Matthew Perry, William Bainbridge, David Porter and More than 40 More! Early United States Navy Archive 44 documents, 1786-1851. 60 pp
This extensive archive of documents from the early history of the United States Navy includes the signatures of many leaders of the U.S. Navy during its first seventy-five years and those of other political leaders. The documents include correspondence, petitions, accounts, Congressional resolutions related to the Navy, a bond, and an oath of loyalty. A PDF or Video of the Archive available upon request of qualified bidders.
[NAVAL HISTORY.] Archive of 44 documents, 1786-1851. 60 pp. Most items attached to scrapbook pages either entirely or by edge; expected folds; some edge and fold tears; some tears from opening seals; toning consistent with age; very legible; very good. This collection should be viewed in person to understand it’s real importance. It has not been on the market in about 80 years and is a fantastic opportunity to start a world-class collection concerning our early Navy.
Highlights and Excerpts
- Samuel A. Otis, Autograph Document Signed, Resolution of the United States Senate, March 14, 1806, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 9" x 12.5".
"Resolved, That the secretary of the navy be requested to lay before the Senate, information in the following particulars, viz:
"The name of the person who purchased twenty barrels of peas, which had been condemned at Syracuse, as unfit for use. And the name of the person who purchased one hundred sacks of flour, condemned by the British garrison at Malta; and what price was given for the same: and why those provisions were issued to our seamen and soldiers who were serving on board our squadron in the mediterranean, or upon the land on the coast of Africa, in the year One thousand eight hundred and five."
- James Morrison, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith, May 13, 1800, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 4 pp., 8" x 10.125".
"The price for Powder is not mentioned in your letter; and the sum of $60 per Ton for Cannon Ball delivered at New Orleans is quite too low. Genl Dearborn (who is famous for making good Bargains for the Public) gives me by his late Contract 36 Cents per lb for Powder, and $90 per Ton for Cannon Ball delivered at the Arsenal opposite the Town of Cincinnati. The expense of transportation to New Orleans is considerable: but as this part of the Contract is for the benefit of our friend Mr Owings, I will consult him, and agree to deliver the articles at a fair price."
"Mr Jordan is extremely anxious to be authorized to build one r two more Gun Boats. from the Conversation which passed between us on this subject while at your office, I was induced to believe you would have authorized me to have Built one or more Gun Boats, in which case Jordan would have probably been concerned. from this conviction I wrote to Mr Jordan, not to discharge his hands. I am now solicitous that you should direct either him or myself to Build but one, so that he may not have cause to reflect on me, for giving him incorrect information, and sustain a loss by having Timber &ca prepared."
Robert Smith (1757-1842) was the second Secretary of the Navy, serving from 1801 to 1809.
- Benjamin Smith, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith, February 4, 1808, Wilmington, North Carolina. 1 p., 8" x 12.5".
"I have no doubt of procuring the 3 Gun boats to be built on this River upon the Terms you mention and many more, if desired of the very best materials. You will therefore be so good as to inform me how the advance money is to be paid & if by drafts on a Collector allow a latitude to receive it here or in Charleston, unless incompatible with Governmental arrangements & also specify the utmost limit of time in which each must be done as we have not many workmen here at present."
Benjamin Smith (1757-1826) was a North Carolina state senator (1806-1810) and later served as governor of North Carolina (1810-1811).
- Caesar A. Rodney, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith, February 2, 1809. 1 p., 8" x 9.75".
"Permit me to request now to place on your list of applicants for the birth of midshipman Mr John Chandler. I am unacquainted with him. Mr Niles in his letter to me which is referred to in the enclosed, states that he served his time with him as a printer, that he is temperate & of fair character, & that his principles are sound."
Caesar A. Rodney (1772-1824) was the United States Attorney General from 1807 to 1811.
- David Porter, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, November 6, 1809, New Orleans, Louisiana. 1 p.
Master Commandant David Porter was in charge of the naval forces at New Orleans from 1808 to 1810. In this letter, he informs Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton that he has drawn $6,000 in funds for pay for the Navy, the hospital department, repairs, and other expenses.
Captain David Porter (1780-1843) was a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners. Later court-martialed for invading a town in Puerto Rico, he resigned from the Navy and served as the commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy from 1826 to 1829. He later served as U.S. Charge d’Affaires and then Minister to the Ottoman Empire (1831-1843).
Paul Hamilton (1762-1816) of South Carolina served as Secretary of the Navy from 1809 to 1813.
- Daniel D. Tompkins, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of the Navy William Jones, June 2, 1814, New York, New York. 2 pp., 8" x 9.75".
"Capn Sherman, who will present you with this letter, is the agent for the proprietors of the Steam Boat which has been taken into public service on Lake Champlain. He is a neighbour and acquaintance of mine, whose intelligence & respectability entitle him to confidence and esteem. It was upon his suggestion that I addressed to you the letter of the 10th March last. Subsequent to that time Commodore McDonnough declined taking the vessel, in consequence of which the proprietors entered into certain contracts which made the taking the boat at the particular time when it was taken more embarrassing to the proprietors & somewhat more expensive to the Government than would have been the case upon an earlier election to appropriate her to public use. Mr Sherman will probably shew you his instructions & explain every transaction & item respecting their charges; and the alternatives offered by the company appear to me to be so equitable that I hope you will be able to adjust their compensation or the mode of liquidating their demand without difficulty."
Daniel D. Tompkins (1774-1825) was the Governor of New York (1807-1817) and Vice President of the United States (1817-1825).
William Jones (1760-1831) served as Secretary of the Navy from January 1813 to December 1814.
On September 11, 1814, the United States Army and militia forces under the command of General Alexander Macomb and ships under the command of Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough (1783-1825) defeated the final British invasion of the northern states during the War of 1812 at the Battle of Plattsburgh or Battle of Lake Champlain.
- David Porter, Manuscript Document Signed, to Joseph Gales and William W. Seaton, Public Notice, April 17, 1817, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 7.75" x 9.75".
"The Steam Boat Camden
"For the accomodation of the citizens of Washington George[town] and Alexandria the Camden will be taken off the line one day in each week for a few weeks, to go on parties of pleasure. Those desirous of engaging her will please to make their arrangements with the Captain."
Joseph Gales (1786-1860) and his brother-in-law William W. Seaton (1785-1866) were the publishers of the National Intelligencer in Washington from 1812 to 1860.
- Churchill C. Cambreleng, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson, February 5, 1823, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 8.25" x 10".
"You will very much oblige me, if it be practicable to do so, by giving Mr Carrington, of Washington N. Ca employ as an acting Midshipman in the expedition against the Pirates. From my knowledge of him I think he will make a brave and active officer."
Churchill C. Cambreleng (1786-1862) was a Congressman from New York from 1821 to 1839 and U.S. Minister to Russia from 1840 to 1841.
Smith Thompson (1768-1843) served as Secretary of the Navy from 1819 to 1823 and as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1823 to 1843.
- William Bainbridge, Autograph Endorsement Signed, on Amos Binney to Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson, September 4, 1823, Boston, Massachusetts. 1 p.
Bainbridge approves this request by Amos Binney for funds for the pay and increase of Navy personnel, repairs to vessels, and contingent expenses at the Boston Station.
Amos Binney (1778-1833) was a merchant and the agent of the U.S. Navy at Boston.
William Bainbridge (1774-1833) of New Jersey was a commodore in the U.S. Navy, serving under six presidents and commanding ships in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. In 1823, he commanded the Boston Station.
- Richard Varick et al., Manuscript Document Signed, Petition, December 1, 1825, New York, New York. 2 pp., 8" x 12.75".
"We, the undersigned, members of the Cincinnati Society of New York, having been informed that Ebenezer Storer Esqr, one of the surviving officers of the Revolution, and likewise a member of this society, is desirous of procuring from the Government the appointment of a purser in the Navy for his son, Mr Edward Storer, do cheerfully testify to the services which our Brother rendered to his Country during seven years of our Revolutionary struggle, and to his high respectability as a Citizen of New York at the present time. And having seen letters and other evidences of uprightness and integrity of character of his son Mr Edward Storer, and of his competency to perform with correctness the duties of such an appointment, do with pleasure recommend him to the favourable notice of the Navy Department."
[Signed by 16 members of the New York Society of the Cincinnati in 1825 and by an additional 10 members in 1831.]
Signers include former New York City Mayor Richard Varick (1753-1831); William W. Morris (1760-1832), an aide-de-camp to General Anthony Wayne; New Jersey Governor and U.S. Senator Aaron Ogden (1756-1839); Congressman Gulian C. Verplanck (1786-1870); future Secretary of the Navy James K. Paulding (1778-1860); and future Commanding General of the U.S. Army Winfield Scott (1786-1866).
Ebenezer Storer (1758-1846) was a lieutenant and paymaster in the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment in the Revolutionary War.
- Matthew C. Perry, Autograph Endorsement Signed, n.d., n.p. 1 p.
"I have no Japanese writing to spare. M. C. Perry"
Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858) was a commodore in the U.S. Navy and commanded ships in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. He is best known for his role in the opening of Japan to trade with the West through the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 through the use of gunboat diplomacy.
Signers of additional documents include Secretaries of the Navy Samuel Southard (1787-1842; Secretary, 1823-1829) and James K. Paulding (1778-1860; Secretary, 1838-1841); Commodore Lawrence Kearney (1789-1868); Chancellor of New York James Kent (1763-1847); Speaker of the House of Representatives John W. Davis (1799-1859); Congressman Moses H. Grinnell (1803-1877); Vice President and Senator John C. Calhoun (1782-1850); presidential adviser and journalist Frank P. Blair (1791-1876); New York City mayor Robert Morris (1808-1855); and poet and songwriter George Pope Morris (1802-1864).
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