Capt. Sterling

Letters of Marque

18 posts in this topic

Has anyone ever come across a detailed description of how one would have gone about obtaining a Letter of Marque?

Thanks,

Hector

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Captain Kidd & the War Against the Pirates by Robert C. Ritchie tells in detail how Kidd got his.

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Captain Kidd & the War Against the Pirates by Robert C. Ritchie tells in detail how Kidd got his.

Mighty decent of ye Red Maria! B)B)

cheers!

Hector

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This may prove helpful:

http://www.lib.unb.ca/collections/loyalist...?id=588&string=

Here is the one from Thomas Modyford for Henry Morgan in 1669

Sir Thomas Modyford, Baronet, Governour of His Majesty's Island of Jamaica,

Commander-in-Chief of all His Majesties Forces within the said Island and in the Islands adjacent,

Vice-Admiral to His Royal Highness the Duke of York in the American Seas.

To Admiral Henry Morgan, Esq. Greeting.

Whereas the Queen Regent of Spain hath by her Royal Shadula, dated at Madrird the 20th of April, 1669, Commanded her respective Governours in the Indies to publish and make War against our Sovereign Lord the King in these Parts. And Whereas Don Pedro Bayona de Villa Nueva, Captain General of the Province of Paraguay and Governour of the City of St. Jago de Cuba and its Provinces, hath executed the same, and lately in the most hostile and barbarous manner landed his men on the north side of this Island, and entered a small way into the Country, firing all the Houses they came at, killing or taking Prisoners all the Inhabitants they could meet with; and where as the rest of the Governours in these Parts have granted Commissions for executing the like Hostility against us, and are diligently gathering Forces together to be sent to St. Jago de Cuba, their General Rendezvous and place of Magazine, and from thence as the most opportune place to be transported for a thoro' Invasion and final Conquest (as they hope) of this Island, for the prevention of which their mischievous Intentions, in discharge of the great trust which His Gracious Majesty hath placed in me, I do by virtue of full Power and Authority un such cases from His Royal Highness, James Duke of York, His Majesties Lord High Admiral, derived unto me, and out of the great confidence I have in the good conduct, courage, and fidelity of you the said Henry Morgan to be Admiral and Commander in chief of all the Ships, Barques, and other Vessels now fitted, or which hereafter shall be fitted for the publick Service and defence of this Island, and also of the Officers, Souldiers, and Seamen, which are, or shall be put upon the same, requiring you to use your best endeavours to get the vessels into one Body or Fleet, and to cause them to be well mann'd, fitted, arm'd, and victualled, and by the first opportunity, wind and weather permitting, to put to Sea for the Guard and Defence of this island, and of all vessels trading to or about the same; and in order thereunto to use your best endeavours to surprise, take, sink, disperse, and destroy all the enemies ships or vessels which shall come within your view, and also for preventing the intended Invasion against this place, you are hereby further authorised and required, in the case thaht you and your Officers in your Judgement find it possible, or feasable to land and attain the said Town of St. Jago de Cuba, or any other place belonging to the Enemies, where you shall be informed that Magazines and Stores for this War are laid up, or where any Rendezvous for their Forces to Imbody are appointed and there to use your best endeavours for the seizing the said Stores, and to take, kill, and disperse the said Forces. And all Officers, Souldiers, and Seamen, who are or shall be belonging to or embarqued upon the said vessels are hereby strictly enjoyned both by Sea and Land, to obey you as their Admiral and Commander in chief of in all things as be cometh them; and you yourself are to observe and follow all such Orders as you shall from time to time received from His most excellent Majesty, his Royal Highness, on myself.

-- Sir Henry

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Capt. Sterling...

PM me about this. Might be able to offer you (gratis - free - no obligation) something you might be interested in.

Cap'n Pete Straw

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I also seem to recall a really interesting letter of marque from Wm Bowles (billie bowlegs) and the State of Muscogee against the spanish for the sloop Miccusucee Mekko (if memory serves) in the musem at Ft. Walton. Issuing them is one thing. Makin em stick is another.

Rather surprised that some of our less than enthusaiastic supporters abroad haven't issued letters of marque and reprisal against the US....or at least against some of the corporations.

Corporations......Oooooooooh, now THAT could get tasty. :)

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This is OoP but playing off Zorg's post one of the most stringent setups for receiving a Letter of Marque and Reprisal was setup by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Where as previously the letter would be issued to a captain or financial backer the Confederacy actually tied theirs to the ship. One had to have a ship meeting with approval before you could be issued a letter of marque. In addition the letter could not be transferred to another vessel for any reason including the vessel's sinking or capture. Captains were also required to keep detailed logs of their voyages and could be held liable for piracy if neutral shipping was attacked or seized. Now as to why some of our less enthusiastic supporters don't issue letters of Marque or two fold. 1 To be honest declaring a Jihad is in itself a Letter of Marque really. 2 Privateering is really impractical these days as it was for the confederacy. Several problems arose for confederate privateers including but not limited to, no international ports in witch to adjudicate prizes, impossibility of getting big ships across the bar of southern ports, the practice being outlawed by most of the world, THE U.S. NAVY (< note that was really the biggest problem). These problems would in most cases be the exact same for a modern privateer if not more so. Chief among problems for this would be money. Privateering is a risky business that requires large amounts of cash up front and the return on this is highly questionable given previously stated problems. In fact there was really only one successful privateering cruise for the confederacy and it's captain went on to the much more profitable venture of blockade running. Again I apologize for being out of period but then I often am for some reason

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Actually--the US Constitution allows for the issuance of letters of Marque and Reprisal. See Article 1 sections 10 and 11:

Congress has the power to do the following:

10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations:

11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:

Maybe write to Yer Congressman or maybe the White House-- Pres.W and Congress has been privatizin' and outsourcin' all sortsa things of late--mebbee nows the chance fer some real plunderin'!

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William Augustus Bowles was never referred to as "Billy Bowlegs" in any period documentation that I've reviewed (official U.S. government documents of the era, documents of the "Muskogee Nation", etc.).

Bowles, self proclaimed "Director General" of the Muskogee Nation, (which had two schooners) basically created his own letters of marque.

Yours, Mike

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Actually--the US Constitution allows for the issuance of letters of Marque and Reprisal. See Article 1 sections 10 and 11:

Congress has the power to do the following:

10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations:

11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:

Maybe write to Yer Congressman or maybe the White House-- Pres.W and Congress has been privatizin' and outsourcin' all sortsa things of late--mebbee nows the chance fer some real plunderin'!

If you note that section only Congress has the right to issue a Letter of Marque not the President. Article 1 deals with the powers of the Congress. So write your representive!

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Also OOP, but our gov't issued L o M, during WW II...

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Also OOP, but our gov't issued L o M, during WW II...

Really ?????? That seems odd as if I recall correctly the United States signed the declaration of Paris after the Civil war witch abolishes the practice among it signatories. Indeed the only two major countries who didn't sign the declaration in 1856 were Spain and the U.S.A.. FYI The Union tried to sign the Declaration as soon as Jeff Davis issued Letters of Marque but the other signatories agreed it wouldn't take effect till after the cesation of hostilities. I was re-reading portions of the Confederate Privatteers and found these two highly recommended sources on the subject pre 1856

The Abolition of Privateering and the Declaration of Paris, By Francis R. Stark 1897

La Guerre de Course by Charles La Mache 1901

The first contains a "good outline of privateering before 1856 and the right of capture of private property at sea.

The second "is a delightful treatise on the history of privateering and on the Declaration of Paris"

I cannot say from first hand experiance that these books are as advertised but William M. Robinson Jr.'s own book is quite good and despite it rapidly approching the century mark is still considered the best on the subject of the Confederate Privateers.

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I wrote an article for No Quarter Given a few years back on the subject. Try contacting Jamaica Rose about it.

(I'd scan it if I could but the scanner isn't working at this time)

NQG

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Really ?????? That seems odd as if I recall correctly the United States signed the declaration of Paris after the Civil war ...

Apparently the US isn't a signatory:

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebSign?ReadFo...orm&id=105&ps=P

Enjoy

Rabz

AHHHHHHHHH So they never bothered to sign it after the war intresting. Looks like I goofed on that one.

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If you note that section only Congress has the right to issue a Letter of Marque not the President. Article 1 deals with the powers of the Congress. So  write your representive!

I knows Congress is th' official place ta go fer a Letter of Marque(I was the one quotin' th' Constitution). It just seems ta me since we're all one big party now --Legislative, Executive and Judicial--and that our Pres and VP have the right connections (see Haliburton et al) maybe it would help ta get a little help from the inside, before we go buyin' a congressman! :D

Till then here is a place with a few models to chose from:

http://www.piratedocuments.com/Pages/lette..._of_marque.html

Only $20--cheaper than a Congressman!! :huh:

And ifn ye don't mind playin' a Limey--lere is one ye can print off and fill in th blanks!

http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~jacktar/yourown.html

Have Fun! :huh:

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$20!!?? Why the last Congressman I bought was... um, never mind. :lol: What was the question again? B)

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Well she said she was a congressman! And that's my story and I'm stickin with it! B)

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