PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - FOUR LANGUAGE SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 02/05/1813 CO-SIGNED BY: DAVID GELSTON, EDMUND W. LAIGH, PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE - HFSID 84718
Sale Price $3,060.00
JAMES MADISON and JAMES MONROE.
Ship's Papers issued during the War of 1812, less than four months before the British extended their blockade to the port of New York.
Partly Printed DS: "James Madison" as fourth U.S. President and future fifth U.S. President "Jas Monroe" as Secretary of State, 1p, 21¼x16½, 1813 February 5. Countersigned: "David Gelston" as Collector of the Port of New York. Four-language ship's papers issued from New York City. 2¼-inch diameter white paper seal affixed at left. In part: "BE IT KNOWN, That leave and permission are hereby given to John Boyd, master or commander of the Schooner called the Hannah & Eliza of the burden of 141.14 tons, or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of New York bound for Bordeaux and laden with Cotton, Ashes, Peltry & Horn tips, to depart and proceed with the said Schooner on his said voyage, such Schooner having been visited, and the said having made oath before the proper officer, that the said Schooner belongs to one or more of the citizens of the United States of America, and to him or them only...which he at present navigates, is of the United States of America, and that no subjects of the present belligerent Powers have any part or portion therein, directly or indirectly, so may God Almighty help him...." The text is in four columns, each in a different language; from left to right: French, Spanish, English and Dutch. Docketed on verso: "Sea Letter/Hannah & Eliza". LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AFTER THIS DOCUMENT WAS SIGNED, THE BRITISH EXTENDED THEIR BLOCKADE TO THE PORT OF NEW YORK, THE PORT FROM WHICH THE HANNAH & ELIZA SAILED ON ITS JOURNEY TO FRANCE. No American ships could sail the open seas without this properly authorized passport, and at the time this document was signed, travel across the Atlantic was particularly dangerous. On June 18, 1812 the United States had declared war on Great Britain. Six months later, on December 26, 1812, the British Admiralty announced a naval blockade of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, effectively barring all commercial vessels from the mid-Atlantic coastal waters. JAMES MADISON had been sworn in for his second term as President twenty-seven days after the date of this document in a show of support from the nation's citizens who supported "Mr. Madison's War". DAVID GELSTON was a prominent figure in New York politics and served as Collector of the Port of New York from 1801-1820. Lightly foxed. Worn with folds, shaded mid-vertical fold. Ragged, chipped and slightly separated edges. ½-inch hole affects 2 words in Spanish portion, 2 ¼-inch holes at upper left blank area. Light vertical fold touches the "s" in Madison and the "s" in James. Light horizontal fold touches the top of the "D" and "G" in Gelston's signature.
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