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Adams, John (1735-1826) [Privateer's commission for "the Concord"]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02517.01 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Document signed Date: 12 December 1798 Pagination: 1 p. ; 40.3 x 32.2 cm.

Signed by John Adams as President and countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering. Allows Ebenezer Sage and Benjamin Williams to outfit a privateer, the "Concord," to attack French shipping under a Congressional law passed on July 9, 1798. The 8 gun, 20 man crew will be captained by William Vandeursin. Allows the Concord to capture French ships on the high seas as well as recapture American ships seized by France. The American government sanctioned these actions at a time of heightened tension with France known as the Quasi War. Large embossed paper Seal of the United States at bottom.

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 the 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 Concord-of the burthen of One Hundred & Eighty tons, or thereabouts, owned by Ebenezer Sage & Benjamin Williams
mounting eight carriage guns, and navigated by Twenty-men; hereby licensing and authorizing William Vandeursen-captain, and Samuel Smith & lieutenants of the said Ship Concord-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 vessel, with her apparel, guns and appurtenances, 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 any 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
Twelth day of December in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven
hundred and ninety eight and of the Independence of the said States, the twenty Third.

John Adams
By the President.
Timothy Pickering Secretary of State.

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