James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Christopher Gore, 30 November 1805 (Abstract)

From Christopher Gore, 30 November 1805 (Abstract)

§ From Christopher Gore. 30 November 1805, Boston. “In making up the packet containing the Statement of the Ship Indus’s case, which I had the honour to transmit to you by post 27th: instant;1 the enclosed documents were omitted—viz Copy of the sentence of the Vice Admiralty Court at Halifax—copy of the Master’s protest—copy of a letter from James Stewart Esqr: proctor.”2

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 174, Great Britain, Treaty of 1794 [Art. VII], Papers Relative to the Commissioners, 1796–1804, vol. 4). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Gore. For enclosures, see n. 2.

1See Gore to JM, 18 and 26 Nov. 1805.

2The enclosures (11 pp.; certified as accurate by Boston notary public William Stevenson) are copies of (1) Jonathan Chapman’s 26 Nov. 1805 deposition that he owned one-eighth share of the Indus, its specie and bills, when it sailed from Boston in June 1804 as well as one-eighth share of the replacement vessel bought at Île de France when the first Indus was declared unseaworthy; that he and David Sears were the sole owners; that he had owned one-eighth share on five previous voyages to India and had always sold his share of the cargo in Boston; that he had no intention of sending the ship or cargo to Europe; that Sears had never mentioned sending the ship to Europe; and that the words “of Emden” that were to be added to the manifest at Boston were only intended to come into effect in case of a peace and that the ship would not have gone to Europe had the war continued; (2) the 4 Sept. 1805 protest at Halifax before notary James Stewart of Indus master David Myrick, mate Jacob S. Rayner, and carpenter Benjamin Brentnall that the Indus left Batavia for Boston on 26 Dec. 1804, encountered a violent storm on 15 Jan. 1805 that required it to put in at Île de France on 21 Feb. 1805, where the cargo, most of which was damaged, was unloaded and the ship condemned; that another ship was bought and laden with the undamaged cargo and a freight of tea, and had sailed for Boston on 20 May 1805; that it was stopped by John Poo Beresford of the Cambrian on 10 Aug. 1805; that a prize crew was placed aboard and the ship sent to Halifax on 24 Aug., arriving on 31 Aug.; (3) the 9 Oct. 1805 condemnation by Judge Alexander Croke of the Halifax vice-admiralty court of the ship and the part of the cargo belonging to Sears and Chapman; and (4) the 10 Oct. 1805 letter of James Stewart, who acted as advocate for Sears and Chapman, to David Sears stating that although the advocates for the captors had advanced several reasons for the ship to be declared good prize, the only ground Croke accepted was that of Sears’s instruction to supercargo Abishai Barnard to insert “and Embden” in the manifest upon arrival at Boston light house, which Croke interpreted as trading from an enemy colony to the mother country in contravention of the British “rule of ’56.” Stewart added that he confidently expected the condemnation to be overturned on appeal.

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