COVID-19 Update

March 30, 2020: Biblio is open and shipping orders.

Sign In | Register
Original Ink Press Letter by John Quincy Adams,  Addressed to an Arctic Explorer or Whaler. by  John Quincy ADAMS - Signed - 1813 - from Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts, ABAC - ILAB              and Biblio.com

Original Ink Press Letter by John Quincy Adams, Addressed to an Arctic Explorer or Whaler.

by ADAMS, John Quincy

Condition: See description


London, 1813. Original Ink press copy of autograph letter by John Quincy Adams. Single-leaf unsized tissue, approximately 21cm x 11cm, with 9 lines printed ink text. Very good condition. At the time of this letter, John Quincy Adams was the first United States Minister to Russia, a post which he held from 1809-1814, and during which he resided two years in Russia. Though relations with Russia was his priority, the War of 1812 demanded his attention to foreign relations between the US and Britain. Fascinating letter by John Quincy Adams, in a seldom seen printing format, addresses a pertinent foreign relations issue, and part cause of the War of 1812. Evidently addressed to an arctic explorer or whaler who has just returned from a voyage, and whom is also concerned for his fellow navigator, this document pertains to the case of a certain American sailor who was impressed into the British Navy, but instead of being put into service, was held captive as a prisoner of war of the English Admiralty for six years or more. The letter reads: "The note which you addressed to the Sous-Intendent, upon the impressment of John Sweatland was perfectly proper. At my request Mr. Beasley also demanded his release, by a note to the Admiralty here. I hope it has been affected and if not, I request you would have the goodness to give me notice of it, and I will take further steps to obtain his liberation." "I congratulate you upon your arrival from the North Pole to the temperate zone, where I hope you will find the magnet equally and still more powerfully attractive to the needle of American commerce." "I am with high consideration, Dear Sir, your very humble and obedient servant, John Quincy Adams" End letter. The note is a copy produced on a "letter copying press," an early method of mechanical reproduction invented by James Watt in the 1780s. The letter copying press became quite popular in America. George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson were all enthusiastic practitioners, and Benjamin Franklin boasted that he could get three good copies out of it instead of the usual one. The method involved laying a dampened piece of unsized tissue over a fresh document written out in a prescribed ink, and sandwiching the two sheets into a table-top press. The ink adhered to the tissue, producing a readable copy. Ink press copies were early on considered legal representation of original documents. Reuben G. Beasley, who is mentioned in the letter, was an agent to the United States, in England. He was busily engaged in the release of American sailors, such as in this case. Beasley's tireless petition "for the immediate and complete release" of a certain American sailor being held by the British, and the "discharge from his Britannic Majesty's service" would go on from March 1813 to at least October of that year, to no avail. In this process multitudinous correspondence and documentation was passed to and fro between himself, James Monroe who was then Secretary of War under President James Madison, (later 5th US president), Second Secretary to the Admiralty Sir John Barrow, the Transport Board, and the Lords Commissioners of the British Admiralty. Among other things, documented proof was required to show that sailor was indeed an American, born in Boston, Massachusetts The captive was Jonathan Bigelow, an American seaman who was impressed into British Naval service in 1807, and was assigned to the HMS Cornelia, although he was held captive instead for six years prior to Beasley's overture. The Niles Weekly Register, a historic Baltimore newspaper, published details of this plight on Saturday, July 15, 1815. The American State Papers... of the Congress of the United States, Part 1, Volume 3, published in 1832, contains much of the correspondences in full. . Signed. Manuscript.


Reviews

Review this book (Want a chance to win $50? Log-in or create an account first!) (You'll be automatically entered for a chance to win $50!)



Help & frequently asked questions


Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
G
Good describes the average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted. (as defined...[more]

$600.00

$5.75 shipping to USA

More shipping options >




The American Total Eclipse - August 2017

The American Eclipse of 2017

The path of the total eclipse of August 2017 had our offices at 99% totality - we closed the office to go watch the spectacle, but first we put together this gallery inspired by eclipses to celebrate.

Signed vs Inscribed: What’s the difference?

Signed vs. Inscribed

Know what you are getting into when purchasing rare books, and learn the difference between signed books and inscribed books.


Trustpilot