United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/5th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 48

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May 28, 1798.
Chap. ⅩⅬⅧ.—An Act more effectually to protect the Commerce and Coasts of the United States.

1798, ch. 53.
1798, ch. 67.
1798, ch. 68.
Whereas armed vessels sailing under authority or pretense of authority from the Republic of France, have 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:

President may issue instructions to the commanders of public armed ships to bring into port certain French armed vessels, and to make recaptures from them.Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, and he is hereby authorized to instruct and direct the commanders of the armed vessels belonging to the United States to seize, take and bring into any port of the United States, to be proceeded against according to the laws of nations, any such armed vessel 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.

Approved, May 28, 1798.