Instructions to the commanders of the Armed Forces

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JOHN ADAMS

President of the United States

Instructions to the Commanders of armed Vessels, belonging to the United States, given at Philadelphia, this Twenty Eighth day of May in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and Ninety Eight, and in the Twenty second Year of the Independence of the said States:

WHEREAS, it is declared by an Act of Congress, passed the twenty Eighth day of May, 1798, that armed Vessels, sailing under authority or Pretence of Authority from the French Republic, has-e committed Depredations on the Commerce of the United States, and have recently captured the Vessels and Property of Citizens thereof; on and near the Coasts, in violation of the Law of Nations, and Treaties between the United States, and the French Nation:

THEREFORE, & in Pursuance of the said Act, you are instructed and directed, to seize take and bring into any Port of the United States, to be proceeded against according to the Laws of Nations, any armed Vessel sailing under Authority or Pretence of Authority from the Republic of France, which shall have committed, or which shall be found hovering on the Coasts of the United States, for the purpose of committing Depredations on the Vessels belonging to Citizens thereof; and also to retake any Ship or Vessel of any Citizen or Citizens of the United States, which may have been captured by any such armed Vessel.

By Command