DescriptionWilliam Ellery Bill of Sale Signed "Wm Ellery". One partially-printed page, 9.25" x 15.25", Rhode Island, February 26, 1799. The bill of sale was for William Vernon's purchase of "the one third Part of all the Hull or Body of the good Ship called the Agenoria." Toned with weakness at the folds. From the Papers of William Vernon.
William Ellery (1727-1820), an influential merchant and lawyer from Newport, Rhode Island, was a member of the Sons of Liberty and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. William Vernon (1719-1806) was a prosperous merchant and slave trader, also from Newport. He was acquainted with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and the marquis de Lafayette. In 1777, Vernon, whose maritime ventures included Europe, Africa, and the West Indies, was chosen by the Continental Congress to serve on the Eastern Navy Board.
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