It is countersigned by New York Mayor Richard Varick and legendary Continental Army artillery commander John Lamb .
In the early days of the American republic, ships leaving U.S. ports for foreign shores were required to have passports, and both the president and secretary of state frequently signed these documents. Between March 1790 and December 1793, passports signed by Washington as President were also signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary...
In the early days of the American republic, ships leaving U.S. ports for foreign shores were required to have passports, and both the president and secretary of state frequently signed these documents. Between March 1790 and December 1793, passports signed by Washington as President were also signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State.
Document Signed by President Washington and Secretary of State Jefferson, Philadelphia, July 20, 1793, a ship’s passport in English, French and Dutch giving permission to “Oliver Hewlett , master or commander of the Schooner Experiment…lying at present at the Port of New York and bound for Cadiz, Spain, and laden with Flour, Beeswax & Boards, to depart and proceed with this said Schooner.” The document is witnessed by Collector of the Port of New York John Lamb, who was the commander of the legendary Lamb’s Artillery during the Revolution, and certified by Richard Varick, Mayor of New York.
Captain Hewlett was from Hempstead, Long Island, where his family were noted early settlers. His father was Colonel Richard Hewlett of the Queen’s Royal militia, and was a Tory who fought for Great Britain during the Revolution, while his nautical-minded son threw in his lot with the patriots. A newspaper article from the Nassau Daily Star, Thursday, August 10,1933, discusses the Hewletts, the Schooner Experient, and even mentions this very document. “Oliver Hewlett had a schooner, ‘The Experiment.’ It was a ship of 70 tons burden and plied to points as far away as the West Indies and England and Spain. The ship in 1793 had a passport under the signatures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Richard Varich, mayor of New York. It was written in three languages, English, French and Dutch, giving the vessel the right to ply between New York and Cadiz, Spain…The Hewlett family still have in their possession a parchment passport issued for lading…[showing] cargos of superfine flour, boards and beeswax.”
Documents signed by both Washington and Jefferson are becoming more and more difficult to find. It’s been years since we have had one.
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