Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Jay, 26 July 1779

From John Jay

Philadelphia 26th July 1779


I have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency sundry papers respecting the capture of a vessel of Portugal by a Captain Cunningham of the Privateer Phoenix the Property of Carter Braxton Esqr. and others.

Among these papers is a copy of an Act of Congress of the 21st. Inst., for the purpose of doing Justice to the Parties injured, and punishing the Aggressors, to both which Objects it calls your Excellency’s Attention.

I have the honor to be with great Respect & Esteem Your Excellency’s Most obedt: Servant.

FC (DLC: PCC, No. 14). Enclosures not found.

the capture of a vessel of Portugal: The snow, Nostra Senhora de Carmo è Santo Antonio, Capt. John Garcia Duarti (or Duarte) captured by the American privateer Phoenix, Capt. Joseph Cunningham, owned by Carter Braxton and others. Congress on 21 July declared this an act of piracy and requested TJ as governor to compel Braxton to pay damages to the master and owners of the Portuguese vessel. The case dragged on for many months. See JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , xiv, 838–42, 856–9; Edmund Randolph to TJ, 13 Nov.; TJ to Harrison, 23 Nov.; TJ to Huntington, 30 Dec. 1779.

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