EXTREMELY RARE SHIP’S PAPERS FOR A WHALING VOYAGE SIGNED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF STATE WILLIAM SEWARD
LINCOLN, Abraham. Printed document signed: ship's papers. Washington, DC: December 7, 1863. Broadside, measures 20 by 16 inches, partially printed, engrossed in manuscript, original white wafer seal of the Presidency affixed, mounted on backing board. $25,000.
A remarkable ship’s passport signed by President Lincoln and his Secretary of State William Seward, authorizing passage for the ship Martha, "lying at present in the port of New Bedford bound for Pacific Ocean, and laden with provisions, stores, and utensils for a whaling voyage." A fine signed document dating from the Civil War.
Written authorization to sail the high seas and dock at the country's harbors, in the form of presidentially signed ship's papers, was a valuable and desirable privilege. Before conferring such a license, officials were charged with establishing the legitimacy of a vessel, its cargo and its personnel, and the ship's papers were intended to authorize a craft's mission and purpose.
Paper evenly toned, about an inch of three margins folded around backing board; Lincoln's signature bold and clear. A fine signed document, with the fragile paper seal present.