Quote of the Day: November 24, 2011
U.S. Navy Headquarters Liveblogs World War II: November 24, 1941

Letter of Marque and Reprisal

Courtesy of Jim MacDonald:

The Congress of the United States of America

To all to whom these Presents come sent GREETING


That we have granted, and by these presents do grant licence and authority to [name of captain], Mariner, Commander of the [kind of vessel] called the [vessel’s name] of the burthen of [number] tons or thereabouts, belonging to [name of owner] mounting [number] carriage guns and navigated by [number] men to fit out and set forth the said [kind of vessel] in a warlike manner, and by and with the said [kind of vessel] and the officers and crew thereof, by force of arms, to attack, subdue, seize and and take all ships and other vessels, goods, wares and merchandizes, belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, or any of the Subjects thereof (except the ships or vessels together with their cargoes belonging to any Inhabitant or Inhabitants of Bermuda, and such other ships or vessels bringing persons, with the intent to settle within any of the said United States, which ships or vessels you shall suffer to pass unmolested, the Masters thereof permitting a peaceable search, and giving satisfactory information of the lading and their destination) or any other ships or vessels, goods, wares or merchandizes to whomsoever belonging, are or shall be declared to be the Subjects of capture by any Resolutions of CONGRESS, or which are so deemed by the LAW OF NATIONS: And the said ships or vessels, goods, wares and merchandizes so apprehended as aforesaid, and as prize taken, to bring into Port, in order that the proceedings may be had concerning such captures, in due Form of Law, and as to Right and Justice appertaineth. And we request all Kings, Princes, States and Potentates, being in Friendship or Alliance with the said United States, and others to whom it may appertain to give the same [name of captain] all aid, assistance and succor in their Ports, with this said vessel, company and prizes. WE, in the name and on the behalf of the Good People of the said United States, engaging to do the like to all Subjects of such Kings, Princes, States and Potentates, who shall come into any Port of the said United States; and We will and require all our officers whatsoever, to give to the said [name of captain] all necessary aid, succor and assistance in the premises. This Commission shall continue in force during the pleasure of the CONGRESS, and no longer.

IN TESTIMONY whereof, We have caused the Seal of the ADMIRALTY of the United States to be affixed hereunto.

WITNESS His Excellency [name] Esquire, President of the CONGRESS of the United States of America, at [city] this [ordinal number] day of [month] in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and [number] and in the [ordinal number] year of our Independence.