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written or printed, was published" with good motives and for justifiable ends."
This change in the law of libel was incorporated in the constitutions adopted for the state in 1821, 1845, and 1865. It was brought about from a trial in 1804 of Harry Croswell, the editor of the Iludson Balance, who had assailed Thomas Jefferson with such violence that he was indicted by the grand jury of Columbia County for libel. The case was tried before Chief Justice Lewis in the superior court, and Alexander Hamilton, as counsel for Croswell, showed that the maxim “ The greater the truth, the greater the libel,” was contrary to the genius of our republican institutions, an outrage on human rights, common justice, and common sense, and of modern date in England.
1805. - The legislature of Virginia enacted that thenceforth all emancipated slaves remaining in the state six months after obtaining their freedom should be arrested and sold for the bene. fit of the poor of the county.
The proceeds of such sale were afterwards awarded to the literary fund. Negro or mulatto orphans, bound out by the overseers of the poor, were forbidden to be taught reading, writing, or arithmetic. It was the business of the overseers to forbid their masters to do this. Free blacks coming to the state were sent back.
1805, NOVEMBER 14. -- The Creeks ceded to Georgia the tract between the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers.
The consideration was an annuity of twelve thousand dollars for eight years, and then one for eleven thousand dollars for ten years.
1806, JANUARY. — Congress appropriated two millions of dollars for “ extraordinary expenses of foreign intercourse."
The bill had been debated in the House for two weeks with closed doors. The money was placed at the disposal of the President, who was authorized to borrow it, the extra duty being continued to reinıburse the loan. In sending the bill to the Senate, it was accompanied by a message that it was passed for “the enabling the president to commence with more effect a negotiation for the purchase of the Spanish territories cast of the Mississippi." The negotiations resulted in nothing. The American claim extended to the Rio Grande. On the other side, the Spaniards limited Louisiana to a very narrow strip on the west bank of the Mississippi. The Sabine had been considered a provisional boundary, but the Spanish commander in Texas crossed the river with an armed force, and occupied a settlement at Bayou Pierre, on the Red River. Orders were sent to General Wilkinson, at St. Louis, to reinforce the troops in the Territory of Orleans, and take command there.
1806, MARCH 26. — Congress prohibited the importation from Great Britain or her dependencies, or from any other country, certain articles of British manufacture.
These were manufactures of leather, silk, hemp, fax, tin or brass; woollen cloths invoiced over a dollar and a quarter a square yard; woollen hosiery, glass, silver or plated ware, paper, nails, spikes, hats, ready-made clothing, millinery, beer, ale, porter, playing-cards, or prints. The act was to take effect in the middle of November.
1806.- CONGRESS appropriated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the building of fifty more gunboats.
One hundred and fifty thousand dollars were also appropriated for the fortification of forts and harbors.
1806. — APPROPRIATIONS were made by Congress for building roads.
For the road from Cumberland, Maryland, to the Ohio, $30,000; for a road from Athens, Georgia, to New Orleans, $6600; from Cincinnati to the Mississippi, opposite St. Louis, $6000; for a road from Nashville to Natchez, $6000.
1806, APRIL. — The Leander, Captain Whitby, an English warvessel, fired upon the sloop Richard, and killed John Pierce, the owner, and brother of the captain.
The Leander had been ordered by the admiral to cruise off New York harbor, and obtain the latest news from the vessels coming in and going out. Impatient at the tardiness with which the Richard responded to his signal, Whitby fired a ball. The common council of New York asked the administration for two or three ships to keep the foreign cruisers in order. The President issued a proclamation ordering the Leander out of the waters of the United States.
1806, JUNE. — The American Botanical Society was formed in Philadelphia.
1806, NOVEMBER 3. - It was agreed that the Sabine should be for the present the boundary between the United States and the Spanish territory.
General Wilkinson had advanced with his troops, and the Spaniards retreated across the Sabine.
1806, NOVEMBER 21. – Napoleon Bonaparte issued his Berlin decrees.
These declared all England's ports blockaded; excluded English letters from French mails, and ordered every Englishman on French territory arrested as a prisoner of war; all property belonging to the English, coming from their factories or colonies, and all neutral vessels touching at glish ports, were lawful prizes for French cruisers.
1806. - The Louisiana Courier appeared in New Orleans.
1806, NOVEMBER 27.— The President issued a proclamation, de. claring that he had information of an unlawful scheme for the invasion of the Spanish dominions, and warning all good citizens against taking part in it, and calling upon the authorities to arrest all concerned in it.
The scheme was one of Aaron Burr's, for the purpose of capturing New Orleans and Mexico.
1806, DECEMBER 2: — The legislature of Ohio passed an act, with closed doors, ordering the seizure of the boats building on the Muskingum, which was done.
The boats were designed for use in Aaron Burr's expedition.
1806, DECEMBER 19. - Congress suspended the act prohibiting the importation of British goods until the following July.
The President was authorized to still further continue the suspension, at his discretion, until the next Congress. All penalties incurred were remitted.
1806, DECEMBER 24. — The legislature of Kentucky passed an act similar to that passed by Obio.
Under it further seizures were made.
1806. – The first barge load of anthracite coal was shipped from Mauch Chunk to Philadelphia.
It was sold, but it was found impossible to use it.
1807. — CONGRESS appropriated fifty thousand dollars for a coast survey.
It was “for the purpose of making complete charts of our coast, with the adjacent shoals and soundings.” F. R. Hassler, a Swiss, was appointed superintendent. But little was done, except laying out a base line, in the rear of the Palisades on the Hudson, until 1832. Hassler died in 1843, and Professor A. D. Bache was appointed his successor, under whose direction the survey was made efficient, and is still continued.
1807, JANUARY 7. - England declared all neutral ships trading at French ports or those of her allies, or from which English ships were excluded, subject to capture and condemnation in her prize courts.
1807, JANUARY. — Aaron Burr surrendered unconditionally to a body of militia of the Territory of Mississippi.
Burr had descended the Mississippi with a small armed band, and had halted about thirty miles above Natchez, outside of the jurisdiction of Mississippi. After the surrender he went to the capital of the territory, where the grand jury, instead of indicting him, brought a presentment against the governor for calling out the militia, and against the way he was compelled to surrender.
1807, FEBRUARY 19. – Aaron Burr was arrested in eastern Mississippi, and sent under a guard to Washington, the capital of Mississippi.
He was riding with a single companion. The arrest was made by the registrar of the land office, and Lieutenant Gaines with a few men.
1807, FEBRUARY. - Congress passed an act prohibiting the slave trade.
A fine of twenty thousand dollars was imposed on all persons concerned in fitting out a vessel for the slave trade, with the forfeiture of the vessel; a fine of five thousand dollars, with the forfeiture of the vessel, was imposed for taking any negro or colored person on board in a foreign country for the purpose of selling him within the jurisdiction of the United States. For transporting any negro or person of color from a foreign country and selling him as a slave, imprisonment for not less than five years, nor more than ten, with a fine not less than a thousand or more than ten thousand dollars, was iniposed, the purchaser, knowing the facts,
being liable to a fine of eight hundred dollars for each person purchased. The persons imported were to be subject to such regulations, not contrary to this act, as the respective states and territories might make. Coasting vessels transporting slaves from one state to another were obliged by a fine of one hundred dollars for each slave to insert a description of them in their manifesto. No vessel of less than forty tons could transport slaves except on the inland bays and rivers. A vessel with slaves found on the coast was confiscate, the master subject to a fine of ten thousand dollars, and imprisonment. The negroes on such vessel to be delivered to such agents as the states might appoint; where no such appointment was made, to the overseer of the poor, and if they should be “sold or disposed of, the penalties of the act to attach to the seller and purchaser.” The act was passed after a long and very violent debate. The act was to take effect on the 1st of January, 1808.
1807, MARCH. - The President, by proclamation, suspended the operation of the act prohibiting the importation of British goods until December.
The commissioners to England had concluded a treaty which the President rejected.
1807, MARCH 11. -- The Philadelphia Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures was incorporated.
Its capital was ten thousand dollars, with the right to increase it to one hundred thousand dollars. The directors were empowered to advance, either cash or raw materials, to half the amount of the finished product, to be deposited in their warehouse, the residue to be paid when the articles were sold, deducting interest and a commission of five per cent.
1807. — A VESSEL was navigated by a screw propeller, from Eddy's Point to Pautucket, Rhode Island.
She was called “The Experiment,” was about one hundred feet long, and twenty feet wide. The screws were driven by eight horses, and she made an average of four miles an hour. The machinery was built by Jonathan Nichols and David Given, of Providence, and the vessel was built by John S. Eddy. It was the first attempted realization of the propeller.
1807, May. - The news was received that Captain Whitby, of the Leander, had been honorably acquitted by a court-martial at Plymouth, England.
1807, JUNE 22. — The Chesapeake, a national vessel, was overhauled, on sailing from Hampton Roads for the Mediterranean, by the Leopard, a British ship, and fired into, and four sailors claimed as deserters carried off.
Three of the Chesapeake's crew were killed, and eighteen wounded; she was unable, for want of preparation, to reply. The deserters were carried to Halifax, where one, an Englishman, was hanged; the three others, negroes, who had deserted from an American ship, and were natives, were pardoned on condition of re-entering the British service.
1807, JULY 2. -- The President issued a proclamation ordering
all the British ships-of-war to leave the waters of the United States, and forbidding any intercourse with them.
The proclamation spoke of the habitual insolence of the British cruisers, and expressed the belief that the outrage on the Chesapeake was unauthorized. Congress was called together, and a court of inquiry was ordered, and instructions were sent to the American ministers in England to demand reparation, and suspend all other negotiations until it was granted.
1807, SEPTEMBER 1. - The jury in the trial of Aaron Burr for high treason, which took place in Richmond, Virginia, brought in a verdict of Not guilty.
Burr had been sent under a guard from Mississippi. Chief Justice Marshall presided at the trial. Indictments for treason, which had been found against Blennerhasset, Dayton, Smith, Tyler, and Floyd, as accessories, were abandoned. On September 9th a verdict of Not guilty was returned, also on a charge of setting on foot within the United States a hostile expedition against the Spanish provinces.
Aaron Burr died in 1836, aged 80.
1807, OCTOBER. — The English government sent an agent to the United States to settle the affair of the Chesapeake.
As soon as the news of the outrage was received in England, the ministry disowned the act, offered reparation, and sent orders for the recall of Admiral Birkeley, in command of the North American station, by whose orders the captain of the Leopard had acted. The instructions sent to the American ministers having made it impossible for them to conclude the matter, this agent was sent to do so.
1807, OCTOBER. - The General Society of Mechanics was incorporated in New Haven, Connecticut.
It was to promote the mechanic arts, and assist young mechanics by loans. 1807. — THE “ Clermont” was launched in the spring.
Being supplied with a steam-engine made by Watt and Boulton in England, she made her first trip to Albany in thirty-two hours, the distance being one lundred and fifty miles. She was built by the firm of Livingston and Fulton.
1807. — The duty on salt was repealed. The act to take effect after December 31.
1807, DECEMBER 22. — Congress laid an embargo on all shipping in the ports of the United States.
The departure of any vessel from any port of the United States, bound to any foreign port, was forbidden, except by the express permission of the President. Foreign armed vessels, with public commissions, and foreign merchant ships in ballast, or with only such cargo as they had when notified of the act, were also excepted. Coasting vessels were to give bonds, in double the value of their cargoes, to reland the same in the United States.
1807. - The American Botanical Society took the name of the Philadelphia Linnean Society.