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The future United States Cabinet member signed this Port of Boston customs document, listing the crew and passengers of the brig Cynosure, in 1838.  A rare document from early in Bancroft's career, before he was Secretary of the Navy!
Document signed "G Bancroft". Pencil notations in bottom right corner and on verso, both in unknown hand. 1 page, 7¾x10. July 5, 1838. Addressed on verso from the Custom House in Boston to the Collector of Customs in Savannah, Georgia. Customs document from the Port of Boston in the District of Boston and Charlestown. This document was a copy of the list of crew and passengers of the brig Cynosure out of Boston, with L. Howland as her master. The list was originally granted in Savannah on Feb. 9, 1838. Historian George Bancroft (1800-1891) is best known for his ten-volume History of the United States (1834-1873). Bancroft wrote well, and was accurate with his facts, but had a partisan viewpoint. (He was a Jacksonian Democrat, although one opposed to slavery). As President James K. Polk's first Secretary of the Navy (1845-1846), Bancroft established the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, finding the funds for the institution in his budget before Congress had authorized its creation. As Acting Secretary of War (1846), he issued orders to General Zachary Taylor to advance into territory disputed with Mexico, a move which triggered the Mexican War. He later served as the U.S. Minister to Great Britain (1846-1849), Prussia (1867-1871) and Germany (1871-1874). Lightly toned, soiled and creased. Show through from address on verso, which touches manuscript portions but not signature. Show-through from wax seal remnants on verso (does not touch manuscript portions or signature). Light tears and nicks along left, right and bottom edges. Folded twice vertically and four times horizontally. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: October 3, 1800 in Worcester, Massachusetts
Died: January 17, 1891 in Washington, District of Columbia

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