— the right namely, to intercept contraband of war on its passage to the enemy in a neutral vessel.
This, however, is merely an exception to a general rule.
The question of prize is always decided by the courts of the country making the prize.
The present, however, is a question of a totally different character singularly enough, it commits the Government of the United States to a line of action which it always reprobated on the part of Great Britain.
For, during the wars with the First Napoleon, Great Britain assumed and exercised the right to visit American ships, and removed by force, from their decks, all persons found, or even suspected, to have been born British subjects, while the United States not only denied the right, but went to war rather than submit to its exercise.
Many attemps have been made within the present century to obtain a definitive settlement of the disputed right, but always without success.
The American doctrine is fully set forth in Mr. Webster's fa