James Madison Papers

From James Madison to John and William Wood, 17 December 1805 (Abstract)

To John and William Wood, 17 December 1805 (Abstract)

§ To John and William Wood. 17 December 1805, Department of State. “I have recd. your letter of the 2d. inst. [not found]. It may be necessary for you to forward to Genl. Armstrong our Minister in France the papers which substantiate the nature of the voyage, the ownership, capture & disposal of the Schooner Vigilant & Cargo: for if the case is such as you represent, the seizure was illegal.

“An abandonment of the Ship Enterprize to the British Captors would be by no means advisable; as such a step would diminish the force of a representation to the British Government, which may become necessary, if redress should fail to be received in the prize-Courts.”1

Letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 15). 1 p.

1The Enterprize was returning from Bordeaux when it was captured by the British and sent to Halifax for adjudication. John and William Wood were New York merchants whose partnership was dissolved in 1807 (Baltimore Weekly Price Current, 8 Nov. 1805; Boston Democrat, 5 Sept. 1804; New York American Citizen, 14 Apr. 1807).

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