Retaliation for Aggressions.

May 23, 1798.

Mr. SITGREAVES said, it is a principle as well settled as any in the law of nations, that, when a nation has received aggressions from another nation, it is competent for the injured nation to pursue its remedy by reprisal before a declaration of war takes place; and these reprisals shall be perfectly warrantable whilst they are commensurate only with the injuries received; and are not, under such circumstances, justifiable cause of war. It is even clear that these reprisals may be made during the pendency of a negotiation, and cannot, according to the law of nations, be justifiable ground for the rupture of any such negotiations.