James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Obed and Aaron Mitchell, 4 March 1802 (Abstract)

§ From Obed and Aaron Mitchell

4 March 1802, Nantucket. “We the Subscribers being owners of the ship Minerva Sailed from this place on a whaling voyage to the Brazils & Woolwick [Walvis] Bay in 7th Mo 1799, upon her return with a full load of oil … the 5th of 10th Mo 1800 was captured by a French Privateer of 12 Guns.” The vessel was ordered to Guadeloupe, but on 14 Oct. it was retaken by the British ship Gaite and “ordered for the Port Saint Johns [St. John, Antigua] arrived there the 17th. of the same.” On 1 Nov. a British vice-admiralty court condemned the Minerva. “And seeing she was taken by the French after the Treaty was signed in France we think it not improbable that our demand may be good upon the French.” Requests JM’s advice on how to proceed.1

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