To John Hobby

    Philadelphia        16 April 1794

    Dear Sir

    In a former Letter1 I wrote you that some Gentleman, I thought, would be sent to the West Indies to collect evidence touching the captures, trials & condemnation of our Vessells—to aid & assist the Masters & others having charge of them & who may need advice—Mr. Nathaniel Higgerson a Lawyer of this City, sone to a respectable merchant in Boston, is now going to the West-Indies for that purpose2—And from his known activity & ability I presume he will be able to give essential service to all who may be there & stand in need of his help—

    He is to claim appeals in all cases where he thinks the condemnation took place contrary to the Laws of Nation[s] & the rights of neutrality—

    Yesterday arrived here some Vessells from Antigua that had been captured & carried in there under the orders of the 6th November, & were released by Virtue of the new orders of the 8th January—as were all other Vessells then uncondemnded in that & some other Islands—

    The President communicated yesterday to the House a Letter from the English Minister—in which he explains the orders of June last, & gives the fullest assurances that tis, & has been the intention of his Court not to infring the Laws of Nations & the rights of neutrality—But he sais nothing about Restitution for property unjustly taken.3

    I still continue in opinion we shall avoid going to war—But to do this, I expect we shall be obliged to bear some injuries & many insults —

    A majority of our house seem resolute for pursuing measures that, on the present occasion, I deem wrong—but, it may turn out that I have formed an erroneous Judgment upon them—And if they are finally passed into Laws I hope time will prove that I am wrong—I had rather see myself convicted of an error in judgment—than find by experience that the measures which I thought tended to produce war have actually done it—

    The Embargo has not yet been continued—& I have some doubt whether it will.

    There have been no arrivals here from London, or at Baltimore & New-York two days ago—tho many had been expected for some time—a circumstance, in the minds of many, not a little alarming—I draw no conclusion myself from this fact—Because the non arivals may arise from many causes of accident—unfavourable winds &c

    I am, my dear Sir yours &c

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    ALS, TFP