ORIGINAL SHIP’S PASSPORT FOR THE CHARLES OF KINGSTON, BOLDLY SIGNED BY ANDREW JACKSON AS PRESIDENT
JACKSON, Andrew. Ship's papers signed. Plymouth, Massachusetts: November 9, 1836. Original broadside (10-1/2 by 15 inches) on vellum, engraved on the recto and finished by hand. $5800.
Original ship’s passport, vetting the ship Charles of Kingston for departure from Plymouth, boldly signed by President Andrew Jackson, countersigned by Secretary of State John Forsyth, with two engraved maritime images.
Sea letters had long been used to establish proof of nationality and guarantee protection for ships. The document reads, with italics indicating the portions completed in manuscript: "SUFFER the Ship Charles of Kingston, Josiah Fuller master or commander, of the burthen of three hundred eighty-seven and 5/95 tons or thereabouts, mounted with no guns, navigated with fifteen men, TO PASS with her Company, Passengers, Goods and Merchandize, without any hindrance, seizure or molestation: the said Ship appearing, by good testimony, to belong to one or more of the Citizens of the United States, and to him or them only. GIVEN under my Hand and the Seal of the United States of America, the ninth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six. [signed] Andrew Jackson. By the President. [signed] John Forsyth Secretary of State. State of Massachusetts. Countersigned by L. Sampson, collector." The top edge is scalloped through the top engraving, as was the custom, with the collector holding a matching document that completed the engraving. This item was bound into an extra-illustrated copy of the "History of the City of New York" circa 1872, in the possession of Emery E. Childs, and while the book—expanded to 21 volumes—has passed through several hands, this particular autograph letter has not been on the market since it was bound in, a happy circumstance that has also maintained this rare document in excellent condition.
Minor evidence along lower edge of having been bound into a book. A few minor pinholes along early fold, two expert paper repairs on verso, without scarce paper seal. Text and engraved images clean and fine, Jackson's signature bold and dark.