University Archives

Lot 111

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Andrew Jackson Signed Scalloped Ship's Passport for New Bedford Whaler

A stately 1p document signed by 7th U.S. President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) as "Andrew Jackson" at lower right. Dated October 8, 1835. Countersigned by John Forsyth (1780-1841), U.S. Secretary of State, as "John Forsyth" at lower right, and by an unidentified New Bedford, Massachusetts harbor official at bottom. Partly handwritten and partly printed on vellum, with an embossed presidential seal at lower left. A charming vignette of a sailing ship and lighthouse at top has a scalloped edge. Expected wrinkles and folds and isolated light soiling. Else near fine. Displayed to the right of an engraving of Andrew Jackson with a name plate. Matted and archivally framed behind museum-quality UV ray filtering glass and document separators in a handsome rosewood finished frame. Not examined out of the frame. Sight size: 9.5" x 14." Overall size: 27.5" x 23.75" x 1.25." Accompanied by a signed James Spence Authentication Letter of Authenticity dated July 31, 2020.

In part: "By the President of the United States of America, Suffer the Ship Two Brothers of New Bedford Henry F. Eastham - master or commander of the burthen of Two hundred eighty eight tons or thereabouts mounted with no guns navigated with Twenty four men To Pass with her Company Passengers Goods and Merchandize without any hinderance seisure or molestation the said Ship…"

Henry F. Eastham commanded the 288-ton ship "Two Brothers" on a voyage of unknown destination--probably to the whale-rich southern seas or Pacific Ocean--between 1835-1837. Eastham's voyage yielded 99 barrels of odorless, bright-burning sperm oil and 1,487 barrels of serviceable whale oil, according to records found in the database of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. After his command of the "Two Brothers," Eastham took them helm of the "Parachute," "America," and "Elizabeth" well into the late 1840s. The "Two Brothers" was constructed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1816, outfitted as a whaler in 1831, and sold to foreign entities in 1864.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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