George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 2 September 1796

Department of State Septr 2d 1796

The Secretary of State respectfully lays before the President of the United States,, the draught of a letter to lieutenant governor Wood of Virginia, concerning the ship Eliza, Captain Hussey, captured by the Thetis British frigate, and carried into Hampton–road. It was intended to send the letter by this day’s post: but the absence of the Clerk who had locked up the inclosed papers, prevented a timely submission of the whole to the President.

It appears to be an established rule in the British Courts, that a capture, without a sentence of condemnation, in due form of law, does not change the property so as to entitle a purchaser to hold the captured vessel against the original owner, or a recapture.

T. Pickering

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.


Richmond 23d August 1796.


The Originals of which the enclosed are Copies, were received by the Executive this day. I have the honor to be with great respect Sir Yr mo. Obt Servt

James Wood.

Norfolk, Collector’s Office

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