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Reference An area for the staff to park copies of really useful bits of research by various members. PM nominations (with the url from the specific post - click the post number to get it -) to one of the staff.

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Old October 15th, 2014, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Magnus von Thornwood View Post
Hell yeah, Letters of Marque and Reprisal! So, Timerover51, do you perchance have any legible versions? I ask because most of the ones I have found online are just photos and difficult to decipher. Either way, hoping you spead a bit more time and effort on this topic as it is near and dear to my heart. But it is your thread so do what thou will.
I am working on the Letters of Marque, and I think my best bet for a legible copy will be either in the US Revolutionary War documents, the US War of 1812 documents, or the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. Right now, would the following be sufficient for your purposes as a starter. It is the Bond document for a Confederate Letter of Marque.


Know all men by these presents, that we _______(1)_________ are bound to the Confederate States of America in the full sum of _____(2)______ thousand dollars, to the payment whereof well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, and administrators, jointly and severally by these presents.

The condition of this obligation is such that whereas application has been made to the said Confederate States of America for the grant of a commission or letter of marque, and general reprisals, authorizing the ________(3)_____ or vessel called the ______________________ to act as a private armed vessel in the service of the Confederate States, on the high seas, against the United States of America, its ships and vessels, and those of its citizens, during the pendency of the war now existing between the said Confederate States and the said United States.

(1) This blank must be filled with the name of the commander for the time being, and the owner or owners, and at least two responsible sureties not interested in the vessel.
(2) This blank must be filled with a "five," if the vessel be provided only with 150 men or a less number; if with more than that number, the blank must be filled with a "ten."
(3) This blank must be filled with the character of the vessel, "ship”, "brig”, "schooner”, “steamer", etc.
I have transcribed the legislation by the Confederate Congress providing for Letters of Marque and the conditions under which they were to operate, along with the instructions from Jefferson Davis as to conduct. It is 7 pages, so a bit long to post here. If you are interested, I can email it to you in PDF format. Still going to work on a Certificate.
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