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Thomas Jefferson: Proclamation—Ordering the Arrest of British Citizens Henry Whitley, John Nairn, and Slingsby Simpson for the Murder of John Pierce
Thomas
Thomas Jefferson
Proclamation—Ordering the Arrest of British Citizens Henry Whitley, John Nairn, and Slingsby Simpson for the Murder of John Pierce
May 3, 1806
Messages and Papers of the Presidents
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
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By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas satisfactory information has been received that Henry Whitby, commanding a British armed vessel called the Leander, did on the 25th day of the month of April last, within the waters and jurisdiction of the United States, and near to the entrance of the harbor of New York, by a cannon shot fired from the said vessel Leander, commit a murder on the body of John Pierce, a citizen of the United States, then pursuing his lawful vocation within the same waters and jurisdiction of the United States and near to their shores; and that the said Henry Whitby can not at this time be brought to justice by the ordinary process of law; and

Whereas it does further appear that both before and after the said day sundry trespasses, wrongs, and unlawful interruptions and vexations on trading vessels coming to the United States, and within their waters and vicinity, were committed by the said armed vessel the Leander, her officers and people; by one other armed vessel called the Cambrian, commanded by John Nairne, her officers and people; and by one other armed vessel called the Driver, commanded by Slingsby Simpson, her officers and people; which vessels, being all of the same nation, were aiding and assisting each other in the trespasses, interruptions, and vexations aforesaid:

Now, therefore, to the end that the said Henry Whitby may be brought to justice and due punishment inflicted for the said murder, I do hereby especially enjoin and require all officers having authority, civil or military, and all other persons within the limits or jurisdiction of the United States, wheresoever the said Henry Whitby may be found, now or hereafter, to apprehend and secure the said Henry Whitby, and him safely and diligently to deliver to the civil authority of the place, to be proceeded against according to law.

And I do hereby further require that the said armed vessel the Leander, with her officers and people, and the said armed vessels the Cambrian and Driver, their officers and people, immediately and without any delay depart from the harbors and waters of the United States. And I do forever interdict the entrance of all other vessels which shall be commanded by the said Henry Whitby, John Nairne, and Slingsby Simpson, or either of them.

And if the said vessels, or any of them, shall fail to depart as aforesaid, or shall reenter the harbors or waters aforesaid, I do in that case forbid all intercourse with the said armed vessels the Leander, the Cambrian, and the Driver, or with any of them, and the officers and crews thereof, and do prohibit all supplies and aid from being furnished them, or any of them. And I do declare and make known that if any person from or within the jurisdictional limits of the United States shall afford any aid to either of the said armed vessels contrary to the prohibition contained in this proclamation, either in repairing such vessel or in furnishing her, her officers or crew, with supplies of any kind or in any manner whatever; or if any pilot shall assist in navigating any of the said armed vessels, unless it be for the purpose of carrying them in the first instance beyond the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, such person or persons shall on conviction suffer all the pains and penalties by the laws provided for such offenses. And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office, civil or military, within the United States, and all others citizens or inhabitants thereof, or being within the same, with vigilance and promptitude to exert their respective authorities and to be aiding and assisting to the carrying this proclamation and every part thereof into full effect.

In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand.

Given at the city of Washington, the 3d day of May, A. D. 1806, and of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States the thirtieth.

TH: JEFFERSON.

By the President:

JAMES MADISON,

Secretary of State.



Citation: Thomas Jefferson: "Proclamation—Ordering the Arrest of British Citizens Henry Whitley, John Nairn, and Slingsby Simpson for the Murder of John Pierce," May 3, 1806. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=65715.
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