Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Signed Ship's Passport, 1807 Partly-printed document signed, "Th:Jefferson" as President and "James Madison" as Secretary of State, 15.25" x 10.25" on vellum, Washington, January 20, 1807. A scallop top, Mediterranean Ship's Passport, issued to Nathaniel Howard, master of the Ship Susan "...the burthen of Two hundred twenty 9/95 tons or thereabouts, mounted with no guns navigated with Ten men..." With two beautiful vignettes of a sailing ship and a lighthouse, the top edge is scalloped as required for a Mediterranean ship's passport. The Mediterranean Passport, commonly called a ship's passport, was created after the United States concluded a treaty with Algiers in 1795. During the early years of independence, America was one of several nations paying tribute to the Barbary states in exchange for the ability to sail and conduct business in the Mediterranean area without interference. This treaty provided American-owned vessels with a "Passport" that would be recognized by Algeria and later by other Barbary states, small Muslim strongholds on the coast of Africa including Tunis and Tripoli, through similar treaties. These passports were intended to serve as additional evidence of official nationality. After they were printed and signed by the President and Secretary of State, they were cut along the waved line and the top portion and sent to the U.S. Consuls along the Barbary Coast where they were used to authenticate the passports. Light soiling and the expected folds, but otherwise boldly signed by Jefferson and Madison and very attractive with an intact paper seal. Matted with bust portraits of both Jefferson and Madison. From the collection of Bradley O'Leary. Accompanied by COA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2005
    13th Wednesday
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