Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from "Yankey Doodle," 14 April 1802

From “Yankey Doodle”

Philadelphia April 14 1802


I have told you in my last Letter that I Soon Send you another the object of my Letter is that you Shall See how you Shall act in this Case Sir a few day’s ago—an affray took place on board the Spanish brig it Contain’s as follow’s the mariner’s having Consulted a lawyer about how they Could get Paid the Lawyer told them that must keep possesion brig until the monday following when he Should Seize the brig—and Sell her in a public vendue The Carpenter’s hearing this They went and Consulted with another lawyer when the Sheriff Sent one of his men to take possesion of her in such a brutal maner that they began to drive people out of her one had not patience enough to bear this Scandalous treatment he lifted the hand spike and Struck one of the men on the head then the Sheriff Come with a five hundred men to take possesion of her they did take possesion they took the Spanish Colour broke in a thousand pieces and began huzza wich was at least one hour and then Sent the people to jail that is all I know about this uncommon proceeding—

You must put your Spectacles to read this

Yankey Doodle

you must Send your answer by the aurora as Soon as you can good by So as every read it

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received from “Anonymous” on 18 Apr. and “rescue of Spanish brig” and so recorded in SJL, but as received 17 Apr.

The AFFRAY on the SPANISH BRIG lying at Southwark took place on 7 Apr. A writ of attachment had been served on the Cabo de Hornos by a sheriff’s officer, who was directed to return and chain the vessel to the wharf for greater security. The seamen on board had previously libeled the brig for their wages and received a decree of condemnation against it. The sale of the vessel was to take place the same day as the sheriff’s officer returned to secure the brig. Believing the officer’s actions would interfere with their claim, the seamen resisted and attacked him. Informed of the assault, the sheriff and a number of constables and citizens boarded the brig and arrested 16 members of the crew (Gazette of the United States, 8 Apr. 1802; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 32 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 8 vols. Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols. Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 3:180–2).

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