SHIP’S PAPERS SIGNED BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel. Ship’s papers signed for the bark “Undine” Liverpool, September 20, 1853. Two sheets. One large folio sheet (18-1/2 by 20 inches), one quarto sheet (8 by 13 inches), each partially printed and accomplished by hand; blue paper lozenge and green ribbon joining two sheets. $2500.
Printed documents completed in manuscript, with paper seal, signed and dated by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his capacity as United States Consul in Liverpool.
Appointed by his friend Franklin Pierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne served as United States Consul in Liverpool, England from 1853 to 1857, the final political appointment of his life. While the position was financially rewarding, Hawthorne disliked the grinding tedium of the work, remarking: “I never wish to be civil to anybody again.” As Consul, he approved these official ship’s papers for the bark “Undine,” registered in Bath. These papers include one from the ship, completed in manuscript by the ship’s officers, and an official document on “Consulate of the United States of America, Liverpool” stationery, partially printed, completed in secretarial hand by the consulate, and dated and signed by Hawthorne in the early months of his tenure, on September 20, 1853. The two papers have been tied together with a green ribbon that is affixed with a seal to the consulate document.
Small tear at ribbon, not affecting signature. Expected folds to documents with light wear at creases. A wonderful artifact of maritime and literary history, boldly signed by Nathaniel Hawthorne.