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    Description

    James Monroe Presidential Command Signed "Jas. Monroe" as Secretary of State during the War of 1812. One page, 8" x 10.25", August 28, 1812, "Washington City". This presidential command, ordering that commercial vessels were not to be obstructed, is headed by "Additional Instruction to the public and private armed vessels of the United States." The document reads in full: "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 alleged repeal of the British Orders of Council, but are on the contrary to give aid and assistance to the same; in order that such vessels and their cargoes may be dealt with on their arrival as may be decided by the competent authorities." Secretary of State Monroe has signed "By command of the President of the United States of America [James Madison]."

    The British Orders of Council, passed in 1807, were meant to impede French trade, which it successfully did, but it also harmed American commerce which had led, earlier in June, to the outbreak of the War of 1812. As part of an unfortunate series of events exacerbated by slow-moving communications between the American and British governments, the U.S. declared war on England on June 18, two days after the British Orders were - unbeknownst to the Americans - suspended. Throughout the next several months, both sides moved cautiously, unsure of what actions the other had taken. This presidential command, issued during that cautious period, was signed by Secretary of State Monroe only sixteen days after President Madison had received news that the British government had repealed the Order. Monroe's bold signature has slightly blossomed, causing weakness and separation through the signature. Overall fine condition.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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