AuthorCraig Forcese
Chapter 10
The authorities were either unwilling or unable to prevent
aggression again Canada.
—   1
A  , John Forsyth and Henry Stephen Fox
continued their diplomatic exchanges. In his formal response
to Forsyth’s 5 January letter, Fox repeated his characteriza-
tion of the Caroline’s conduct as “piratical.”2 The British produced an
adavit from an American captured during the raid asserting that
the boat was the “property of the patriots on Navy Island,” employed
to take provisions and stores to the island. Moreover, the deponent
claimed to have heard the ship’s watch admonish the boat’s company
to sleep well the night of 29 December, because the next day, they
would be tasked with ferrying more men to the island.3
Ambassador Fox also complained pointedly that the United
States had failed to enforce its laws along the New York frontier: “At
the time when the event happened, the ordinary laws of the United
States were not enforced within the frontier district of the State of
New York. The authority of the law was overborne, publicly, by pirat-
ical violence,” which resulted in injury and threat to Canada.4 Under
these circumstances, “Her Majesty’s subjects in Upper Canada” were
necessarily impelled “to consult their own security, by pursuing and
destroying the vessel of their piratical enemy, wheresoever they

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