Thomas Jefferson Papers

Proclamation re Military Expeditions against Spain, 27 November 1806

27 Nov 1806






WHEREAS information has been received that sundry persons, citizens of the United States, or residents within the same are conspiring and confederating together to begin and set on foot, provide and prepare the means for a military expedition or enterprize against the dominions of Spain, that for this purpose, they are fitting out and arming vessels in the western waters of the United States, collecting provisions, arms, military stores, and other means, are deceiving and seducing honest and well meaning citizens, under various pretences, to engage in their criminal enterprizes, are organizing, officering and arming themselves for the same, contrary to the laws in such cases made and provided: I have therefore thought fit to issue this my PROCLAMATION, warning and enjoining all faithful citizens who have been led without due knowledge or consideration to participate in the said unlawful enterprizes, to withdraw from the same without delay; and commanding all persons whatsoever, engaged or concerned in the same, to cease all further proceedings therein, as they will answer the contrary at their peril; and incur prosecution with all the rigors of the law.—And I hereby enjoin and require all officers, civil and military, of the United States, or of any of the states or territories, and especially all governors, and other executive authorities, all judges, justices and other officers of the peace, all military officers of the army or navy of the United States, and officers of the militia, to be vigilant each within his respective department, and according to his functions, in searching out, and bringing to condign punishment, all persons engaged, or concerned in such enterprize, in seizing and detaining, subject to the dispositions of the law, all vessels, arms, military stores or other means provided or providing for the same, and in general in preventing the carrying on such expedition or enterprize, by all the lawful means within their power: and I require all good and faithful citizens, and others within the United States, to be aiding and assisting herein, and especially in the discovery, apprehension and bringing to justice of all such offenders, in preventing the execution of their unlawful designs, and in giving information against them to the proper authorities.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be affixed to these presents, and have signed the same with my hand. Given at the city of Washington on the twenty seventh day of November, one thousand eight hundred and six, and in the year of the sovereignty and independence of the United States the thirty-first.

(Signed,) Th: Jefferson.

By the President,

(Signed,) James Madison

Secretary of State.

Printed Source--National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.).

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