James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to Benjamin Lincoln (Abstract), 30 May 1805

§ To Benjamin Lincoln

30 May 1805, Department of State. “I have lately received the protest [not found] of Capt. Mathew Rice of the Schooner Diana of Boston, detailing the circumstances of a murder and piracy committed on board of her, by the Officers and crew of a Boat under Spanish colours, in the streights of Gibraltar.1 To support the steps which may be proper upon this subject, it is necessary that all the facts tending to ascertain the Nation to which the boat belonged or to the discovery of the pirates should be furnished: and I therefore request you to examine the Captain of the Diana and transmit to me in the form of a deposition any such facts as he may know.”

Letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 14). 1 p.

1The Diana, Capt. Mathew Rice, was halted and boarded on 30 Mar. 1805 in the Strait of Gibraltar by a Spanish gunboat. A shot fired from the Spanish boat mortally wounded Charles Clapp, one of the Diana’s seamen. Several armed men from the Spanish boat came on board the Diana, threatened Captain Rice, and stole thirty dollars from his sea chest after which they released the ship (New London Connecticut Gazette, 15 May 1805).

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