Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from the Board of Trade, with Reply, [17 March 1780]–18 March 1780

From the Board of Trade, with Reply

[17 March 1780]

It appears from an Act of the last Session of Assembly that the Executive are empowered to make Sale of sundry State Vessells therein mentioned with this proviso that they shall have power also to retain for the State such of the said Vessels as can consistently with the Public Interest be employed in the Commercial concerns of this Commonwealth.

The Commissioners of Trade beg leave to inform His Excellency and the Honble Council that we are unable to procure a sufficient number of Craft to transport the Tobaccoes formerly engaged by the Executive to be delivered in York River to Mr. Defrancey in proper time and that the State must unavoidably incur an enormous expence by the delay of said Tobaccoes unless We can be assisted immediately with the Ship Dragon or Tartar.

March 18th 1780. In Council

The Ship Tartar is transferred to the Board of Trade.

Th: Jefferson

Tr in Board of Trade Journal (Vi).

An act of the last session of assembly: “An Act to regulate the Navy of this commonwealth” (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends x, 217). See further, TJ to Board of Trade and Council Order respecting State Naval Vessels, both dated 25 Mch. 1780. Immediately on receiving approval of transfer of the Tartar, the Board of Trade “appointed Capt. Will. Saunders Commander thereof,” and directed the agent to furnish Captain Saunders with orders for receiving as much tobacco as the vessel would carry, together with such “Money and other Necessaries as are immediately essential for said Ship” (Board of Trade Journal, 18 Mch. 1780).

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