James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Peder Blicherolsen, 9 February 1803 (Abstract)

§ From Peder Blicherolsen

9 February 1803, Washington. Presents the claim of several Danish subjects and citizens of Hamburg, owners of the brig Hendrick of Altona, which was captured by a French cruiser, recaptured by a U.S. warship, carried into the British island of St. Kitts, “and there adjudged to pay an astonishing salvage,” as detailed in the enclosed letter from Richard Söderström, attorney for the claimants, and in the annexed documents 1 to 9.1 Has been assured that “all Vessels captured and recaptured” by U.S. warships were ordered sent to the U.S. for trial. “Whence it follows, that, in addition to the odium and guilt of a proceeding equally proscribed and branded by the general law of Nations and by the private dictates of the Feelings of every honest and virtuous individual—this present case … was a manifest infraction of an existing particular law, committed by Officers of this Government.” Applies to the U.S. for restitution. Trusts that the “candor and justice” of the U.S. will cause the case to receive a prompt and favorable decision, such as would be rendered to U.S. citizens should similar abuse be committed by Danish officers.

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