Wednesday, September 22, 2010
One incident at sea especially aroused American anger and almost led to war . In 1807, only a few miles off the coast of Virginia, the British warship Leopard fired on the U.S. warship Chesapeake . Three Americans were killed and four others were taken captive and impressed into the British navy. Impressment was the forcible enlistment of sailors which was a crude form of drafting that the British had employed for over four centuries. Anti-British feeling ran high, and many Americans demanded war. Jefferson , however, resorted to diplomacy and economic pressure as his response to the crisis.