[Washington, DC: April 4, 1812]. Broadside, 27 x 17 cm. Signed in type by H[enry] Clay (Speaker of the House), Wm. H. Crawford, (President of the Senate), and approved by (Pres.) James Madison. Prints the text of an act "Laying an Embargo on all the ships and vessels in the ports and harbors of the United States, for a limited time." Some moderate foxing and spotting, all four corners neatly trimmed, a very good copy.
Attempting to protect American seaman from impressment, and American ships from seizure, Madison imposed restrictions on foreign vessels in American ports, for ninety days. Pres. Madison hoped to pressure France and Britain who were at war with each other, into respecting American trade. At the same time, factions within Madison's Democratic-Republican party, including the young group of "War Hawks" led by the newly elected speaker of the House Henry Clay, saw impressment, British encouragement of Native American attacks on the American frontier, and the conquest of Canada as legitimate reasons to declare war. Ultimately the embargo proved unsuccessful and Madison and Congress declared war on Britain in June 1812. OCLC: No listings by title. Item #65212