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of three split stockfish upon a dark blue ground, were shortly afterwards for the first time displayed upon the top of one of the warehouses of the town, under a salute of eleven guns from the Margaret and Anne, and were afterwards hoisted upon Sundays, and occasionally on other days. Mr. Jorgensen now, as much perhaps for the sake of finding what merchandise could be procured, as for the purpose of seeing that his various proclamations were respected, accompanied by five of his soldiers, made a journey across the country to its most northern parts, in the course of which he was every where received with the kindest welcome, as well whilst his guard was with him, as on his return when only escorted by a single Icelander. In all places that he visited, the natives crowded about him to relate the impositions they were subjected to by the Danes, and to assure him of their satisfaction in the prospect of being freed from their tyranny.
During the time he was occupied in this expedition, Mr. Phelps was employed in executing a part of his Excellency's orders, by putting the town and harbor of Reikevig in a state of defence, an office he readily undertook for the security of the very considerable property he now had there, as well as of that which he still expected from England. For this purpose a battery, denominated Fort Phelps, was formed near the town, at which the natives, in great numbers, and the crew of the Margaret and Anne, worked with so much alacrity that it was in a short time completed, and mounted with six guns, that had been dug up from the sand on the shore, where they had long been lying; having been sent over from Denmark one hundred and forty years ago.
The order for the confiscation of all Danish property in the island, which was begun to be put in execution immediately after the publication of the second proclamation, was still more vigorously prosecuted on Mr. Jorgensen's return from the north. The property contained in the shops and warehouses in Reikevig, which had from the first day been secured by a guard, was now put under sequestration, and persons were sent for the more effectually enforcing of the decree to the distant factories, such as Havnfiord and Koblevig. Among other things, possession was taken of two thousand six hundred rixdollars *, belonging to the public chest, under the care of Mr. Adzer Knudson, and a seizure was made from a Mr. Strube, of a stock of tallow, train-oil, fish, and woollen goods, belonging to a trading company at Flensburg, and another of a considerable quantity
* Count Tramp observes that, according to a specification drawn up by Mr. Phelps, the public money forcibly seized in Iceland by Mr. Jorgensen amounted in the whole to nineteen thousand two hundred and twenty rix-dollars, eighty-six skillings, Danish currency. Mr. Jorgensen, however, who appears to have kept an extremely accurate account of money received either by confiscation or from the public officers, as well as of sums issued in the payment of salaries and for other public purposes, states the former at sixteen thousand nine hundred and fifty-five rix-dollars, two marks, and eight skillings; and the latter at sixteen thousand nine hundred and sixty-one rix-dollars, five marks, and four skillings. Other sums were advanced by Mr. Phelps to meet the demands of various persons, but these did not come under the head of public expences. It is to be remarked, that Mr. Sysselman Koefoed had collected king's taxes to the amount of twelve hundred and ninetyfive dollars, which were consequently considered as property to be confiscated; but as this gentleman had laid out the money in the purchase of land, Mr. Jorgensen did not claim any of it
of goods from a mercantile concern established in Nordburg. I have already mentioned the circumstance of the ship Orion * being made a prize: possession was now likewise taken of the cargo that remained still on board, and the part of it that had been unshipped was also confiscated. It happened shortly after that another Danish vessel, commanded by Captain Holme, which is said by Count Tramp to have had a licence -f> from Great Britain, arrived in Iceland with a supply of
* This was the only vessel that was seized.
f Asa difficulty may be supposed to exist upon the question of licences, and it may be considered by many of my readers that the taking violent possession of a ship furnished with one, must in every case bean act of piracy, I beg leave to subjoin an explanation on this head, with which I have been very lately favored by Mr. Jorgensen. When the British government grants a licence, it is expressly stipulated that the ship shall proceed directly from such a port to such a port, specifying their names. But should it happen, which is very frequently the case with vessels trading to Iceland, that after having procured a licence, in going from an English port they observe the sea clear and free from cruizers, they will run into Norway, sell their cargo there and go back to Copenhagen for another; but if they then, on their way to Iceland, meet an English ship of war, they necessary articles for the country, the whole of which, together with ten thousand rixdollars for the payment of the salaries of the public officers, &c, was considered lawful
will produce their licence, though in reality it is no security for that cargo. But should it happen that the people on board the man of war observe such a licenced ship, with a favorable wind, to be steering a course different from her direct one, and thereby deviating from the route pointed out in her licence, that vessel is a lawful prize. At other times, indeed, licences are only granted for a certain limited time, and, if exhibited after the expiration of the period expressed in the licence, such a vessel is also a good prize. One or other was the case with all the vessels in the Iceland ports in the summer of 1809, but none of them would have been condemned in England if they had been seized by the letter of marque, because they were then lying at a port to which their licences permitted them to proceed. That they had forfeited the protection granted them by their licence could not be proved by the ship's papers, though it could from letters to different people on the island: these, however, are not admitted in a court of admiralty. The case of the Orion differs from the former ones, in as much as the person to whom the licence was granted (Adzer Knutzen) was not with the vessel; but since the papers, which proved the forfeiture of the licence, were not on board the vessel at the time of her seizure, she was not considered a legal prize, and was restored to the owner.