Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from George Washington, with Jefferson’s Note, 14 May 1793

From George Washington, with Jefferson’s Note

Tuesday Noon May 14th: 1793.

The President of the United States requests that the Secretary of State will lay the enclosed letter before the Gentlemen who are to meet today—that it may be taken into consideration with the other matters which may be before them.

[Note by TJ:]
viz. a letter from T. Newton.

RC (DLC); in the hand of Tobias Lear; with note by TJ at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 14 May 1793. Recorded in SJPL. Enclosures: (1) Thomas Newton, Jr., and William Lindsay to Washington, Norfolk, 5 May 1793, stating that the schooners Sans Culotte, commanded by Mr. Ferey, and the Eagle, fitted out with four guns apiece in Charleston, were cruising off the capes as privateers under French commissions, damaging trade and violating the law of nations by stopping ships “within our territories”; that the Eagle was manned mostly by American and English seamen and had only one Frenchman on board; that one of the privateers belonged to Mr. Hooper of Cambridge, Maryland, who had taken Captain Tucker’s vessel as a prize to that place; that a fraud may be intended because the captors erased the prize’s name from its stern; and that Washington should refer to Tucker’s report for details (RC in DNA: RG 59, MLR, in Newton’s hand, signed by Newton and Lindsay; PrC of Tr in same, in a clerk’s hand; PrC of another Tr in DLC, in a clerk’s hand; Tr in Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). (2) Summary of the reports of Captain Lindsay of the schooner Greyhound and Captain Tucker of the schooner Eunice, n.d., the first reporting that on his arrival at Norfolk from Jamaica on 3 May he was hailed while less than half a mile from Cape Henry by the pilot boat Ranger commanded by Mr. Latimer, that a small schooner privateer was within hearing, and that he escaped capture by the subterfuge of claiming his was a Norfolk ship coming from St. Eustatius; the second reporting that after leaving New Providence the Eunice was captured on 29 Apr. 1793 by the Sans Culotte at 36° latitude in 27 fathoms of water, that the ship’s name was erased from the stern and Hooper was placed on board as prize master, that the ship was laid up in a Maryland creek while Hooper went to Philadelphia on business, leaving Major Ganset of New England as marine officer and lieutenant on the privateer in Hooper’s absence, that after staying in Hampton Road for two days both the privateer and its prize left on a cruise, that Hooper owned the Eagle, which was originally fitted in Cambridge and plied between Norfolk and Georgia and Charleston as a packet, and that in Tucker’s opinion the privateers intended to seize vessels in Chesapeake Bay (MS in DNA: RG 59, MLR, in Newton’s hand; PrC of Tr in DLC: TJ Papers, 87: 15003, 236: 42398, in a clerk’s hand; Tr in Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL).

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