Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 6

"You will inform Captain Parker of the Phoenix that it has been the constant practice throughout the United states to suffer British seamen taken in the merchant service to depart at their pleasure, and consequently there can no just demand be made on us from the British Navy for a return of such persons in lieu of what they have heretofore discharged, because if that Account was to be fairly settled and a List made out of what we and what they have discharged without Account the Ballance would be very considerably in our favour, and still much greater were we to include the vast number of Passengers and other British subjects not seamen heretofore discharged without account; but the practice of exchanging Officer for Officer of equal Rank, and Sailor for Sailor of those taken in Ships of war will be continued."

--The Marine Committee of the Honorable the Continental Congress to James Nicholson, 6 November 1777
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