James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Pennock, 3 December 1805

From William Pennock

Norfolk, Decr: 3. 1805


I have been selected by the Merchants of this place to forward to you memorials upon the cases of spoliation committed by the Belligerent Powers on their commerce: In consequence of which I have the honour to address you and to forward memorials with copies of documents accompanying, in the following cases

  • 1. Conway and Fore Whittle, Ship Eliza, John Evans Master1
  • 2. John Granbery, Sloop George Reynolds master2
  • 3. Donaldson Thorburn & Co, Ship Charles Carter Tompkins Master3
  • 4. James Dykes & Co. Schooner Iris Saml. Pearson Master4
  • 5. Edward Chamberlain Brig Nancy, John Christy Master5
  • 6. Alexander Leckie Brig Catherine, Jno. Seward Master6
  • 7. Moses Myers7 Ship Argus E. Chamberlain. Master8
  • 8. Moses Myers Schooner Adeline, Nathl. Strong Master9
  • 9. Richard Drummond. Schooner Favorite Fletcher Master10
  • 10. John Burke, Schooner Two Brothers, Canby Master11

I am directed to state that the originals in each case are lodged with me or will be subject to my order provided they are considered by you as requisite and if they should be so considered they will be forwarded whenever you direct them. There are I am informed sundry other cases but the owners either have not received Protests from the Masters, or have neglected to send them to me as I receive them I shall do my self the honour to transmit them to your department. I have the honour to be with consideration and respect Sir Your Obed Servant

Wm. Pennock

RC (DNA: RG 46, President’s Messages, 9A–E3); Tr (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 9A–D1). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Pennock.

1For the Eliza, owned by Conway and Fortescue Whittle, see Henry Hill Jr. to JM, 12 and 27 June 1805, PJM-SS, 9:462, 464 n. 4, 496.

2The sloop George, Captain Reynolds, was taken at Turks Island by the French privateer Resource under Captain Jeanett. An award of $7,663.51 was granted in recompense under the 1831 treaty with France (New-York Gazette & General Advertiser, 20 Aug. 1805; Williams, French Assault on American Shipping, 160).

3The Charles Carter, Capt. John Tomkins, was captured by the Puerto Rican privateer Maria, Capt. Anthony Lobo, recaptured off Bermuda by British merchant ships bearing letters of marque, and brought to England (Alexandria Daily Advertiser, 6 July 1805; New York Daily Advertiser, 29 Aug. 1805; Boston Independent Chronicle, 9 Sept. 1805).

4For the Iris, see Robert Patton to JM, 25 May 1805, Louis-Marie Turreau to JM, 2 June 1805, and JM to Patton, 13 June 1805, PJM-SS, 9:402 and n., 403 n. 1, 426, 466.

5For the Nancy, Christy, see Samuel Sterett to JM, 21 Apr. 1805, ibid., 271, 272 n. 7.

6For the Catherine, see Joseph Seaward to JM, 12 Sept. 1805, and n. 1.

7Moses Myers (1753–1835) arrived in Norfolk from New York in 1787. He flourished in Virginia and became one of Norfolk’s richest merchants. He was a board member of the Bank of Richmond, a militia officer, served as French and Spanish consul in Norfolk, and as president of the town council. His firm failed in the Panic of 1819. From 1828 to 1830 he was collector of customs (George Holbert Tucker, Norfolk Highlights, 1584–1881 [Norfolk, Va., 1972], 101; Jacob Rader Marcus, United States Jewry, 1776–1985 [4 vols.; Detroit, 1989–93], 1:143–44, 596; Senate Exec. Proceedings, 3:594, 4:63).

8The Argus, Captain Chamberlain, was seized along with several other ships coming out from Cádiz, which was blockaded. They were sent to the vice-admiralty court at Gibraltar, where it was expected all would be condemned (Boston Columbian Centinel, 18 Sept. 1805).

9When the Adeline, Captain Strong, was about to be brought to trial on 24 Sept. 1805 in the vice-admiralty court in Nassau, it was predicted that the cargo of two hundred and thirty boxes of white sugar would be condemned (New York Mercantile Advertiser, 14 Oct. 1805).

10The Favorite, Captain Fletcher, was captured by a British frigate while entering Curaçao and condemned by the vice-admiralty court at Jamaica (ibid., 9 Aug. 1805).

11The cargo of the Two Brothers, Captain Canby, was condemned by the vice-admiralty court at Jamaica, but the captain’s personal cargo was released (Philadelphia United States’ Gazette, 26 Aug. 1805).

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