Lot 12: Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 20 x 16, December 12, 1809. Four-language ship's papers issued to "Nathaniel M. Perley master or commander of the Brig called the Tantivy…lying at present in the port of New York bound for St. Sebastians and laden with Sugar, Coffee, Cocoa, Cotton, Mark, Indigo, Pepper, Cloves." Beautifully signed in the center by President Madison and countersigned by Secretary of State Robert Smith. The white paper seals affixed to the left side remain fully intact. In fine condition. An extremely well-preserved example boasting a large, bold signature.
Perley's voyage did not go as planned. Upon arriving at St. Sebastian, the Tantivy—along with three other American ships—was confiscated by the French government by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. Their cargo was then sold off for millions of francs. Great Britain also conducted this type of privateering and ship seizure, which became some of the greatest challenges America faced during this period and directly led to the War of 1812.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 469
Wednesday, 10th February 2016
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