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PRESIDENT RUTHERFORD B. HAYES - FOUR LANGUAGE SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 06/07/1881 CO-SIGNED BY: JOSEPH T. PEASE, B. MARCHANT, WILLIAM M. EVARTS - HFSID 5286

RUTHERFORD B. HAYES and WILLIAM M. EVARTS Papers for the schooner Hattie E. Smith, sailing from Cape Cod, signed by President Hayes but actually issued three months into the Garfield Presidency. Four Language Ships Papers signed: "R.B. Hayes" as President and "Wm. M.

Sale Price $2,040.00

Reg. $2,400.00

Condition: lightly creased, lightly soiled
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RUTHERFORD B. HAYES and WILLIAM M. EVARTS
Papers for the schooner Hattie E. Smith, sailing from Cape Cod, signed by President Hayes but actually issued three months into the Garfield Presidency.
Four Language Ships Papers signed: "R.B. Hayes" as President and "Wm. M. Evarts" as Secretary of State, 1p, 22x17. Ships' papers issued from Edgartown, Massachusetts, 1881 June 7. 1¾-inch diameter gold seal affixed at bottom right. In part: "Be it Known, That leave and permission are hereby given to Benjamin F. Nickerson, master or commander of the Schooner called Hattie E. Smith of the burden of 100 and 37/100 tons, or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of Edgartown bound for Atlantic Ocean, and laden with Casks, Provisions Ship Stores, and articles necessary for the prosecution of a voyage in the Whale Fishery to depart and proceed with the said Schooner on his said voyage...." The text is in four columns, each in a different language; from left to right: French, Spanish, English and Dutch.THESE SHIPS' PAPERS SIGNED BY PRESIDENT HAYES WERE ISSUED OVER A MONTH AFTER HE LEFT OFFICE, WHILE GARFIELD WAS PRESIDENT.Ships' papers were signed in blank in Washington by the President and Secretary of State and sent to ports to be filled out when needed. Hayes' presidential term ended on March 3, 1881 and James A. Garfield was inaugurated the next day. Three months later, this document was filled out at Edgartown, Massachusetts and countersigned four times by the Collector of the Port: "C.B. Marchant". Just 25 days after this document was issued, President Garfield was shot in Washington. Whaling voyages were rare after 1880. The American sperm-whaling industry had its greatest prosperity from 1820-1850. The decline of American sperm whaling began with the California gold rush of 1849. Many crew members of whaling ships bound for the Pacific Ocean deserted to seek their fortunes prospecting for gold. The most severe blow to the whaling industry was dealt during the Civil War when Confederate ships sank many U.S. whaling vessels. The birth of the U.S. petroleum industry after the war posed a new threat. Petroleum products soon replaced sperm oil as a fuel for lamps and spermaceti as a base for candles, ending the need for whaling voyages. The invention of the incandescent light bulb by Thomas Edison two years before this document was signed was the death knell for the whaling industry. The document had once separated at various vertical folds and at its horizontal fold but has been expertly repaired on verso. As a result, some printed letters in the Spanish section are missing. All other words and writing elsewhere are intact. Lightly soiled, lightly creased. Hayes' and Evarts' signatures are fine.

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