Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Rare Zachary Taylor Signed Whaling Ship's Document, Dated 20 Days After His Death! Zachary Taylor Signed Four Language Ship's Sea Letter Signed "Z. Taylor" as President and John M. Clayton as Secretary of State. One page, 20" x 15.25", partly printed in four languages - French, Spanish, English, and Dutch, New Bedford (Massachusetts), July 29, 1850. In part: "BE IT KNOWN, That leave and permission are hereby given to Jared Jernegan, master or commander of the Ship called the William Thompson of the burden of 495 43/95 tons, or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of New Bedford bound for Pacific Ocean and laden with Provisions stores and utensils for a whaling voyage..." There is a 2.25" white paper seal of the United States affixed in the center of the document near Taylor's signature with a 1.25" seal of Massachusetts at the bottom. Also countersigned by Wm. T. Russell as Collector of Customs and B. Wood as Notary Public. Fine condition, double matted with an engraving and framed to an overall size of 33" x 22.5".

    These documents were signed in advance by the president and secretary of state and then forwarded to the collectors of the various ports for issuance as needed. When a president died in office, shipping couldn't be delayed while the new president found the time to sign new documents and get them distributed. Therefore, they were used until they could be replaced with the new papers. Zachary Taylor died in office on July 9, 1850 and this document was issued on July 29, 1850. Here is a rare opportunity to own a "posthumously signed" presidential document. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 894

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 17 The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part IV Featuring The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part IV Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424