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Mr. Jorgensen's seal (J. J.) is affixed to the original of all these five proclamations.
Mr. Jorgensen, in his own narrative, remarks as follows: "Many have found fault with different articles in my proclamations, and alledge, that they were written with a great deal too much severity: but this proceeded from a perfect knowledge of the people I had to deal with. Even if there had been some inconsistency in them, such could not be wondered at, for we are not to look for the same regularity, during the period of a revolution, as when a country is perfectly tranquil. But expressions of severity were absolutely necessary on my part, thereby to keep the unruly in check; for I knew my own temper so well, that, had the success of my undertaking depended upon the shedding the blood of one single of my fellow creatures, I should have been obliged to desist entirely; so that, by appearing what I really was not, I managed the whole island with ease. Although it was said in the proclamations, that all officers who did not remain in their situations should be transported to Westman's Isles, such a thing was never attempted to be put in force, neither was a single individual who resigned, driven out of his habitation, which might have been done in those houses belonging to government; but, on the contrary, I ordered that such persons and their families should be supplied gratis with every necessary from the public stores, till an opportunity offered for them to be sent to Denmark. Moreover, though it was publicly proclaimed, that any one, who should disturb the public tranquillity and not deliver up their arms, should be severely punished, the people so offending were only slightly reprimanded. John Bergman, with a drawn cutlass, ran about Reikevig, threatening destruction to us all, for which he was only confined for two hours. Mr. Finboge, who had concealed two thousand six hundred rix-dollars, belonging to Adzer Knutzen, received no manner of chastisement. Sigurd Thorgrimsen suffered no punishment for propagating reports about the country that the streets of Reikevig were stained with the blood of Danes and Icelanders. Assessor Einersen was arrested and confined for a few days, upon the information of the Etatsroed Stephensen, that he was at the head of a conspiracy raised to attack the English.—So much for my cruelty and severity."
N° 6. COPY OF A LETTER
FROM CAPTAIN JONES TO MR. PHELPS.
His Majesty's Sloop Talbot, Reikevig Bay,
The conversation I had with you respecting your transactions on this island was not with any intention of interfering, or depriving you of any power granted by governmerit; but, in consequence of hearing reports respecting your conduct, I deemed it my duty to ascertain the nature of your situation, your business here, by what authority you acted, and how far these reports were correct, in order to give you every protection and assistance as a British subject. You having, however, declined in the first instance (deeming it unnecessary) to give me such information, and then sending me a statement of your conduct, which appeared to me in several respects not sanctioned by your having a letter of marque only, I acquaint you, not only that such a communication was a respect due; but that it is a duty incumbent on all British subjects to give every information, both relating to themselves and others, to the captains of any of his Majesty's ships; and your being apprised by letters from the lords commissioners of the admirality of my being sent here to protect your trade and that of this island, ought to have convinced you of its necessity. I therefore sent a message, appointing an hour for you to wait on me, in order to gain such information as would direct me how to act; or, if necessary, to reply in writing to your statement; which circumstances, together with your refusal to comply with my request and a copy of this my answer, I shall transmit by the first opportunity to the right honorable the lords commissioners of the admiralty. I also conceive it my duty to acquaint you, that from your not having any other authority, that I am aware of, besides being owner of a letter of marque, you appear to me to have far exceeded that authority by taking on you the government of an island not actually considered hostile to Great Britain; the wretched state of whose inhabitants his Majesty has been graciously pleased so far to relieve in winter, as to grant licences to you and even to the enemies of Great Britain to support them; and you have, in my opinion, not only transgressed the laws of Great Britain, but of all nations, by assuming an authority which no subject of any realm whatever can have a right to; namely, that of declaring the island free, neutral, independent, and at peace with all nations, and of appointing a governor, who is not a British subject, but a Dane; who has been an apprentice on board an English collier; served his time as a midshipman in his Majesty's navy; afterwards fought against Great Britain; and was made a prisoner by an English ship of war. I understand he has issued, with your sanction, proclamations (declaring the island no longer under the government or control of Denmark) signed in a regal manner (We, Jorgen Jorgensen); besides which, he has, in sight of his Majesty's ship under my command, hoisted a flag as yet unknown: and is employed at this time in erecting a battery within musket shot, without my permission, and even without having consulted me on the subject; which is not only taking up arms against his own country (Denmark), but a disrespect to my pendant. I feel myself called upon, therefore, to notice his conduct, which no attachment or zeal that gentleman may have for Great Britain can countenance; neither would it, I am sure, meet the approbation of government. I now most earnestly recommend, either that you do not leave the whole power in the island in the hands of that gentleman alone, until his Majesty's pleasure is known (however qualified or respectable his character may