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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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798. BELLIGERENTS, History of Rules.—
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798. BELLIGERENTS, History of Rules.—

At a cabinet meeting on account of
the British letter-of-marque ship Jane, said
to have put up waste boards, to have pierced
two port-holes, and mounted two cannon
(which she brought in) on new carriages
which she did not bring in, and consequently
having sixteen, instead of fourteen, guns
mounted, it was agreed that a letter-of-marque,
or vessel armé en guerre, and en
is not a privateer, and, therefore,
not to be ordered out of our ports. It
was agreed by Hamilton, Knox, and myself,
that the case of such a vessel does not depend
on the treaties, but on the law of nations.
Edmund Randolph thought, as she had a
mixed character of merchant vessel and privateer,
she might be considered under the
treaty; but this being overruled, the following
paper was written: Rules proposed by
Attorney General: 1. That all equipments
purely for the accommodation of vessels, as
merchantmen, be admitted. (Agreed.) 2d.
That all equipments, doubtful in their nature,
and applicable equally to commerce or war,
be admitted, as producing too many minutiæ.
(Agreed.) 3. That all equipments, solely
adapted to military objects, be prohibited.
(Agreed.) Rules proposed by the Secretary
of the Treasury: 1st. That the original arming
and equipping of vessels for military service,
offensive or defensive, in the ports of
the United States, be considered as prohibited
to all. (Agreed.) 2d. That vessels which
were armed before their coming into our
ports, shall not be permitted to augment these
equipments in the ports of the United States,
but may repair or replace any military equipments
which they had when they began their
voyage for the United States; that this, however,
shall be with the exception of privateers
of the parties opposed to France, who shall
not fit or repair (Negatived, the Secretary of
the Treasury only holding this opinion). 3d.
That for convenience, vessels armed and
commissioned before they come into our
ports, may engage their own citizens, not
being inhabitants of the United States.
(Agreed.) I subjoined the following: I concur
in the rules proposed by the AttorneyGeneral,
as far as respects materials or means
of annoyance furnished by us; and I should
be for an additional rule, that as to means
or materials brought into this country, and
belonging to themselves, they are free to use
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 161. Ford ed., i, 250.
(July. 1793)