Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Pardon of James Medcalfe, 16 May 1804

Pardon of James Medcalfe

Washington, D.C., 16 May 1804. TJ issues a “full free and entire pardon” of James Medcalfe of Pennsylvania, mariner, who was convicted by a U.S. Circuit Court in Pennsylvania of a misdemeanor violation of an act of Congress entitled “An Act in addition to the act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States.” Medcalfe had been sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined $100, and was to stand committed until the fine and costs were paid.

FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, GPR).

Medcalfe had been found guilty of violating the Neutrality Act of 1794 for illegally outfitting the brig Friends for British service against Holland and France. In addition to Medcalfe’s imprisonment and fine, the court ordered the vessel sold at public auction (Dwight F. Henderson, Congress, Courts, and Criminals: The Development of Federal Criminal Law, 1801-1829 [Westport, Conn., 1985], 55-6; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855-56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:381-4; Relfs Philadelphia Gazette, 19 Jan. 1804; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 39 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 11 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 8 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 3 vols. description ends , 6:338).

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