Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MESSRS. COSTER, FRERES & CO. J. MSS. - The Works, vol. 7 (Correspondence 1792-1793)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO MESSRS. COSTER, FRERES & CO. J. MSS. - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 7 (Correspondence 1792-1793) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 7
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO MESSRS. COSTER, FRERES & CO.J. MSS.
Philadelphia May 21. 1793.
I have duly received and considered your favor of the 17th inst complaining that the French privateer, the Young Mary, commanded by Phil. Evernent, seized your vessel, the brig Revolution commanded by John H. Shackerly, carried her into Ostend, & there detained her some time, & praying an indemnification. As it is to be presumed the French privateer had orders to cruise on the enemies of France only, any violation committed on the vessel of a friend, as that complained of by you, would be out of her orders, & not imputable to her sovereign, it is the nature of a trespass, and states are not answerable for the unauthorized trespasses committed by their citizens. All that can be asked of them is to punish them. This we have a right to expect will be done on your prosecution of the matter. Nations however, in their treaties, take another measure to guard their citizens against the irregularities of privateers. They stipulate with each other that no commission shall be issued by either to a privateer without sufficient security taken to indemnify the sufferers by their irregularities. There is such a stipulation in our treaty with France, & we have no doubt that Capt Evernent has given security in the port from which he issued, to which you can resort for indemnification. It would only be in the case that no such security has been taken, or that justice shall be refused you in resorting to it, that the U. S. could make it a subject of national complaint; for my own, as well as your greater satisfaction, I have communicated your papers to the Attny. Genl. of the U S. who concurs with me in the above opinion. I am with great respect Gentlemen Your most obedt. humble servt.