March 18th 1815--
I received with great pleasure by the hands of Major Woodruff on the evening of the 16th. About 9 oclock yours of the 13th Inst. I communicated the contents immediately to Rear Admiral Malcolm and orders were issued for the cessation of hostilities, and to all detached Posts and ships to be withdrawn in our Respective Commands. I daily expect an Official communication (similar to what you received) from Mr Baker, in the meantime every preparation is making for the embarkation of this Force, and Ships are now sent away when we are able to put sufficient Provisions on board to take them to Bermuda, Victuallers from Jamaica must be here in a very few days when everything will be put on boards as quickly as possible and should I, by that time not have received any intelligence the Admiral and myself will have no hesitation of putting to Sea directly. I have requested Major Woodruff who went up to Mobile yesterday to acquaint the Commanding Officer that I would let him know the moment we were prepared to give up the For, which would be when the Transports could get out of the Bay, the Fort would be restored in every respect as when it fell into our possession with the exception only of a Brass Mortar cast in George the 2nd reign which had been sent away the day after.
In the fulfilling the 1st Article of the Treaty I cannot consider the Meaning of “not causing any destruction or carrying away any Artillery, or other Public Property, originally captured in the said forts or Places, and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the ratification of this treaty, or any Slaves or other Property” having reference to any antecedent Period to the 18th Febry. The day of the exchange of Ratifications, because it is only from that time that the Article could be fulfilled in a long War; If those Negroes (the matter now in Question) belonged to the territory or City we were actually in occupation of, I should conceive we had no right to take them away; but by their coming away, they are virtually the same as Deserters or property taken away at any time of the War. I am obliged to say so much in justification of the right, but I have from the first, done all I could to prevent, and subsequently together with Admiral Malcolm have given every facility, and used every persuasion, that they should Return to their Masters, and many have done so; but I could not reconcile it to myself to abandon any, who from false reasoning perhaps, joined us during the Period of Hostilities, and have thus acted in violation of the laws of their Country and besides become obnoxious to their masters.
Had it been an object to take the Negroes away they could have been embarked in the first Instance, but they have been permitted to remain in the hopes, that they might Return.
I am much obliged to you for your offer of supplies and comforts for the sick and wounded. I send a Commissary to make a few purchases, and have directed him to call Upon Mr Livingston with this letter. I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient Servant.