This foot note contained in document LJA02d085
23. That is, vessels clearing for America. Trade with Europe was not prohibited. See 17 Geo. 3, c. 41, §§4, 5 (1777). JA probably referred to the statute 16 Geo. 3. c. 5, §§1, 3 (1776), which prohibited all trade with the rebellious colonies, and provided, with exceptions not material here, that all vessels “found trading in any port or place of the said colonies, or going to trade, or coming from trading, in any such port or place,” should be forfeit to the Crown and liable to be taken as prize.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007.