From Josef de Jaudenes and Josef Ignacio de Viar
Nueva York 23. de Octubre de 1793.
Mui Señor nuestro
Por la Copia Carta que acavamos de recivir de Willmington en la Carolina Septentrional, y que tenemos la honrra de incluir á V. S. en esta; se hallará V. S. informado de lo acaecido en aquel Puerto con un Bergantin Español apresado por el Corsario frances Le Vainqueur de la Bastille.
Este que es uno de los proscritos por la proclamacion del Presidente de los Estados Unidos, nos proporciona el reclamar contra el hecho; y pedir á consequencia que el Presidente de los Estados Unidos se sirva dar las correspondientes ordenes para que se devuelva inmediatamente el Barco, Carga, y el dinero arrestado los primeros por el consul frances, y lo ultimo por la Aduana de aquel Puerto; juntamente con los daños, y perjuicios que se estimase ha causado el acto ilegal del mencionado Corsario.
Todo lo qual se entregara al Señor Eduardo Jones Escudero, Procurador del Estado, á quien autorizamos con esta misma fecha para que obre á nombre nuestro en favor de los Interesados, y de la Nacion Española que tenemos la honrra de representar.
En el interin quedamos mui agradecidos al paso tan oportuno que tomó el oficial de la Aduana de apoderarse del Dinero que clandestinamente queria sin duda ocultar, ó salvar el Capitan de dicho Corsario.
Para este fin suplicamos a V. S. tenga á bien informar de todo al Presidente de los Estados Unidos, quien no dudamos se servirá expedir las ordenes que juzgase convenientes con la brevedad, y energia que requieren las circunstancias del hecho. Nos reiteramos á la obediencia de V. S. y rogamos á Dios gue su vida ms. as. B. 1. mo. de V. S. Sus mas recondos. y obedtes. Servs.
Josef de Jaudenes Josef Ignacio de Viar
New York 23 October 1793.
Our very dear Sir
From the copy of the letter which we have just received from Wilmington, North Carolina, and which we have the honor of enclosing herewith, you will be informed of what has happened in that port with a Spanish brig taken as a prize by the French privateer Le Vainqueur de la Bastille.
This ship, which is one of those proscribed by the proclamation of the President of the United States, provides our grounds for protesting against the deed; and for requesting, consequently, that the President of the United States be pleased to issue the appropriate orders for the immediate return of the ship, its cargo, and the money sequestered, the first two by the French consul, and the last by the customs in that port, together with the damages estimated to have been caused by the illegal act of the aforesaid privateer.
All of which is to be delivered to Mr. Edward Jones, Esquire, attorney general of the state, whom we authorize as of this date to act in our name in behalf of the interested parties, and of the Spanish nation, which we have the honor to represent.
In the meantime, we are very grateful for the timely measures taken by the customs officer in taking possession of the money which the captain of the said privateer no doubt wished to hide secretly.
To this end, we beg you to communicate everything to the President of the United States, who we do not doubt will be pleased to issue such orders as he may deem appropriate with the dispatch and vigor required by the circumstances of the event. We repeat that we are at your service, and we pray to God to preserve your life for many years. Respectfully yours, your most grateful and obedient servants
Josef De Jaudenes Josef Ignacio De Viar
RC (DNA: RG 59, NL); in Jaudenes’s hand, signed by Jaudenes and Viar; at foot of text: “Sor. Dn. Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 4 Nov. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (AHN: Papeles de Estado, legajo 3895 bis); attested by Jaudenes and Viar. Enclosure: H. Duplessis to Jaudenes and Viar, Wilmington, North Carolina, 6 Oct. 1793, stating that motives of humanity prompt him to inform them that five or six days ago the pretended French privateer Vainqueur de la Bastille, Captain Hervieux, brought into Cape Fear river as a prize a Spanish brigantine with gold and a reputedly very rich cargo bound from Cartagena to Cadiz; that while the privateer and the prize remained at the mouth of the river, a customs officer arrested Hervieux and seized a trunk containing 40,000 dollars from him after he went ashore from his skiff before declaring his prize; that the Vainqueur de la Bastille is one of the French ships armed at Charleston and thus proscribed by the President’s proclamation; that after having been lately arrested in Charleston by order of the governor of South Carolina and released through the intervention of the French consul, who gave him a safe-conduct pass to Cap-Français to obtain a commission from the commissaries there, Hervieux captured the Spanish ship on his way to Saint-Domingue and headed back to North Carolina; that the shameful failure of state officials to seize the privateer and the prize is the subject of daily conversations here; that he does not know the name of the prize or its captain, who is imprisoned on the privateer, reportedly in chains with his crew; that they should hire the talented North Carolina Solicitor General Edward Jones to obtain the return of the prize and its cargo, but meanwhile he will continue to provide them with all necessary information about the case; and that he believes that the customs collector is writing by this post to Alexander Hamilton about the case (Tr in same; in French; attested by Jaudenes and Viar).
Un bergantin español: for further information on the taking of the San Josef, a Spanish brigantine from Carthagena, by its true captor, the Aimée Marguerite, see TJ to Viar and Jaudenes, 10 Nov. 1793; and Jaudenes and Viar to TJ, 26 Dec. 1793 (second letter), and enclosures. proclamacion del Presidente: the Proclamation of Neutrality of 22 Apr. 1793 (Fitzpatrick, Writings description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, Washington, D.C., 1931–44, 39 vols. description ends , xxxii, 430–1).