PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - WHALING SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 09/03/1810 CO-SIGNED BY: DAVID GELSTON, ROBERT SMITH (POLITICIAN) - HFSID 16735
Sale Price $3,060.00
JAMES MADISON, CO-SIGNED BY: ROBERT SMITH, DAVID GELSTON
Ship's papers for the Olive Branch out of New York, signed by president Madison and by Smith as Secretary of State in 1810
Whaling ships papers signed "James Madison" as President, "RSmith" as Secretary of State and "David Gelston Collector". 1 page, 10¼x15 vellum with 3-inch paper Great Seal of the United States affixed in lower left corner. New York, New York, Sept. 3, 1810. In full: "Suffer the Ship Olive Branch of New York, Samuel Newman master or commander of the burthen of Two hundred seventy one tons or thereabouts mounted with no guns navigated with Twelve 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." This ship's passport authorized the Olive Branch to pass unmolested through international waters, a real problem for civilian American ships during this time. The War of 1812, declared by America one year after this document was signed, was started partly over the English navy's high seas seizures of American ships and pressing American crews into English service in the Napoleonic Wars. Interestingly, these papers are dated five days after Smith resigned as Secretary of State. This isn't unusual, though. Ship's papers like these are often signed blank and filled out after the signatories have left office, and occasionally after they'd died. Scalloped at top edge. Lightly toned, stained, soiled and creased. Right and bottom edge are irregular. Document has been folded vertically thrice and horizontally twice. Otherwise in fine condition.
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