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Ordinance by the Continental Congress concerning trade with Great Britain, including circular letter from John Hanson to the state governors
United States. Continental Congress
July 17, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 356-357

FROM HON. JOHN HANSON, PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, TO GOV. MARTIN.
[From Executive Letter Book.]

[Circular.]


Philadelphia, 20th July, 1782.

Sir:

I have the honor to transmit your Excellency an ordinance of Congress dated the 17th instant for more effectually preventing an illicit trade with the enemy.

And am, &c.,
JOHN HANSON,
President.

An Ordinance more effectually to prevent illicit Trade with the Enemy:

Whereas, a pernicious commerce is carried on by some of the inhabitants of these United States with the enemy by means of collusive Captures on the water. For remedy thereof, be it ordained by the United States in Congress Assembled, and it is hereby ordained by the authority of the same, that whenever such collusion shall appear in evidence on the trial of any captive the Vessel & her cargo shall be adjudged and condemned as lawful prize to the use of the State, in which such trial shall be had except in such case wherein any person or persons shall before Sentence or Judgment given interpose his or their answer or claim charging the Capture to have been collusively made and shall support such answer and claim, by sufficient proof; in which case the property captured shall be sentenced and adjudged as lawful prize, one moiety thereof to the use and behoof of such claimant or claimants, and the other moiety thereof to the use and behoof of the State into which the prize shall be carried for condemnation. Provided, always that in every cause of prize, wherein no such answer and claim shall be interposed or being interposed shall not be supported by sufficient proof, if the Court shall, in their opinion, have cause to suspect the Capture

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to have been collusive, it shall demand of the Captors sufficient proof that the same was Bona Fide and not collusively made; and on failure of such proof, to the satisfaction of the Court, such Capture shall be deemed collusive and the property so captured shall be adjudged and condemned as lawful prize to the use and behoof of such State as aforesaid.


Done by the United States in Congress
Assembled, the 17th Day of July,
1782, and Seventh year of our
Independence.
JOHN HANSON,
President.
Attest:
CHARLES THOMPSON,
Secretary.