Front Page Titles (by Subject) INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRIVATEERS. 1 d. of s. mss. INSTRUCTIONS. - The Writings, vol. 8 (1808-1819)
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRIVATEERS. 1 d. of s. mss. INSTRUCTIONS. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 8 (1808-1819) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 8.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRIVATEERS.1d. of s. mss.
To Capt: — Commander of the private armed — called the —:
For the private armed vessels of the U. States
1. The tenor of your Commission and of the act of Congs entitled “An act, &c. &c. a copy of which is hereto annexed, will be kept constantly in your view. By The high seas referred to in your Commission, you will understand generally, to extend to low water mark; But with the exception of the space within one league or three miles of the shore of countries at peace both with G. B. and with the U. S. you may, nevertheless execute your commission within that distance of the shore of a nation at war with G. B. and even on the waters within the jurisdiction of such nation, if permitted so to do.
2. You are to pay the strictest regard to the rights of neutral powers, & the usages of Civilized nations; and in all your proceedings towards neutral vessels, you are to give them as little molestation or interruption as will consist with the right of ascertaining their neutral character, and of detaining and bringing them in for regular adjudication in the proper cases. You are particularly to avoid even the appearance of using force or seduction with a view to deprive such vessels of their crews, or of their passengers, other than persons in the military service of the enemy.
3. Towards enemy vessels & their crews, you are to proceed, in exercising the rights of war, with all the justice & humanity which characterize the nation of which you are members.
4. The Master & one or more of the principal persons belonging to captured vessels, are to be sent, as soon after the capture as may be, to the Judge or Judges of the proper court in the U. S. to be examined upon oath, touching the interest or property of the captured vessel & her lading; and at the same time are to be delivered to the Judge or Judges, all passes, Charter-parties, bills of lading, invoices, letters & other documents & writings found on board; the s papers to be proved by the affidavit of the Commander of the capturing vessel or some other person present at the capture, to be produced as they were recd without fraud, addition, subduction or embezzlement.
[1 ]This is endorsed: Instructions for private armed vessels, drawn up by President Madison. It is in Madison’s hand and is among the War of 1812 MSS., Letters of Marque.