DIPLOMATIC DISCUSSIONS, 1806-1892
roe and Pinkney, Ministers Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary to London, 18061
The American Ministers had been sent to London in 1806 to treat with Great Britain with reference to some "maritime wrongs which have been committed, and the regulation of commerce and navigation" between the two countries. In referring to the "insults and injuries committed by British cruisers in the vicinity of our shores and harbors," the Secretary of State wrote to the Ministers on May 17, 1806, as follows:
". . . it is proper that all armed belligerent ships should be expressly and effectually restrained from making seizures or searches within a certain distance from our coasts, or taking stations near our harbors commodious for those purposes.
"In defining the distance protected against belligerent proceedings, it would not, perhaps, be unreasonable, considering the extent of the United States, the shoalness of their coast, and the natural indication furnished by the well defined path of the Gulf stream, to expect an immunity for the space between that limit and the American shore. But at least it may be insisted that the extent of the neutral immunity should correspond with the claims maintained by Great Britain, around her____________________