this averment of the Secretary of State, but by declaring that he "has said the thing that is not." This I shall endeavor to prove by showing what the demand of the Spanish minister was, and that it was a totally different thing from that which was represented. But I wish first to beg your Honors' special attention to something else in this remarkable letter of the Secretary of State. He says, "In the mean time, you will take care that no proceeding of your Circuit Court, or of any other judicial tribunal, places 13 the vessel, cargo, or slaves beyond the control of the Federal Executive." Here is a ministerial officer of the Executive Government, instructing the District Attorney, before the Judiciary has acted upon the case, to take care that no proceeding of any court places these men beyond reach of the Federal Executive. How was he to do it? In what manner was an Executive officer to proceed, so that neither the Circuit Court of the United States, nor any state Court could dispose of the vessel or the men in any manner, beyond the control of the Federal Executive. A farther examination of the correspondence in the conclusion, will show how it was intended to be done. But I now come to inquire what the real demand of the Spanish minister, and to show what was the duty of the Secretary of State on receiving such a demand. Here we have the first letter of Mr. Calderon to Mr. Forsyth. The name of this gentleman is illustrious in the annals of Spain, and for himself personally, during his residence in this country, I have entertained the most friendly and respectful sentiments. I have enjoyed frequent interviews with him, and have found him intelligent, amiable, learned, and courteous. I wish therefore to say nothing respecting him that is personally disrespectful or unkind. But it is my duty to comment with the utmost plainness and what perhaps your Honors will think severity, on his official letter to the American Secretary of State. His letter begins:- "New York, Sept. 6, 1839. "The undersigned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of her Catholic Majesty the Queen of Spain, has the honor of calling the attention of the honorable John Forsyth, Secretary of State of the United States, to a recent and very public occurrence of which, no doubt, Mr. Forsyth is already informed, and in consequence of which it is the imperious duty of the undersigned to claim an observance of the law of nations, and of the treaties existing between the United States and Spain. The occurrence alluded to is the capture of the Spanish schooner 'Amistad.' "This vessel sailed from Havana on the 28th of June, bound to Guanaja, in the vicinity of Porto Principe, under the command of her owner, Don Ramon Ferrer, laden with sundry merchandise, and with fifty-three negro slaves on board; and, previous to her departure, she obtained her clearance (alijo) from the custom
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