PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - WHALING SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 12/16/1813 CO-SIGNED BY: JOHN KITTREDGE, PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE - HFSID 285763
Sale Price $2,720.00
THE MONTH AFTER THE BRITISH BLOCKADED THE EASTERN SEABOARD SOUTH OF NARRAGANSETT DURING THE WAR OF 1812, SHIP'S PAPERS ARE ISSUED TO A VESSEL FROM GLOUSTER, MASSACHUSETTS
JAMES MADISON, JAMES MONROE and JOHN KITTREDGE
Partly Printed DS: "James Madison" as fourth U.S. President and "Jas Monroe" as Secretary of State, 1p, 10x15, irregularly cut. Washington, D.C., 1813 December 8. Ship's passport on vellum signed in Washington but issued out of "State of Massachusetts, District of Glouster". Cosigned: "John Kittredge Coll." as Collector for that port.In part: "By the President of the United States of America SUFFER the Schoner (sic) Dolphin Samuel Grace master or commander of the burthen of Sixty nine tons or thereabouts mounted with No guns navigated with Six men TO PASS with her Company Passengers Goods and Merchandize without any hinderance seizure or molestation the said Schooner appearing by good testimoney to belong to one or more of the Citizens of the United States and to him or them only...." On vellum. 2¼-inch white paper seal affixed at lower left margin. Scalloped upper edge affects portion of upper vignette. At the time this document was signed, the British had already successfully blockaded the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay (December 1812), and by November 1813, the U.S. eastern seaboard south of Narragansett was under the blockade. This did not stop enterprising American traders, but travel across the Atlantic was extremely dangerous, and no American ships could sail the open seas without this properly authorized passport. Britain's Royal Navy was stopping and searching American ships, looking for deserters and impressing sailors, and trade embargoes by both France and Britain during the Napoleonic Wars often resulted in the seizure of ships' cargoes. On June 18, 1812, war had been declared 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 (1751-1836), who was known as "The Father of The Constitution", served as fourth U.S. President from 1809-1817. Madison had previously been a delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia (1780-1783, 1787-1788), a member of the U.S. Constitutional Convention (1787), a U.S. Representative from Virginia (1789-1797) and Thomas Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801-1809). As Secretary of State, 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. JAMES MONROE (1758-1831), who would suceed Madison as fifth U.S. President (1817-1825), was Madison's Secretary of State from 1811 to 1817 and concurrently served as Secretary of War from October 1814 to March 1815. Monroe had previously served in the Virginia state House of Delegates, the U.S. Congress (1789-1794) and as Governor of Virginia (1799-1802, 1811). Ironically, he had also been U.S. Minister to both France (1794-1796) and Great Britain (1803-1807). We have found reference to a letter written by Albert Gallatin to Thomas Jefferson in August 1805 in which he recommends JOHN KITTREDGE, a member of an old New England family, for the post of Collector at Glouster. Lightly creased with folds, vertical fold at the "m" of James in Madison's signature, the "e" of Monroe and the "h" of John in Kittredge's signature. Slightly soiled with minor stains (primarily at blank areas), lighter at lower and right blank margins from previous framing. Pin hole at lower blank margin benath seal. Overall, fine condition. for a document of its age.
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