Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Innes, 3 March 1781

From James Innes

Williamsburgh. March 3d. 1781


I have obtained the favor of Major Turberville to wait upon your Excellency to request your opinion and advice on the Subject of the Detention of Lieut. Hare for having violated the flag of Truce he bore and of the seizure of the flag vessel for having on Board articles of merchandize intended for the purpose of carrying on illicit and clandestine commerce with the Citizens of this State. Major Turberville will inform you minutely of every Circumstance relative to this affair, and I have no Doubt but that your Excellency will give proper directions to enforce the Laws and protect the Dignity of this Commonwealth. I have the honor to be very respectfully yr Excellencys most obt Sevt.,

Jas: Innes

RC (Vi); addressed: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Richmond Major Turberville”; endorsed.

It is probable that the information communicated by Turberville led to the action taken by the Council on 5 Mch.: “Whereas it hath been represented, and there appears cause to suspect, that Mrs. Mary Byrd hath, during the present invasion, committed an offence coming within the meaning of the Act of Assembly entituled ‘An Act to revive and amend the Act for giving further powers to the Governor and Council’, The Governor is advised to issue a Commission of Oyer and Terminer, directed to the Judges of the General Court, authorizing them, or any three of them, to meet at the Court house in the town of Richmond, on Thursday the 15th of this instant (March) for the trial of the said Mrs. Byrd according to law” (Va. Council Jour. description begins Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia, ed. H. R. McIlwaine description ends , ii, 302–303). See Turberville to TJ, 15 Feb. and references there.

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