James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Kane, 7 December 1813 (Abstract)

From Thomas Kane, 7 December 1813 (Abstract)

§ From Thomas Kane. 7 December 1813, Philadelphia. “I your petitioner humbly sheweth. That your petitioner has served in the service of the U.S. and that he was discharged therefrom in July last, and that he has always been accostomed and well acquainted with the Land service. And moreover your petitioner, not being a citizen of the U. S. and thereby subject to death if Taken by the enemy, which would have been his fate in march last at the Iland of Jamaca, had not he providentially escaped through a mistake of the British Agent. Your petitioner also sheweth that some time in October, being in a frolic, entered to serve on board the U S. sloop of war Peacock lying in New York. Therfore your petitioner humbly prayeth that in consequence of his ignorence of the Sea Service, and his knowledge of the Land Service, together with, the certainty of his loosing his life if taken by the enemy, he may be permitted to serve his time out in the Land instead of the Sea Service.”1

RC (DNA: RG 45, Misc. Letters Received). 1 p. Signed by Kane with an X. Cover bears William Jones’s note: “Say to Capt Warrington tha⟨t⟩ if the facts are as stated he will deliver Thos Kane over to the Marshal of the District as an Alian Enemy.”

1Kane was discharged from the Sea Fencibles in New York on 15 Nov. 1814 (DNA: RG 94, Registers of Enlistments, 1798–1815, 14:164). The Sea Fencibles, a force formed by a 26 July 1813 act of Congress to defend U.S. coastal cities, consisted of boatswains, gunners, and seamen who received navy pay and rations, and officers who held army rank (U.S. Statutes at Large, description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends 3:47–48).

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