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stop to the practice of the English, who send shoals of American vessels from their ports, whose owners never saw America, and whose papers are manufactured in London.
"Ten vessels, suspected of having been expedited in this way from London, lately arrived in the river Charante, as coming from Norway, and were admitted by the custom house. I sent an agent over to Charante, to examine into the state of these vessels, whose report confirmed my suspicions. I immediately wrote general Armstrong on the subject, but fearing delays might be injurious, I sat out for la Rochelle, and on my arrival at Blaize, learnt that some of the crews of these vessels had betrayed their captains, and that the whole of them were seized by this government, and the crews imprisoned."
"It is proper to state to you, sir, that our vessels' papers, with all their private marks, are so completely copied in London, that it is almost impossible to detect them."
Copy of a Letter from Richard S. Hackley, Consul of the United States at St. Lucar. Cadiz, 23d of March, 1809, to the Secretary of State.
SIR,-Your department has no doubt been informed that the practice prevails in London of forging all kinds of papers that appertain to shipping of the United States, to which may be added passports from the department of state, certificates of naturalization, &c. &c. some of which are well executed, so much so, that the fraud very generally passes without being detected. By this means, a considerable trade has been carried on last year under our flag by British shipping, particularly to Russia and South America, and British subjects have passed wherever their business called them. Protected by these papers, our countrymen have but in too many instances found similar frauds answer their own purposes under the state of things as they now are, and have, for some time been in Europe.
The name of the person in London who is the great dealer in this species of speculation, is Van Saunders, and
with this note, I cover you a sample of his execution in a set of papers received from an American citizen here, from whom I demanded them upon being informed that he had them. To you the propriety will occur of taking some immediate step to correct this evil, which from its increasing practice, is becoming of serious importance in many points of view.
With much respect, &c.
RICHARD S. HACKLEY.
Papers enclosed in the first.
Note. The original never received at the department of state.
Statement of the Collector of Boston, respecting Ship Arno.
THE ship Arno, of Duxbury, burden 197 7-95, owned by Jacob Weston, of Duxbury, in the district of Ply. mouth, state of Massachusetts, and William Kempton, and John Perry, of Boston, state aforesaid, William Kempton, master, cleared from the district of Boston and Charlestown, on the 17th day of June, 1809, for Bremen, loaded with eight hundred and four barrels pearl ashes, weighing 3,350 cwt. and three hundred and forty-nine barrels of pot ashes, weighing 1,219 cwt. being the whole of her cargo. A bond was taken, that the said vessel should not proceed to a port in France or its dependencies, in the penalty of 80,000 dollars. A certificate has been returned of the landing of the cargo aforesaid, at London, signed by Samuel Williams, merchant, and William Lyman, consul at London. Her register was granted at Plymouth, on the 17th day of May, 1809, No. 27; and she had from this office a Mediterranean pass, dated 17th June, 1809, No. 87, and all other papers requisite.
The ship Arno is now in this port, and Kempton, her late master.
Extract from a Letter of Levett Harris, Consul of the United States, at St. Petersburg, to Mr. Smith. St. Petersburg, 13-25th Oct. 1809.
"I TRANSMIT you herewith, the papers of a vessel called the Georgia, of New York, arrived at Archangel, of New York, the register whereof, proving false, all the other papers I judge alike to be the same, and she has, therefore, been condemned by this government. Another vessel called the Intercourse has shared the same fate; but the ministry have not yet sent me the papers."
Extracts of a Letter from John M. Forbes, Consul of the United States at Hamburg. Tonningen, November 7,
"I HAVE lately met with a circumstance which has embarrassed me much. The ship" Arno," captain Kempton, of Boston, known to have left that port on the 18th (7th) of June, with a cargo of pot and pearl ashes, lately arrived here with a cargo of gum." "I herewith enclose the sea letter which captain Kempton confessed to me he knew to have been forged, and which he said he had reason to believe was executed by one Van Sander, a Jew near White-hall, in London, who is known in the traffick of false American documents. I also enclose the original letter of instructions of Messrs. Stephen Higginson and company, owners of the cargo."
Boston, Aug. 21, 1809.
DEAR SIR,-You being master of the ship Arno, loaded by us, and now ready for sea, we have to request that you will proceed to the port of Tonningen as soon as possible, where you will inquire for the agents of Messrs. Parish and Co. of Hamburg, to whom your cargo is consigned. 46
You will of course receive instructions from those gentlemen how to proceed as to landing your cargo, &c. and you will please follow them. It is important to yourself as well as us, that you do nothing to violate the laws of any of the belligerents, in which case you will not be likely to meet with any interruption in your voyage.
Wishing you a pleasant passage and safe return, we are, sir, &c.
STEPHEN HIGGINSON & CO.
Captain William Kempton.
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Kirkpatrick, Consul of the United States at Malaga, to Mr. Smith, Secretary of State. November 25, 1809.
"A FEW days ago the brig Uforsight, Christian Bodon, master, arrived here from Poole, with a cargo of bale goods and fish. Although her papers appear to be in perfect order, some doubts exist in my mind of their legality. I have consulted with some citizens of the United States actually here, and they agree with me in opinion, that the signatures of the President, yours, collector of New York, and of Joseph Nourse, are so well done that it is impossible to discover any difference. Under this impression I have determined to pass you a note of the ship's papers, that if they are really false, you may take such measures as you consider proper for having them seized on by the consuls in Europe where the vessel may be found."
Note-The ship's papers alluded to are found to have been forged.
Report of the Secretary of the Treasury. Treasury Department, Feb. 16, 1810.
SIR, I have the honour to enclose a statement transmitted by the collector of Boston, in relation to the ship Arno, which entered Tonningen with a forged sea letter. Exclusively of the cases respecting forged marine papers which have from time to time been communicated by
the department of state, one only has come to the knowledge of the treasury, the particulars of which are explained by the enclosed letter from the collector of New York, and the papers accompanying the same. I have the honour to be, &c.
ALBERT GALLATIN. The President of the United States.
Extract of a Letter from the Collector of New York to the Secretary of the Treasury. Feb. 22, 1808.
"I HAVE just received copies of the clearances of the four following ships, with copies of certificates of origin, from Mr. Heineken, at Philadelphia, as clearing from this port to Amsterdam, the whole of which are most certainly forgeries.
Ann and Hope, 16th April last, with 411 hhds. sugar.
And 142 boxes oil.
"It does not appear that either of the three first mentioned ships were ever in this port.
"The Jane, Captain Gardiner, cleared the 21st March. last for Liverpool, genuine copy of clearance enclosed ;* copies of those sent me by Mr. Heineken relating to the Jane, are enclosed; the others being of the same tenour, I do not send.
"As the Jane went out with the cargo, as mentioned, the sugars were undoubtedly taken in at Liverpool. Where the papers were forged is left to conjecture."
Philadelphia, Feb. 19, 1808.
SIR,-Having received, in my late communications from Holland, several clearances (to the amount of fourteen) concerning vessels detained there, under suspicions of being last from England, I hereby enclose a copy for your
* Marked A.
+ Marked B.