This visually appealing document is a ship's passport with dual engraved maritime vignettes below the scalloped top margin and complete Presidential seal affixed at lower left corner. President Madison and his Secretary of State James Monroe have signed this maritime document acknowledging that the ship "Lucas of Salem, Nathaniel Sage, commander," belongs to the United States. Also signed by the Collector of the Port of Salem, Will R. Lee. Fading to manuscript portions, but President Madison' signature is strong, Monroe's signature is somewhat lighter. Matted with a photogravure of each president and archivally framed in classic walnut stained wood frame. Framed with double glass so that the front and back of the passport show. A fine document bearing the signatures of two presidents and two Founding Fathers. Frame measures 29.5 x 20 inches.
Ship passports that were used for US vessels sailing in the Mediterranean resulted from an agreement in 1795 to allow the passage of ships in return for payments to the Barbary pirates who required countries to pay tribute in exchange for not capturing that country's ships and crews. America was one of the countries who agreed to pay for safe passage. These passports identified ships which had safe passage. The scalloped edge of the passport shows that the top portion had been cut and sent ahead to be matched when, in this case the Schooner Weymouth, arrived. An historic document with great visual appeal.