PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - FOUR LANGUAGE SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 09/16/1809 CO-SIGNED BY: DAVID GELSTON, ROBERT SMITH (POLITICIAN) - HFSID 16736
Sale Price $2,720.00
JAMES MADISON, ROBERT SMITH and DAVID GELSTON
Ships' papers for the safe passage of the Mary.
Partly Printed DS: "James Madison" as fourth Presidentand "R Smith" as Secretary of State, 1p, 20x16¼. Washington, D.C., 1809 September 16. Four-language ship's papers for the safe passage of the Mary of New York. The text is in four columns, each in a different language; from left to right: French, Spanish, English and Dutch. In part: "BE IT KNOWN, That leave and permission are hereby given to James Shepherd, Jr, master or commander of the Schooner called the Mary of the burthen of 75 tons, or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of New York bound for St. Bartholomew and laden with Ballast of flour, to depart and proceed with his said Schooner on his said voyage, such Schooner having been visited, and the said James Shepherd Jr. 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...." Countersigned: "David Gelston" as Collector of the Customs. On parchment. Three-inch diameter paper seal affixed at middle left margin. Because ships leaving U.S. ports needed ships' papers before a voyage, the documents were signed by the President and Secretary of State ahead of time and forwarded to the port. The Collector of the Port would then fill in the required information. This document was signed at a tenuous time in the relations with France and England. As Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801-1809), Madison had supported the series of Embargo Acts against England to stop harassing America's ships and citizens. By the end of 1808, contrary to Jefferson's intentions, the Embargo Acts nearly destroyed the U.S. shipping industry and adversely affected the domestic economy. On March 1, 1809, three days before Madison's inauguration, outgoing President Jefferson repealed the Embargo Acts by signing the Non-Intercourse Act. This reopened to American shipping all overseas commerce, except to England and France, with a proviso. Should either or both countries stop their interference with neutral shipping, trade could resume upon presidential proclamation. In 1809, President Madison opened trade with Great Britain in exchange for certain assurances from British Minister David Erskine. When Madison found that Erskine had misled him, he reinstated the provisions of the Non-Intercourse Act against Great Britain on May 30, 1805. The President suspended and implemented this Act numerous times until 1812. During this period, both England and France, at war with each other, would lie to U.S. officials with assurances of non-harassment in exchange for America's trade and transport on the high seas. On June 19, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain with the harassment of American shipping and impressments of American seamen as the primary reasons. ROBERT SMITH served as Secretary of the Navy under Jefferson and Madison (1801-1809) and was Madison's Secretary of State (1809-1813). DAVID GELSTON was a prominent figure in New York politics and served as Collector of the Port of New York from 1801-1820. Creased with folds, vertical fold at the "on" of Madison and the "m" of Smith. Writing on document is light (signatures are completely legible). Heavily soiled on document and seal. Soiled at folds. Paper loss at middle fold. Overall, fair condition for a document of its age.
Following offer submission users will be contacted at their account email address within 48 hours. Our response will be to accept your offer, decline your offer or send you a final counteroffer. All offers can be viewed from within the "Document Offers" area of your HistoryForSale account. Please review the Make Offer Terms prior to making an offer.
If you have not received an offer acceptance or counter-offer email within 24-hours please check your spam/junk email folder.