Instructions to privateer captains


This document signed by Secretary of State, and future president, James Monroe, lists the instructions to privateer captains prescribed by the Congressional Act Concerning Letters of Marque, Prizes and Prize Goods. When the New London privateer Mars arrived off the Azores on December 11, 1812, according to Surgeon Vine Utley, “We hove too, Dined, and then the Commander called his counsel of officers, His Clerk read the laws of Congress relative to present privateering business, instructions &c. from the Secretary of War.” (Document, © Mystic Seaport Collection, Mystic, CT; quote, Rhode Island Historical Society, MSS 828, Box 12, Folder 8)