University Archives


John Adams Four Language Ship's Papers Signed At the End of the French-American Naval Quasi-War

1p partially printed, measuring 19.75" x 15.5", Charleston, dated June 27, 1800. John Adams four language ship's papers boldly signed "John Adams" as President. The document, printed in French, Spanish, English, and Dutch, grants permission to "William Pitt Short, master or commander of the Schooner called James & Joseph of the burthen of 73 62/95 tons or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of Charleston bound for Kingston and laden with Provisions…" Additionally signed by Timothy Pickering as Secretary of State and countersigned by James Simens, Collector. With a large white paper seal intact at the left. Adams' signature is bold and large, measuring 3" x 0.625" in size. The document has flattened folds, with separations, holes, and chipping. Paper loss at the lower edge and center of document, affecting some of the printed text. Worm damage in places. Moderate toning and foxing throughout. The document has been mounted at the corners to a mat. Split through the signature still presentable or restorable.

Signed during the Quasi-War, fought almost entirely at sea between France and the United States. Adams empowers the schooner James & Joseph to navigate the turbulent international waters. Fought from July 1798 to September 1800, the unofficial naval war between the United States and France, deemed the "Quasi-War" was fought, with each country seizing merchant ships of the other.

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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