PRESIDENT ULYSSES S. GRANT - FOUR LANGUAGE SHIPS PAPERS SIGNED 06/17/1872 CO-SIGNED BY: HAMILTON FISH - HFSID 5360
Sale Price $2,762.50
ULYSSES S. GRANT and HAMILTON FISH
The President and Secretary of State sign papers for a whaling vessel.
Four Language Ship's Papers signed: "U.S. Grant" as President and "Hamilton Fish" as Secretary of State, 1p, 20¾x16. Signed in Washington but filled out and issued in New Bedford, 1872 June 17. Countersigned: "J.A.P. Allen/Collector of Customs" of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In part: "Be it known, That leave and permission are hereby given to Hiram Cleveland, master or commander of the Brig. Called E.N. Adams of the burthen of 107 and 5/100 tons or thereabouts lying at present in the port of New Bedford bound for Atlantic Ocean Provision Stores and utensils for a whaling voyage." Text in four columns, from left to right: French, Spanish, English and Dutch. 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 Civil War dealt the most severe blow to the whaling industry. During the war, 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 and whaling voyages ended. Just seven years after Grant signed this document, Thomas Edison invented the electric incandescent lamp, putting the final nail in the whaling industry's coffin. Fragile and worn. Lightly stained. Lightly creased. Numerous tape repairs on verso show through, one touches "S. Gr" in Grant's signature. Nicked lower edge. Folds, vertical fold touches "G" in Grant. Pinhead-size holes at cross folds.
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