This is Captain Humphreys of the HMS Leopard. I command you to submit to boarding of your ship and search of your crew for Imperial deserters.
The coast of Norfolk, Virginia, June 22, 1807
This is Captain Humphreys of the British warship Leopard. I
This is Commodore Barron of the Chesapeake. My crew is my own, and this is our territory.
Now, begone with you, Humphreys! I have other business.
I will not be denied!
Go, men! Storm the Chesapeake!
Captain Humphreys opens fire on the unsuspecting Chesapeake.
This is a violation of our treaty. Three of my men are dead because of you.
It's just my duty, Commodore.
-and 18 wounded, including me. I guarantee that you will pay for this.
It's the deserter! Good thing we boarded this ship. You'll be hanged, traitor!
And he was. The British later admitted the act was wrong, but refused to stop impressing American seamen in the British Navy. Tensions would rise until they blew over in the War of 1812, five years later. The unsolicited attack on the Chesapeake was the event that made Jefferson create the Embargo Act to force England to recognize America's sovereignty.