Lot 165: ALS signed "S— H—," one page, 7.25 x 8.5, September 3, 1793. Letter to John Temple, the British consul-general to the United States, concerning the return of an English ship seized by an illegal French privateer. In full: "I am this day honore'd with your letter of the 29th Ulto. by Capt Robert Barry; & agreeably to your desire have restored to him the Brig. Nancy with all the Appurtenances & Cargo that were found on board at the time she was taken into Custody by Government." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet. In fine condition, with partial separations to intersecting folds repaired with tape to reverse.This letter alludes to the Citizen Genet Affair, in which the French ambassador Charles Genet began to issue privateering commissions to Americans, allowing them to seize British merchant ships and their cargo for personal profit under the approval and protection of the French government. This violated President George Washington's wish to remain neutral between all international parties, thus this letter—two privateers had captured the British brig 'Nancy' while en route to Philadelphia from Jamaica, and brought it to New London, Connecticut, to have it refitted. Huntington, as governor of the state, dispatched a party of militia to take the ship back so it could be returned to its rightful owner.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 467
Wednesday, 13th January 2016
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