James Madison

Proclamation 21—Warning Against Unauthorized Military Expedition Against the Dominions of Spain

September 01, 1815

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas information has been received that sundry persons citizens of the United States or residents within the same, and especially within the State of Louisiana, are conspiring together to begin and set on foot, provide, and prepare the means for a military expedition or enterprise against the dominions of Spain, with which the United States are happily at peace; that for this purpose they are collecting arms, military stores, provisions, vessels, and other means; are deceiving and seducing honest and well-meaning citizens to engage in their unlawful enterprises; are organizing, officering, and arming themselves for the same contrary to the laws in such cases made and provided:

I have therefore thought fit to issue this my proclamation, warning and enjoining all faithful citizens who have been led without due knowledge or consideration to participate in the said unlawful enterprises to withdraw from the same without delay, and commanding all persons whatsoever engaged or concerned in the same to cease all further proceedings therein, as they will answer the contrary at their peril. And I hereby enjoin and require all officers, civil and military, of the United States or of any of the States or Territories, all judges, justices, and other officers of the peace, all military officers of the Army or Navy of the United States, and officers of the militia, to be vigilant, each within his respective department and according to his functions, in searching out and bringing to punishment all persons engaged or concerned in such enterprises, in seizing and detaining, subject to the disposition of the law, all arms, military stores, vessels, or other means provided or providing for the same, and, in general, in preventing the carrying on such expedition or enterprise by all the lawful means within their power. And I require all good and faithful citizens and others within the United States to be aiding and assisting herein, and especially in the discovery, apprehension, and bringing to justice of all such offenders, in preventing the execution of their unlawful combinations or designs, and in giving information against them to the proper authorities.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand.

Done at the city of Washington, the 1st day of September, A. D. 1815, and of the Independence of the said United States of America the fortieth.


James Madison, Proclamation 21—Warning Against Unauthorized Military Expedition Against the Dominions of Spain Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/205516

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