Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Martinica, Dominica (fl. 1777-1778) [Legal document on privateer prizes from Court of Vice Admiralty of East Florida]

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01411.01 Author/Creator: Martinica, Dominica (fl. 1777-1778) Place Written: s.l. Type: Document signed Date: 7 February 1778 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 30.4 x 18.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Document countersigned by Judge Robert Catherwood of the Court of Vice Admiralty of East Florida. Signed with an "X" as the mark of Lieutenant Dominica [Martinica]. Document states that Martinica, the commander of the privateer schooner "Recovery," was declaring his prizes from a cruise off the coast of South Carolina. Says he took the "tackle Apparel and Cargo with four slaves" from the schooner "Betsey" on 27 December 1777. Also, on that same evening he took the schooner "Grace" with another four enslaved people on board. On 28 December 1777 he took the sloop "Sally." Martinica claimed he found no papers or writings on board any of the ships. Probably written in St. Augustine.

Background Information: "Dominica Martinica" is likely the country Dominica Martinique. The signer of the document may have been using "Dominica Martinica" as an alias. It seems possible that Catherwood was colluding with ...the signer, likely a pirate. See More

People:

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: African American HistoryPrivateeringMaritimeNavyLawGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyMilitary HistoryMerchants and TradeCommerceRevolutionary WarSlaveryCaribbean

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources