PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - WHALING SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 05/07/1810 CO-SIGNED BY: DAVID GELSTON, ROBERT SMITH (POLITICIAN) - HFSID 47882
Sale Price $3,060.00
JAMES MADISON, CO-SIGNED BY ROBERT SMITH, DAVID GELSTON
Ship's papers for the Fredericksburg schooner Ann, signed by president Madison and by Smith as Secretary of State, for a 1810 voyage out of New York City
Whaling ships papers signed "James Madison" as President, "RSmith" as Secretary of State and "David Gelston Collector". 1 page, 10½x15 vellum with 3-inch paper Great Seal of the United States affixed in lower left corner. New York, New York, April 6, 1811. In full: "Suffer the Schooner Ann of Fredericksburg, Thomas Robinson master or commander of the burthen of One hundred forty two & 80/95 or thereabouts mounted with no guns navigated with Seven men to Pass with her Company Passengers Goods and Merchandize without any hinderance seizure or molestation the said Brig appearing by good testimony to belong to one or more of the Citizens of the United States and to him or them only." Schooners are ships characterized by fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, where the forward mast is shorter or the same height as the rear masts. These ships were a Dutch development from the 17th century, although the first true schooner was probably built in 1713 in England. By the end of the 18th century, schooners were the United States' most important ship. Such ships have shallow drafts, which allows them to be used in shallow waters, and can be sailed with small crews relative to their sizes. They were used in applications that required speed and the ability to sail into the wind, which included legitimate trade and fishing as well as blockade running, privateering and slaving. Little information is available about the schooner Ann from this period, so it's hard to say whether her voyage out of New York in 1810 was virtuous or villainous - or a little bit of both. Scalloped at top edge. Lightly toned, stained, soiled and creased. Hole near top right corner. Right, left and bottom edge are irregular. Document has been folded vertically twice and horizontally twice. Otherwise in fine condition.
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