Description

    Henry Knox Document Signed "H Knox" as secretary of war. One partially printed page, 6.75" x 7.5", Philadelphia, March 26, 1794, to Samuel Adams, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, regarding the enforcement of a shipping embargo put in place by Congress. It reads, in full: "I am instructed by the President of the United States to transmit to your honor the inclosed resolve of Congress passed this day, laying an embargo for Thirty days, upon all vessels bound to any foreign port or place. The President requests that you will please to enforce the prompt execution of thesaid [sic] resolve, by the aid of the militia in all cases where the same may be necessary." Below is written, in ink: "All armed vessels possessing public commissions from any foreign power (letters of marque excepted) are considered as not liable to the embargo." Light ink bleed through from the verso, else fine.

    In 1793, war broke out between Great Britain and France. The fledgling United States debated whether or not to put economic sanctions against Great Britain until the British attacked and captured 250 American ships in the French West Indies. The public outcry for action was deafening, leading Congress to pass a short embargo on all ships, both foreign and domestic, so as not to directly challenge the British. Initially set for 30 days, it was extended for another month and President Washington had the power to extend it further if public safety were threatened.

    With an engraved portrait of General Knox "From the original painting by Chappel," 7.5" x 10" (sight), with facsimile signature and typed transcription of the document. Matted to an overall size of 20" x 16".


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
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