Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Revolutionary War] Unaccomplished American Privateer's Commission. Partly printed document, one page, folio (12.25" x 10.25"), [no place, no date, c. 1780-1783]. An unusual survivor, an unaccomplished privateer's commission intended for use by the Continental Congress. Faced with the task of staving off the British Navy, the most powerful in the world, the Continental Congress quickly reverted to a time-honored custom: licensing private, armed vessels. As privateers were essentially state-sponsored pirates (and privateers ran a high risk of crossing over from legal to illegal), Congress gave specific instructions to privateers within the commissions. Both the states and the Continental Congress issued numerous commissions like this one. This example was a "Continental commission" and would have been signed by the President of Congress.

    Issued commissions are difficult enough to obtain, an unaccomplished one is even scarcer. Very light chipping at left margin, a few light creases, negligible soiling, else fine.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 811

    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 2018 November 1 - 2 Space Exploration - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 May 11 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 May 11 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,136,332