Document Signed as President, one page, 14½ x 21½ inches, June 19, 1850. document. A four language ship's passport for the vessel William Hamilton, which was "…bound for Pacific Ocean and laden with provisions, stores and utensils for a whaling voyage…" Printed in four languages: English, French, Dutch and Spanish, with intact, original paper seals. Countersigned by Secretary of State John M.Clayton. Usual folds, one slightly affecting Taylor's signature, but overall very fine.
According to Starbuck, the William Hamilton weighed 463 tons and left New Bedford for the north Pacific whaling grounds on June 20, 1850, returning to New Bedford, May 1, 1854. Captain Shockley, became sick and returned earlier in 1851. The voyage was fairly successful, sending home 80 barrels of sperm whale oil, 1,440 barrels of whale oil, and 38,212 pounds of whalebone.
Passports for whaling vessels are not common and only presidential documents signed by W.H. Harrison and James A. Garfield are rarer than documents signed by Zachary Taylor as President.
Estimated Value $3,500 - 4,500