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    Commodore James T. Gerry Collection of Interesting Letters. James Thompson Gerry was a son of Elbridge Gerry, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Comprises 14 ALsS: "James T. Gerry", seven ALsS, 25p in all, to his nephew, Elbridge T. Gerry (1850-1854), three ALsS, 9p in all, to his mother Ann (1839), one ALS, 3p, to his sister Emily (1839), one ALS, 7p, to "Family" (1831), one ALS, 3p, to his sister Ann (1851), one ALS, 3p, to his "Brother & Sisters" (1854); a check endorsed by Gerry (1844) and an engraved portrait signed "James T. Gerry/Commander/U.S.N." in facsimile. The letters are 7.5" x 9.5" to 7.75" x 13" in size. Some have postmarked integral address leaves. They were written from the U.S.S. Concord (Port Mahon, 1831), U.S.S. Warren (off Tampico, 1839; Havana, 1839), U.S.S. Franklin (Boston, 1850), Boston, 1851, U.S.S. Albany (Pensacola, 1853; Nicaragua, 1854; off Pensacola, 1854; three Navy Yard, Warrington, Fla, 1854; St. Sago de Cuba, 1854). The content, penned in Gerry's legible script, is interesting throughout the collection. Gerry talks much about family and current affairs, plant life, gives advice to his teenage nephew, Elbridge, and writes what he has seen as he travels aboard U.S. naval vessels. Quotes from four letters: "Pensacola is a very uninteresting, poor miserable place. It was built many years ago by the Spanish Government, & then extended one mile length by less than half a mile in width, in form a regular parallelogram, with a population of eight to ten thousand, of all shades of colors."; "We anchor'd in the harbor of St.Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands, and found the Flag Ship Columbia (15 days from N.York) & Steamer Fulton, the former with Small Pox among her crew...This evening we first heard that some 20 cases of Cholera were reported in the city and the next day 65 deaths were reported!"; "It is now certain that my ship must proceed North for a new Main Mast and other necessary repairs, as it is impossible to hire the requisite workmen for the Navy Yard, either here or in New Orleans, wages at the North being so exorbitantly high, that Ship carpenters did not migrate South."; "We made sail for Matanzas being required to visit that port...This is a noble harbour and very easy of access, and had many merchant vessels in it waiting for Sugar and Molasses, mostly Americans. A Slaver run in just before us, having landed 280 Africans 15 leagues from the harbour, the same morning, and a steamboat was sent after them which also went into port at the same time, and landed the Slaves in open day although against the laws of Spain, but the Governor here as in Havana receives a handsome bribe for closing his eyes. An English schooner chased this and another with 550 on board and succeeded in capturing the latter, on the South side of Cuba. The Slaver, to induce the cruiser to give up his chase, threw overboard several of his Cargo, thinking while they were picking up these poor wretches he could make his escape, but John Bull pushed on for the whole (being worth five pounds a head to him paid by his own Government) and caught them; now he has the whole crew, I trust every rascal of them will be hung for murder." In very fine condition. 16 items. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 549

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