Philip and Anthony Filicchi to the Governor of Leghorn
Leghorn [Italy] 21 Octr 1793.
We have the Honor to lay before Your Eccelency a Copy of the Certificate of the Oath taken in New York by every Individual of the Crew of the American Brig the Minerva (as well as the Extract of the Articles of Navigation, by which every Seaman who without leave of the Captain is absent from the Vessel for the space of 48 Hours loses every right to claim his Wages).1 Alexander Haterton Mariner having incurred this penalty has enter’d into His Britannic Majesty’s service on board of the Frigate the Meleager. Several days after an Officer of the said Frigate came to demand the Man’s Wages, declaring moreover that he would in this Port take away by force from the said Brig Minerva that navigates under the Colours of the United States of America, the Mate, & one, or two more Men whom he asserts to be born in England, not valuing that these People having been since naturalized Americans have volontarily given up the Privelege of being consider’d as Englishmen.2
Lest a violence of this kind should take place in spite of the Laws, We, to whom the Vessel is consign’d, have thought it our Duty to have recourse to the Protection of Your Eccelency, & the more so, as the Vessel would be disabl⟨ed⟩ to proceed in her intended Voyage, if the Threats of the English Officer were to be realiz’d, as there being no American Sailors to be found in Leghorn, the Captain would be oblig’d to take Foreigners, who would be liable to be taken away from him when at Sea, & lose thus both Vessel & Cargo. General Washington will be pleas’d to find that even without the assistance of an American Consul, notice has been taken of his Circular in which he requests protection for the American Colours.3 We remain with the greatest respect Your Eccellency’s Most humble & obt Servts
Philip & Anty Filicchi
Copy, DNA: RG 59, Consular Despatches, Leghorn.
1. These enclosures have not been identified.
2. When the Minerva sailed from Leghorn in November, its mate was Edward Smith (born c.1772). He was captured with the ship at that time and redeemed from Algiers in 1796 (see American Apollo [Boston], 6 Nov. 1794; Minerva, & Mercantile Evening Advertiser [New York], 3 Nov. 1796). The Meleager, which carried thirty-two guns, was launched in 1785 and wrecked in 1801.
3. The Filicchis evidently were referring to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson’s circular letter to Consuls and Vice-Consuls of 21 March 1793 (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 25:415–18).