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PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - FOUR LANGUAGE SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 01/18/1812 CO-SIGNED BY: PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE - HFSID 286004

JAMES MADISON and JAMES MONROE As war with Britain looms (1812), the President and Secretary of State sign the papers of an American merchant ship bound for France with a valuable cargo. Partly Printed

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Reg. $9,000.00

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JAMES MADISON and JAMES MONROE
As war with Britain looms (1812), the President and Secretary of State sign the papers of an American merchant ship bound for France with a valuable cargo.
Partly Printed DS: "James Madison" as President, "Jas Monroe" as Secretary of State and "David Gelston" as Collector of Customs of the Port of New York, 1 page, 20½x16½. Signed in Washington, but issued from New York, 1812 January 18. The text is in four columns, each in a different language; from left to right: French, Spanish, English and Dutch. A four-language ship's paper for the brig Don Roderick under the command of Davis G. Gillies, bound for Bordeaux from New York, "Laden with Cocoa, Coffee, Sugar, Pepper, Cotton, Tea, Mahogany Oil...." No American ships could sail the open seas without this properly authorized passport, and ships still faced problems. If an American ship was sailing to a European port under French control, as the Don Roderick was bound for Bordeaux, France, it could be seized by a British ship if it had not called at a British port. If it had made such a stop, it was then liable to be seized by Napoléon's officials. From 1807 to 1812, more than 900 American ships were seized by either Britain or France. This brig was most probably named for Don Roderick, the last Gothic King of Spain. Also, The Vision of Don Roderick was the name of a poem written a year earlier (1811) by Sir Walter Scott in celebration of Wellington's successes in the Peninsular Campaign against Napoléon. MONROE served as MADISON's Secretary of State from 1811-1817, when he became President. GELSTON served the State and District of New York from 1801-1820. Documents signed by two U.S. Presidents are extremely desirable. Worn. Folds, vertical fold touches the "G" in Gelston. Creased. Lightly stained, touching Gelston's signature, blank areas, text and margins. Soiled, stained and cracked 2-inch seal at left margin, 1½-inch seal remnant beneath it. Tape repairs on verso touch holes of text. Pinhead-size holes at mid-vertical fold. 1-inch diagonal tear at upper blank left. Madison's signature fine.

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