Letter of Marque
About Confederate States of America 1861. This is a composite of three documents written by Jefferson Davis and his Congress. There were 99 Letters of marque issued by The confederate States of America.
Below is the text of Confederate States of America 1861.
Letter of Marque and Reprisal
Now, therefore. I, Jefferson Davis. President of the Confederate States of America,
Invite Jeffery Lemma to service in a private armed vessel on the high seas, to aid this government in resisting so wanton and wicked an aggression, to make application for commissions or letters of marque and reprisal, to be issued under the seal of these Confederate States; it is with the authority of the Congress of the Confederate States of America that I do enact as President of the Confederate States and hereby authorized to use the whole land and naval force of the Confederate States to meet the war thus commenced, and to issue to private vessels commissions or letters of marque and general reprisal, It is with this authority in such form as I shall think proper, under the seal of the Confederate States, against the vessels, goods, and effects of the United States, and of the citizens or inhabitants of those States and territories thereof; that property of the enemy shall be subject to seizure. And I do further notify Captain Lemma applying for these Letters of Marque to make a statement in writing, giving the name and suitable description of the character, tonnage, and force of the (2. Vessel Name)Rascal , name of the place of residence of each owner concerned therein and the intended number of crew, and to sign each statement, and deliver the same to the Secretary of State or Collector of the Port of Entry of these Confederate States, to be by him transmitted to the Secretary of State, with the condition that the owners, officers, and crew who shall be employed on board such commissioned vessel, shall observe the laws of these Confederate States, and the instructions given them for the regulation of their conduct, and shall satisfy all damages done contrary to the tenor thereof by this vessel during her commission, and deliver up the same when revoked by the President of the Confederate States, And I do further specially enjoin on all persons holding offices, civil and military, under the authority of the Confederate States, that they be vigilant and zealous in the discharge of the duties incident thereto.
And that before breaking bulk of any vessel which shall be captured as aforesaid, or disposal or conversion thereof, or of any articles which shall be found on board the same, such captured vessel, goods, or effects, shall be brought into some port of the Confederate States, or of a nation or State in amity with the Confederate States, and shall be proceeded against before a competent tribunal; and after condemnation and forfeiture thereof, shall belong to the owners, officers, and crew of the vessel capturing the same, and be distributed as before provided; and in the case of all captured vessels, goods, and effects which shall be brought within the jurisdiction of the Confederate States, the district courts of the Confederate States shall have exclusive original cognizance thereof, as the civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; and the said courts, or the courts being courts of the Confederate States into which such cases shall he removed, in which they shall be finally decided, shall and may decree restitution in whole or part, when the capture shall have been made without just cause. And, if made without probable cause, may order and decree damages and costs to the party injured, for which the owners and commanders of the vessels making such captures, and also the vessels, shall be liable.
Sign and sealed before me on the Seventeenth day of April , in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty one.