Lot 116

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Superb G. Washington Ship's Papers for Capt. Killed in a Slave Uprising One Year After This Doc Was Signed

1p partly-printed, measuring 12.5" x 15", Providence, Rhode Island, dated July 7th, 1794. Boldly signed "Go: Washington" as President and countersigned by Edmund Randolph as Secretary of State. Also signed by Jeremiah Olney, Collector of the Customs, and by Samuel Chace, the first justice of the town & county of Providence. A three-language ship's paper, printed in French, English, and Dutch, issued to “Abijah Potter master or commander of the schooner called Nancy of the burthen of 54 tons or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of Providence bound for St. Bartholomew and laden with Beef, Pork, Fish, Rice, Bread, Corn, Butter, Cheese Tobacco, Onions and Staves…" With two intact paper seals. With England and France at war, American ships carrying provisions to the Indies found themselves in danger of being attacked, and the American government issued ships passports to guarantee safe passage. Normal overall toning does not detract at all from the beauty of this pristine document. Bold and clear signature, the nicest we have handled.

Just one year after this document was signed, Captain Abijah Potter was Captaining another ship called the "Liberty" where he allowed his first six slaves to roam the main deck of the ship unshackled and unguarded. They discovered an ax and killed Capt. Potter and a mate. 

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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February 16, 2022 10:30 AM EST
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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