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Revolutionary War Prize Cases
Pictures & Records
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The images taken from this microfilm publication, M162, are reproduced records of prize cases heard on appeal from Colonial and state courts by committees of the Continental Congress (1776-80) and by the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture (1780-86). These records, frequently referred to as the Revolutionary War Prize cases, are in the custody of the Supreme Court of the United States, where they were deposited by an Act of Congress approved May 8, 1792. This act provided, among other things:
That all the records and proceedings of the court of appeals heretofore appointed, previous to the adoption of the present constitution, shall be deposited in the office of the clerk of the supreme court of the united sates, who is hereby authorized and directed to give copies of all such records and proceedings, to any person requiring and paying for the same, in like manner as copies of the records and other proceedings of the said court by law directed to be given: which copies shall have like faith and credit as all other proceedings of the said court.
The complete descriptive pamphlet for M162, published by NARA, is available here as a PDF file. A description of each case begins on page 16 and includes highlights and brief synopses. The cases are listed in numerical order.
Using the records
Start with the menu title to browse the collection by state, then case name. If you know which vessel or case name you want to view, use the search box below the Revolutionary War Prize Cases - Captured Vessels menu
Explore this title
Search or browse The Revolutionary War Prize Cases: Records of the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture, 1776-1787 here.