Conversation with George Hammond1
[Philadelphia, October 24, 1793–February 22, 1794]2
As I imagined it probable that from the circumstance of a part of the proscribed privateers3 having been either captured by his Majesty’s cruizers or disarmed by order of this government, occasion might be taken to detract from the urgency of attending to my remonstrances I deemed it incumbent upon me to specify particularly the proscribed privateers which were at that time either within the American ports or cruizing in the adjacent seas. In this number is the privateer le Citoyen Genet which, though as I informed your Lordship in my dispatch No. 194 on the authority of Mr. Hamilton, she had been allowed to return to this port under the express condition of being dismantled, has since recommenced her depredations. Upon my requesting from Mr. Hamilton some explanation of this circumstance he acquainted me that the fact was at the time precisely as he had stated it to me, but that the commander of this privateer, profiting of the confusion created by the sickness at Philadelphia had broken the stipulation into which he had entered, and sailed from the port in the intention of proceeding to Martinique which island according to some late accounts it appears that she has since reached in safety.
Transcript, PRO: F.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Record Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Series 5, Vol. 4.
1. This conversation is taken from Hammond to Lord Grenville, February 22, 1794, Dispatch No. 2.
2. Although no date is given for this conversation, it must have occurred between October 24 1793, the day after H’s return to Philadelphia (see H to Washington, October 24, 1793), and February 22, 1794, the date on which it was reported to Grenville.
3. This is a reference to the privateers armed in the United States which had been ordered out of American ports by the United States Government. See “Cabinet Meeting. Opinion Respecting Certain French Vessels and Their Prizes,” August 5, 1793, note 4.
4. Hammond’s Dispatch No. 19 is dated September 17, 1793. The part of that dispatch to which he is referring reads as follows: “… le Citoyen Genet having followed a prize, which she had sent into Philadelphia, was ordered instantly to depart, but not being in a condition to return to sea, was allowed to enter this port on the express stipulation of her being dismantled, which has been complied with …” (D, PRO: F.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Record Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Series 5, Vol. 1).