James Monroe letter of marque, ca. 1812
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A letter of marque addressed to Captain James Rogers, commander of the boat Retaliation, and signed by James Monroe, secretary of state. Letters of marquee provided legal authority for an armed vessel to capture enemy ships and commit acts which would otherwise constitute piracy. The letter has no date, but was likely created during the War of 1812, and authorizes the Captain to attack and capture enemy vessels.