August 20th 1796
Inclosed is the deposition of George G. Hussey, owner and Master of the Ship Eliza which was captured, near Cape Henry, by the British frigate Thetis—Cochrane Commander—and brought into Hampton roads, where they now are.
I have enclosed a copy of the deposition to mr Nelson the Attorney. I am Sir, your obedt Servant
Wm Lindsay Colr
Virginia to Wit:
To all persons to whom these presents shall come I John Nivison Notary Public for the District of Norfolk by lawful authority duly admitted and qualified do hereby certify and make known that Captain George G. Hussey, late master and owner of the Ship Eliza personally appeared before me and being duly Sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God deposed and Said, That he is a native of the State of Massachussetts and a citizen of the United States of America; that he took in a Cargo of salt at the Isle of May with which he was bound for Norfolk, the said Ship and Cargo being bona fide his property, that on the 16th of August when about three miles distant from Cape Henry several Guns were fired at him by the British frigate Thetis, He shortened sail, the frigate came up, he was hailed, when it was said on board the Frigate that a boat should be sent along side the Eliza; that a boat was accordingly sent when the deponent was desired to go to the Frigate with his papers. He did so. After Captain Cochrane had examined the papers, he observed that he found the deponent had bought her in Holland, that she had been a prize ship illegally taken, and that as Great Britain did not acknowledge the French Republic he should consider her a prize to him; that he accordingly ordered the crew from the Eliza to be brought to the Frigate and sent a crew with a prize Master on board the Eliza permitting the deponent to remain on board; that the said frigate Thetis and the Ship Eliza are now in Hampton Road. He having been thus deprived of his property.
George G. Hussey
Wherefore I the said Notary at the request of the Said Deponent did and do hereby solemnly protest against the said Captain Cochrane Commander of the British frigate the Thetis, his officers, the Crew and all others concerned in the Capture of the Said Ship Eliza, and also against those or the Government from which he the said Captain Cochran derives his Authority, for all the losses, Costs, damages and expences Suffered or to be suffered by the said George G. Hussey, owner of the Ship Eliza and her Cargo, by reason of the premisses. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and Seal of office this 18th of August 1796.
John Nivison Noty Pub.
DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.