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Adams, John (1735-1826) [Commission for privateer "Active."]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00838 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Document signed Date: 8 January 1800 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 39.3 x 35.1 cm.

Summary of Content: Countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering. Partially printed document. John Adams, as president, gives permission to David Stewart, a Baltimore merchant, to use his ship "Active" as a privateer during the Quasi War with France. The ship has a crew of 20, is armed with 10 guns, and is captained by William Storey. Large embossed paper seal of the United States at the bottom. Docket on verso is illegible because of cardboard backing added at an unknown date.

Full Transcript: John Adams, President of the United States of America, To all who shall see these Presents, Greeting:
Know ye, That in pursuance of an Act of Congress of the United ...States in this case provided, passed on the ninth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, I have commissioned, and by these presents do commission the private armed Ship called the Active of the burthen of Two hundred and eight tons, or thereabouts, owned by David Stewart of Baltimore Merchant mounting Ten carriage guns, and navigated by Twenty men; hereby licensing and authorizing William Storey captain, and Joseph Newman Clark Eldred lieutenants of the said Ship and the other officers and crew thereof to subdue, seize and take any armed French vessel which shall be found within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or elsewhere on the high seas; and such captured vessels with her apparel, guns and appurtenance and the goods or effects which shall be found on board the same, together with all French persons and others, who shall be found acting on board, to bring within some port of the United States; and also to retake vessels goods and effects of the people of the United States, which may have been captured by any French armed vessel; in order that proceedings may be had concerning such capture or re-capture in due form of law, and as to right and justice shall appertain. This commission to continue in force during the pleasure of the President of the United States for the time being.

Given under my Hand and the Seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, the eight day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand [struck: seven] [inserted: eight] hundred [struck: and ninety] and of the Independence of the said States, the twenty fourth.
John Adams
By the President,
Timothy Pickering
Secretary of State.
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People: Adams, John, 1735-1826
Pickering, Timothy, 1745-1829

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: NavyPrivateeringPresidentQuasi-warMaritimeFranceMilitary HistoryPresidentGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era:

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