[on or before 5 Oct. 1808]
had sailed from Providence to Martinique with permission & is sent, with several others to New York by Decatur for having articles on board beyond what had been allowed by collector. The parties have on giving bond received back the vessel: and now apply for leave to proceed on their voyage, stating that the smuggled articles were put on board by seamen without their knowledge. Taking this for granted; the first question that occurs is whether we will now permit these detained vessels to proceed. I incline to the negative.
Submitted for the President’s decision.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.