December 11 1812: Madison's Special Message

On December 11, 1812, President Madison sent the following Special Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:
I transmit to Congress copies of a letter to the Secretary of the Navy from Captain Decatur, of the frigate United States, reporting his combat and capture of the British frigate Macedonian. Too much praise can not be bestowed on that officer and his companions on board for the consummate skill and conspicuous valor by which this trophy has been added to the naval arms of the United States.
I transmit also a letter from Captain Jones, who commanded the sloop of war Wasp, reporting his capture of the British sloop of war Frolic, after a close action, in which other brilliant titles will be seen to the public admiration and praise.
A nation feeling what it owes to itself and to its citizens could never abandon to arbitrary violence on the ocean a class of them which give such examples of capacity and courage in defending their rights on that element, examples which ought to impress on the enemy, however brave and powerful, preference of justice and peace to hostility against a country whose prosperous career may be accelerated but can not be prevented by the assaults made on it.


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