Hezekiah Niles offers his opinion on the practice of impressing American citizens. While in no way defending the purported impress of American seamen by the French Navy, Niles turns the occasion into a chance to harangue the British for their pernicious practices. The British were always chronically short of men to man their labor intensive sailing ships and would also make use of “the press” as means of providing the necessary personnel. In England they’d use any hapless soul they could lay hands upon, including common criminals or men from the merchant marine. American sailors must have been too tempting to resist — even after the Revolution. Here Niles turns an account of the supposed impressment of 6 Americans by the French into a diatribe against the British for their frequent employment of this practice. It’s interesting, even if you don’t do the puzzle. Take special note of Mr. Niles’ commentary on the 10th and 11th Congress!
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