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Papers relative to Neutral Powers.


Philadelphia, June 15.

Proteft from Captain George Dominick and the first and fecond Officers of the Ship Mount Vernon, lately captured by the Flying Fish French Privateer.


Y this public inftrument of proteft, be it made known and manifeft, that on this day, the 11th of June, in the year of our Lord 1796, before me, Clement Biddle, notary public of the commonwealth of Pennfylvania, duly commiffioned and by law authorised to adminifter oaths, dwelling in the city of Philadelphia, perfonally came and appeared Captain G. Dominick, commander of the fhip Mount Vernon, of Philadelphia, of the burden of 425 tons, or thereabouts, and being duly fworn according to law, on his folemn oath depofes and fays, that the faid fhip, under his command, left the city of Philadelphia on the 2d day of this prefent month, bound to Cowes in Great Britain, and a market; that on the 4th day of this fame month, the appearer got under weigh with his fhip at Newcastle, and proceeded on his voyage down the river and bay of Delaware, and on the 9th instant, about fix o'clock in the morning, he difcharged his pilot, and in about two hours after, with a light wind from the fouth-fouth-eaft, Cape Helopen bearing west, diftance about fix leagues, and the light-house then in fight, about eight o'clock in the morning, they difcovered a schooner about one league a-head, and to windward, which bore down. on them, and fired gun, and ordered the fhip to fend their hoat on board the fchooner, which this appearer immediately complied with, fupputing there was nothing wanting but to fee his papers, which he knew to be perfectly clear; and supposing he had nothing to apprehend from the fchooner, therefore fent his fecond officer and four hands in his boat on board her, to know their demands, but they detained his officer and the boat's crew, and fent the boat back to the fhip with fourteen armed men, with orders to take him on board the schooner, with the fhip's papers; they declared that the fhip was loaded with naval ftores, and this appearer knowing that their fufpicions were groundless,


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and confident that he could convince them of their error, went on board the schooner with the fhip's papers, but as foon as he got on board the fchooner, which proved to be the Flying Fish, a French republican privateer, which had a few days before failed from Philadelphia, the master's name not made known to this appearer, but a perfon on board, who declared himself to be owner, was named Paris, and gave his addrefs to this appearer, as refiding at No. 399, in Front-ftreet North, in this city of Philadelphia; they took his papers, which they kept, and without examining them, declared the fhip to be a good prize that this appearer expoftulated with them on the impropriety of fuch conduct towards American fhips and the property of their citizens, but all the answer he could obtain in return was, that they had good information from feveral refpectable houses in Philadelphia, one in particular, which they faid was one of the first American houfes there, that the thip had naval ftores on board, and they would not at first be convinced of the contrary; at length he prevailed on them to examine his manifeft, port clearance, and regifter, and they finding no fuch naval ftores on board, they did not then feem to doubt but that the was loaded, as the actually was, with the articles mentioned in her manifeft, which are coffee, rum, fugar, flaves, fuftic, and logwood; the only plea they then made was, that fince our treaty with Great Britain they had orders, and were determined, to take every American veffel bound to or from any Englith port, even on fufpicion of their going to them; they forced all the paffengers, officers, and crew of the thip (except a French cook and Spanish feaman belonging to her, and who appeared to be, difpofed to remain) from on board the hip into the privateer fchooner, which mounts fix nine pounds cannon, with mufkets, and feventyfive men; Paris, the owner, faid that he had a list of ships that he had information of, and those which had already failed he was determined to take; their names were as follow-the faid fhip Mount Vernon, the Atlantic, the William Penn, the Philadelphia, the Dominick Terry (the laft with flour for Jamaica), and fome others, which he would not mention; that having forced the whole of the paffengers and crew (except the Spanish seaman and French cook) out of the thip, without even fuffering them. to take all their baggage, and having taken full poffeffion of the fhip and cargo, the privateer ftood into Cape Henlopen Road, and fent them all on board a pilot boat; and this appearer arrived at this port of Philadelphia about noon this day, and now defires to protest, requiring an act of me the faid notary, to avail him when and where needful and neceffary, referving to himself to extend this proteft more amply, and to fupport the fame by his officers and crew, on their oaths, as may be requifite. (Signed in the original) GEO. G. DOMINICK.

VOL. V..

I i


Whereupon I, the faid notary, have protefted, and, by these prefents do folemnly proteft, as well against the said privateer fchooner Flying Fish, her owners, officers, and crew, as against the French Republic, and all whom it shall, doth, or may concern, for the capture and detention of the faid fhip Mount Vernon and cargo, that all loffes, cofts, charges, breaches of charter-party, or bills of loading, may be fubmitted unto, fuffered and borne, by thofe to whom of right it may belong. Thus done and protefted.-Quod manu et figillo Notarii atteftor. (L. S.) CLEMENT BIDDLE, Not. Pub. And on the thirteenth day of the fame month of June, 1796, before me the faid notary, came Robert Robertfon, chief mate of the fhip Mount Vernon, and being duly fworn according to law, on their folemn oaths depofe and fay, that the facts herein in the foregoing or annexed protest set forth are just and true; and the faid Robert Robertfon, on his oath further deposes and fays, that while on board of faid fchooner privateer Flying Fish,

Paris, the owner of the privateer, endeavoured to perfuade him to remain on board, and offered to make him prize-master of the first American veffel they should take, and other gratifications were offered him by officers of the faid privateer to induce him to remain, which he refused to accept or comply with with contempt.

(Signed in original)


Sworn as above before me,

(L. S.)


From the LONDON GAZETTE, August 13, 1796.

Downing-freet, Aug. 13.

AN explanatory article to the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between his Majefty and the United States of America, was concluded and figned at Philadelphia on the 4th day of May laft by Phineas Bond, Efq. on the part of his Majefty, and by Timothy Pickering, Efq. on the part of the United States; and the fame has been duly ratified by the two contracting parties..


Letter from the American Ambaffador to the Court of London, Mr. King, to the American Conful, Mr. Johnson.



Baker-ftreet, Sept. 10.

HAVE just received a letter from Mr. Monroe, dated Paris, Aug. 28, in which he informs me, that in confequence of the publication in the gazettes, of the letter from the minister of foreign affairs to M. Barthelemi, the ainbaffador at Bafle, he had applied for information, whether orders were iffued for the feizure of neutral veffels, and had been informed that no "fuch order was iffued;" and further, "that none fuch would be "iffued, in cafe the British government did not authorife the "feizure of our veffels."

Suppofing that this information might be useful to thofe concerned in our commerce, I have not delayed communicating it to you, and wifh you to be fo obliging as to let it be known to fuch of our countrymen concerned in commerce as you may meet with.

I am, &c.

Fofhua Johnfon, Efq. Conful to the U. S. A.




Friends and Fellow Citizens,

THE period for a new election of a citizen to adminifter the

executive government of the United States being not far diftant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in defignating the person who is to be clothed with that important truft, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more diftinct expreffion of the public voice, that I fhould now apprife you of the refolution I have formed to decline being confidered among the number of thofe out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the fame time, to do me the juftice to be affured, that this refolution has not been taken without a ftrict regard to all the confiderations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country, and that, in withdrawing the tender of fervice, which filence in my fituation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future intereft; no

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deficiency of grateful refpect for your paft kindness; but am fupported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in the office to which your fuffrages have twice called me, have been a uniform facrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your defire. I conftantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, confiftently with motives which I was not at liberty to difregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The ftrength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an addrefs to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical pofture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of perfons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

1 rejoice that the ftate of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the fentiment of duty or propriety; and am perfuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my fervices, that in the prefent circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impreffions with which I first undertook the arduous truft were explained on the proper occafion. In the difcharge of this truft I will only fay, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards, the organization and adminiftration of the government, the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outfet of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps ftill more in the eyes of others, has ftrengthened the motives to diffidence of myfelf; and every day the increafing weight of years admonithes me more and more that the fhade of retirement is as neceffary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my fervices, they were temporary; I have the confolation to believe, that while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotifan does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment, which is intended to termipate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to fufpend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country, for the many honours it has conferred upon me: ftill more for the stedfaft confidence with which it has fupported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by fervices faithful and perfevering, though in ufefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have refulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praife, and as an inftructive example in our annals, that under circumftances in which the paffions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst


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