Lot 22: War-dated DS, signed "Jas. Monroe," one page, 7.75 x 6.5, August 28, 1812. Printed circular headed "Additional Instruction to the public and private armed vessels of the United States." In part: "The public and private armed vessels of the United States are not to interrupt any vessels belonging to citizens of the United States coming from British ports to the United States laden with British merchandize, in consequence of the alledged repeal of the British Orders in Council." Boldly signed at the conclusion by Secretary of State Monroe. In fine condition, with trimmed edges (seemingly removed from a larger document). Accompanied by an engraved portrait of Monroe bearing a facsimile signature.
The US Congress declared war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, as the result of several diplomatic conflicts, including the British 'Orders in Council,' a series of decrees that restricted American trade with France. The British were in the process of repealing these at the same time, but word of repeal did not reach President Madison until August 12. Not knowing how Britain had reacted to the declaration of war, he refused to halt hostilities. However, he did issue this instruction in response to the "alledged repeal," ordering naval and privateering ships to assist, rather than obstruct, any American-owned ships bringing British goods back to the United States.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 471
Wednesday, 9th March 2016
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