Tyler (President) John
John Tyler Signed Multilingual Ship's Passport for New Bedford Whaling Vessel
A multilingual ship's passport signed by 10th U.S. President John Tyler (1790-1862) as "J. Tyler" at center. Dated August 1, 1842. Countersigned by Secretary of State Daniel Webster (1782-1852) as "Danl Webster" to the left of Tyler's signature. The large sheet of watermarked paper is partly printed and partly handwritten by a notary public named John Burrage. President Tyler's request for the safe passage of the whaling ship Brighton is conveyed in English, French, Spanish, and Dutch in four side-by-side columns. An applied paper blind embossed presidential seal is located near the center, and an embossed notary's seal is found at the extreme left. Minor toning as well as isolated foxing and staining. Chipped edges and some breaks along well-worn paper folds, else very good. Tyler's signature is dark and clear. 20" x 16.625".
In part, with unchanged punctuation:
"John Tyler, President of the United States of America, To all who shall see these presents, Greeting:
Be it known, That leave and permission are hereby given to G.L. Cox master or commander of the Ship called Brighton of the burden of 356 [sic] /93 tons, or thereabouts, lying at present in the port of New Bedford bound for Pacific Ocean [sic] and laden with Provisions, Stores and Utensils for a whaling voyage to depart and proceed with the said Ship on his said voyage, such Ship, having been visited, and the said G.L. Cox having made oath before the proper officer that the said Ship belongs to one or more of the citizens of the United States of America, and to him or them only…"
The document announced the imminent departure of the whaling vessel Brighton, commanded by Gershom L. Cox from New Bedford, Massachusetts. The 354-ton vessel was bound for the Indian Ocean and carried "Provisions, Stores and Utensils for a whaling voyage".
Gershom Leander Cox (1817-1877) was a Maine-born shipmaster who sought his fortune in New Bedford, then the world's whaling capital. Contemporary archival records confirm that Cox and a 38-member crew (including five boat steerers, or harpooners) left New Bedford on August 2, 1842. They returned almost 2 years later, on July 28, 1844. Their voyage through the Indian Ocean had yielded over 100 barrels of sperm oil, almost 2,500 barrels of whale oil, and 12 tons of baleen. Captain Cox continued to serve as a whaling captain until at least 1858.
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.