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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3

To the Maritime Court of Massachusetts
August 11, 1777
State of Massa. Bay } To the honble. Nathan Cushing Esqr.
Middle District } Judge of the Maritime Court for the State of Massa. Bay in New England

Be it remembered that on the Augt. 11th RTP Esqr. Atty. Genl. for the Government & people of Massachusetts Bay in N England comes into Court & in their Behalf gives this Court to understand & be informed that on the 22d day of July last past divers Goods Wares and Merchandizes according to the schedule annexed were directly and indirectly imported into this District from Great Britain & Ireland on the Sloop Brigantine Rising Empire Josiah Godfrey Commander by Persons unknown to yr. Proponant the same Goods Wares & Merchandizes not having been made prize of from the Enemy & imported as Such, and by means whereof & by force of the terms of this Resolves of Congress & the Laws of this State the same Goods Wares & merchandizes are become forfeited to the use of this State, Wherefore as this is a matter of a Maritime Nature your Proponant prays that they may be proceeded against according to Law & Condemned to the use of the Government & People of the aforsaid

Dft. ; on the verso is the following:

April 6. 1776

Resolved that all Goods Wares & Merchandizes, except such as are made prize of which shall be imported directly or indirectly from GB or Ireland, into any of the united Colonies Contrary to the Regulations established by Congress shall be forfeited 383& dispozed of agreable to such Resolves as shall be made by the several Assemblies or Conventions & shall be liable to prosecution & condemnation in any Court erected or to be erected for the determination of Maritime Affairs in the Colony where the seizure shall be made1


This was the last section of a much-debated lengthy resolve on imports passed by the Continental Congress on Apr. 6. The entire text appears in the Journals of the Continental Congress, 4:257–259.