Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Phineas Bond, 2 August 1793

From Phineas Bond

Chestnut Street 2d. Augt. 1793.


In the Absence of his Majesty’s Minister pleny: I have the Honor to inclose You a Copy of the Affidavit of Donald Stewart Master of the Brigantine Jane of Dublin taken and sent into the Port of Philadelphia by the Privateer Schooner sans Culotte commanded by Capt. Johanene.

As some Communications have already been made to You on this Subject by his Majesty’s Minr:—it is sufficient for me to observe that the Affidavit fully ascertains the Capture by the Schooner sans Culotte. And I flatter myself the particular Circumstances of this Case will justify me in the Hope that Measures will be taken to detain this Vessel and her Cargo until the Determination of the Government of the United States upon the Legality of the Capture can be obtained. With Sentiments of perfect respect, I have the Honor to be Sir Your very faithful & most obdt. Servt:

P. Bond

RC (DNA: RG 59, NL); at foot of text: “Secretary of State”; with notes on verso by TJ: “<brig> Jane of Dublin taken by the Citizen Genet. proscribed. before Aug. 7.”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Aug. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (Lb in same). Enclosure: Deposition of Donald Stewart, Philadelphia, 1 Aug. 1793, stating, as master of the brigantine Jane of Dublin, that on 24 July 1793, seventeen days after leaving Antigua bound for Norfolk, Virginia, with 65 puncheons of rum and 20 barrels of limes, his ship was captured by the French privateer Citoyen Genet, Captain Johanene, “5 Leagues from Cape Henry … being then within Sight of the Land, and having been so for about half an Hour, and in 8 fathom Water”; that after all but one boy in the crew and one passenger were transferred to the privateer a prize master and four men brought his ship to Philadelphia, where it now was; that he, his mate, and three of his men were put on the sloop Laura of Rhode Island and reached Baltimore on 30 July; that, while on board the privateer, he learned from Captain Johanene that he had lately been to Baltimore to careen and had sailed from Hampton Road the evening before the capture, observed that the privateer was never farther than ten leagues from land, and overheard some of its officers say that it mostly cruised off the Virginia capes (Tr in same, in Bond’s hand and sworn before him; Tr in Lb in same).

As indicated by the enclosure, the Privateer Schooner in question was actually the Citoyen Genet.

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