Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Joseph Nourse, 10 May 1793

From Joseph Nourse

Treasury Department, Register’s Office, May 10, 1793. Encloses “a Certified Copy of a Letter received from Stephen Hussuy Collr. of the District of Nantucket.…1 Enclosing 2 Ship Registers issued from that Port in the year 1791.”

LS, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.

1Hussey’s letter, dated April 23, 1793, is addressed to Nourse and reads in part as follows: “Inclosed is the registers of the Ships Beaver & Washington given up at this Office to be cancelled, both rendered useless by reason of a written Declaration in Spanish on the Back of the same. Capt. [Paul] Worth of the Ship Beaver being in Latitude 13 So. on the coast of Peru and about 12 Leagues from the Land, fell in with a Spanish Frigate named the Hare. Capt. Worth was ordered on Board the said Frigate, and to take with him his Papers and Log Book, when on Board the Capt. of the Frigate asked him if he had any Passport, being told he had not, the Captain of the Frigate then said to Capt. Worth, if he had no Passport from the Spanish King he had no right to navigate in their seas. The Capt. of the Frigate then wrote in Spanish on the Back of the Ship Beavers Register, authorizing all other vessels, that shou’d first meet said Ship to sieze her and then sent an Officer in his Boat on Board the Beaver to serch the Ship. Finding she was not on that Coast upon a Fishing Voyage, the spanish Capt. said he woud let the Beaver go, but, at the same time advised Capt. Worth to leave that Coast immediately, for the Ship woud be seizd and made a Prize by the next armd Spanish Vessel that shoud find her.… It appears from the Circumstances abovementioned, that the Whale Fishery in the Southern Ocean must be lost to American Vessels unless some Credentials can be obtaind sufficient to protect them against Insults and Injuries from Spanish armed Vessels. It is the Wish of many Persons concernd in the Whale Fishery to be informd by the Secretary, whether any further Aid can be obtaind for the Use of American vessels to be Employd in the Southern Ocean on the Whale Fishery …” (copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress).

Copies of the registers are also in the Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress.

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