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Marshall, John (1755-1835) to Rufus King

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05789 Author/Creator: Marshall, John (1755-1835) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 26 February 1801 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 25.4 x 20.7 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Marshall as Secretary of State to King as American Minister to Britain. Includes extract of a letter from Fitzsimmons to Secretary of Navy Benjamin Stoddert, to give King an idea of recent conduct of British Admiralty Courts in America. The extract is not included here. Claims that Sir Robert Liston, British Minister to the United States, is doing all he can "to check the piratical system" of seizures and impressment. Says Mr. Thornton, in the absence of the British charge d'affairs, hopes to limit the damages between Britain and the United States. Marshall wants to believe him, but is skeptical and says "The British courts of Vice Admiralty appear organized for the purpose of legalizing plunder." Says America needs assurances from Cabinet in London. Expresses anger that British are refusing American trade with Spanish colonies, but Marshall is unwilling to give instructions since Jefferson is about to be inaugurated. Says King should make "serious remonstrances" against British actions and await documents to back up claims. Encloses letter from Martha Washington to Sir John Sinclair that he hopes King will forward. That letter is not included.

Background Information:

People: Marshall, John, 1755-1835

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Global History and CivicsForeign AffairsNavyMilitary HistoryMaritimeImpressmentCommerceMerchants and TradeInaugurationDiplomacy

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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