2nd Feb, 2023 11:00 EST

Books and Manuscripts

 
  Lot 27
 

27

[Americana] [Marblehead, Massachusetts]
Archive of the American Merchant Vessel "Hiram"

Archive of the Marblehead, Massachusetts-Based Merchant Vessel Hiram and its Trade Missions to Europe

Marblehead, Massachusetts; Bordeaux, France; Bilbao, Spain; etc., ca. 1803-1805. Comprising 30 printed and manuscript documents relating to the Schooner Hiram, a Marblehead, Massachusetts-based merchant vessel, detailing various trade missions to France, Spain, and the Caribbean; signed by various American, French, and Spanish government officials and/or traders, including many signed --or in the hand of--the Hiram's Master, Captain John G. Hooper, as well as the Hiram's owners, Henry Gallison and Joshua Prentiss, Jr.; some documents signed by Joseph Wilson, Collector of the Port of Marblehead. Size and condition vary, generally well preserved, with attendant creasing and wear.

The archive dates to the Napoleonic Wars when high seas trade for American merchant vessels was becoming increasingly dangerous due to Britain's campaign of search and seizure and impressing American sailors into its Navy. It is led by a scarce partially-printed ship's contract for the Hiram and its seven crew members, with the Congressional Act, "An Act for the Government and Regulation of Seaman in the Merchant's Service" printed in full on recto, and signed in type by President George Washington; Vice-President John Adams; Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; Speaker of the House of Representatives Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg; the contract's terms printed on verso, with printed roster signed and completed by the crew, listing their occupation onboard the Hiram, their wages, time of entry and discharge, and length of service. "An Act for the Government and Regulation of Seaman in the Merchant's Service" was the first Federal labor law in the United States, and was passed during the 2nd Session of the First Congress, on July 2, 1790. The Act helped protect merchant seamen from exploitation by their Captains during their service, and delineated the seamen's contractual rights and the safety regulations to be upheld aboard each ship. Following the Act's passage, these documents were distributed blank to Customs Collectors at American ports, and were subsequently filled in by each ship's crew. Every American-owned merchant vessel was required to keep this document among their papers during their entire voyage, and in the case of a wage or other dispute, it was to be presented to a Justice of the Peace or local magistrate for inspection.

Other items in this archive include seven manuscript documents, being orders and instructions to Captain John G. Hooper for trade missions by the Hiram to Spain, France, and England, many signed by the ship's owners, Henry Gallison and Joshua Prentiss, Jr., dated July 1804-September 1805; one partially-printed District of Marblehead Collector's Office document certifying the Hiram and her crew as American citizens, signed by Collector of the Port of Marblehead, Joseph Wilson, dated November 24, 1803; six manuscript financial documents, including invoices, for merchandise and goods transported by the Hiram between Marblehead, France, Spain, and the Caribbean, dated ca. December 1804-December 1805; one 30-page manuscript financial ledger, likely penned by Captain Hooper and one or more other hands, for accounts of dozens of individuals and companies in Bilbao, Lisbon, Bordeaux, etc., as well as recording amounts for various services rendered, dated March 1804-March 1805; four manuscript documents recording the labor hours for four crew members of the Hiram, dated November-December, 1804; two partially-printed Marblehead Marine Insurance Company documents, insuring merchandise and property on the Hiram during her trade missions "from Marblehead to one or more ports in Europe...", dated December 1, 1803 and July 10, 1804; one partially-printed Commonwealth of Massachusetts legal document, signed by Notary Public and Justice of the Peace in Boston, William Stevenson, certifying the large shipment of goods from Marblehead to Bordeaux, and endorsed by British Consul at Boston, Thomas McDonagh, with an attached lengthy manuscript invoice detailing the goods and merchandise onboard, as well as an attached bill of lading, and French Commissary Office in Boston document, signed by French Commissary Agent for New England, Marc-Antoine Alexis Giraud, dated July 5-6, 1804; one scarce and partially-printed Republic of France passport for Captain Hooper, dated ca. August, 1804; five partially-printed documents from the Commercial Agency at the Port of Bordeaux, France, including receipts for merchandise and goods, two bills of lading, and one invoice mentioning the release of the ship's cook, D. Richards, "guilty of Theft comes under the criminal Law of this Country", some documents signed by Commercial Agent for the United States in Bordeaux, William Lee, dated ca. February-August, 1804; one partially-printed bill of lading for merchandise received by Spanish merchants Gordia, Bayo & Co. at the port of Bilbao, Spain, dated February 22, 1805.

The Schooner Hiram was a 97-ton merchant vessel based out of Marblehead, Massachusetts, helmed by Captain John Griste Hooper (1770-1852), with a crew of six men, and owned by Marblehead merchants Henry Gallison (1759-1825) and Joshua Prentiss, Jr. (1766-1827). Between the years 1803-05--the period spanning this archive--the Hiram made trans-Atlantic voyages between Marblehead, France, Spain, and the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, trading sugar, coffee, and codfish.

Captain Hooper was a seventh generation member of the eminent Marblehead Hooper dynasty, and like his forebears worked and made his living off the bountiful coastal waters of Marblehead and beyond. Hooper was born in 1770 to John Hooper (1742-1814) and Grace Griste Hooper (b. 1743), and like his father, worked as a fisherman and sea captain. The Hooper clans' roots can be traced back in Marblehead to the 1660s, and include two of Marblehead's most successful merchants: Robert "King" Hooper (1709-90), who controlled most of the trade conducted in the town during the 18th century, up until the American Revolution, and Robert Hooper "The Patriot" (1741-1814), who served as a private in the Revolution and became a successful trade merchant in the region following the war. Between 1796 and 1838 Captain Hooper commanded at least 12 merchant vessels, including the Hiram. In 1809 he petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to change his name to include his mother's maiden name, Griste, to distinguish himself from the many John Hoopers of the area. From 1811-12 he was a representative in the Massachusetts General Court, and in 1813 he became the Inspector of the Port of Marblehead and Lynn. See p. 136, #68 and p. 156, #116 in Hooper Genealogy (Boston, 1908).

In 1820 Hiram-owner Joshua Prentiss was elected as Senator in the Massachusetts Legislature.

Marblehead was an important fishing town in early coastal New England and during the 18th century emerged as a booming commercial seaport. During the Revolutionary War period its population was second only to Boston, and numerous wealthy merchant families who built their wealth off the international trade in fish, sugar, and coffee called it home. During the American Revolution the United State's first Naval vessel, Hannah, was commissioned in Marblehead, and the town now claims the disputed title--along with nearby Beverly, where the Hannah was outfitted--as the birthplace of the United States Navy.

A unique and in depth portrait of early American commerce.

Estimate
$2,000 - $3,000
 

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Archive of the Marblehead, Massachusetts-Based Merchant Vessel Hiram and its Trade Missions to Europe

Marblehead, Massachusetts; Bordeaux, France; Bilbao, Spain; etc., ca. 1803-1805. Comprising 30 printed and manuscript documents relating to the Schooner Hiram, a Marblehead, Massachusetts-based merchant vessel, detailing various trade missions to France, Spain, and the Caribbean; signed by various American, French, and Spanish government officials and/or traders, including many signed --or in the hand of--the Hiram's Master, Captain John G. Hooper, as well as the Hiram's owners, Henry Gallison and Joshua Prentiss, Jr.; some documents signed by Joseph Wilson, Collector of the Port of Marblehead. Size and condition vary, generally well preserved, with attendant creasing and wear.

The archive dates to the Napoleonic Wars when high seas trade for American merchant vessels was becoming increasingly dangerous due to Britain's campaign of search and seizure and impressing American sailors into its Navy. It is led by a scarce partially-printed ship's contract for the Hiram and its seven crew members, with the Congressional Act, "An Act for the Government and Regulation of Seaman in the Merchant's Service" printed in full on recto, and signed in type by President George Washington; Vice-President John Adams; Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; Speaker of the House of Representatives Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg; the contract's terms printed on verso, with printed roster signed and completed by the crew, listing their occupation onboard the Hiram, their wages, time of entry and discharge, and length of service. "An Act for the Government and Regulation of Seaman in the Merchant's Service" was the first Federal labor law in the United States, and was passed during the 2nd Session of the First Congress, on July 2, 1790. The Act helped protect merchant seamen from exploitation by their Captains during their service, and delineated the seamen's contractual rights and the safety regulations to be upheld aboard each ship. Following the Act's passage, these documents were distributed blank to Customs Collectors at American ports, and were subsequently filled in by each ship's crew. Every American-owned merchant vessel was required to keep this document among their papers during their entire voyage, and in the case of a wage or other dispute, it was to be presented to a Justice of the Peace or local magistrate for inspection.

Other items in this archive include seven manuscript documents, being orders and instructions to Captain John G. Hooper for trade missions by the Hiram to Spain, France, and England, many signed by the ship's owners, Henry Gallison and Joshua Prentiss, Jr., dated July 1804-September 1805; one partially-printed District of Marblehead Collector's Office document certifying the Hiram and her crew as American citizens, signed by Collector of the Port of Marblehead, Joseph Wilson, dated November 24, 1803; six manuscript financial documents, including invoices, for merchandise and goods transported by the Hiram between Marblehead, France, Spain, and the Caribbean, dated ca. December 1804-December 1805; one 30-page manuscript financial ledger, likely penned by Captain Hooper and one or more other hands, for accounts of dozens of individuals and companies in Bilbao, Lisbon, Bordeaux, etc., as well as recording amounts for various services rendered, dated March 1804-March 1805; four manuscript documents recording the labor hours for four crew members of the Hiram, dated November-December, 1804; two partially-printed Marblehead Marine Insurance Company documents, insuring merchandise and property on the Hiram during her trade missions "from Marblehead to one or more ports in Europe...", dated December 1, 1803 and July 10, 1804; one partially-printed Commonwealth of Massachusetts legal document, signed by Notary Public and Justice of the Peace in Boston, William Stevenson, certifying the large shipment of goods from Marblehead to Bordeaux, and endorsed by British Consul at Boston, Thomas McDonagh, with an attached lengthy manuscript invoice detailing the goods and merchandise onboard, as well as an attached bill of lading, and French Commissary Office in Boston document, signed by French Commissary Agent for New England, Marc-Antoine Alexis Giraud, dated July 5-6, 1804; one scarce and partially-printed Republic of France passport for Captain Hooper, dated ca. August, 1804; five partially-printed documents from the Commercial Agency at the Port of Bordeaux, France, including receipts for merchandise and goods, two bills of lading, and one invoice mentioning the release of the ship's cook, D. Richards, "guilty of Theft comes under the criminal Law of this Country", some documents signed by Commercial Agent for the United States in Bordeaux, William Lee, dated ca. February-August, 1804; one partially-printed bill of lading for merchandise received by Spanish merchants Gordia, Bayo & Co. at the port of Bilbao, Spain, dated February 22, 1805.

The Schooner Hiram was a 97-ton merchant vessel based out of Marblehead, Massachusetts, helmed by Captain John Griste Hooper (1770-1852), with a crew of six men, and owned by Marblehead merchants Henry Gallison (1759-1825) and Joshua Prentiss, Jr. (1766-1827). Between the years 1803-05--the period spanning this archive--the Hiram made trans-Atlantic voyages between Marblehead, France, Spain, and the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, trading sugar, coffee, and codfish.

Captain Hooper was a seventh generation member of the eminent Marblehead Hooper dynasty, and like his forebears worked and made his living off the bountiful coastal waters of Marblehead and beyond. Hooper was born in 1770 to John Hooper (1742-1814) and Grace Griste Hooper (b. 1743), and like his father, worked as a fisherman and sea captain. The Hooper clans' roots can be traced back in Marblehead to the 1660s, and include two of Marblehead's most successful merchants: Robert "King" Hooper (1709-90), who controlled most of the trade conducted in the town during the 18th century, up until the American Revolution, and Robert Hooper "The Patriot" (1741-1814), who served as a private in the Revolution and became a successful trade merchant in the region following the war. Between 1796 and 1838 Captain Hooper commanded at least 12 merchant vessels, including the Hiram. In 1809 he petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to change his name to include his mother's maiden name, Griste, to distinguish himself from the many John Hoopers of the area. From 1811-12 he was a representative in the Massachusetts General Court, and in 1813 he became the Inspector of the Port of Marblehead and Lynn. See p. 136, #68 and p. 156, #116 in Hooper Genealogy (Boston, 1908).

In 1820 Hiram-owner Joshua Prentiss was elected as Senator in the Massachusetts Legislature.

Marblehead was an important fishing town in early coastal New England and during the 18th century emerged as a booming commercial seaport. During the Revolutionary War period its population was second only to Boston, and numerous wealthy merchant families who built their wealth off the international trade in fish, sugar, and coffee called it home. During the American Revolution the United State's first Naval vessel, Hannah, was commissioned in Marblehead, and the town now claims the disputed title--along with nearby Beverly, where the Hannah was outfitted--as the birthplace of the United States Navy.

A unique and in depth portrait of early American commerce.

  

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All property offered and sold (“property”) through Samuel T. Freeman & Co, (“Freeman’s”) shall be offered and sold on the terms and conditions set forth below which constitutes the complete statement of the terms and conditions on which all property is offered for sale. By bidding at the auction, whether present in person or by agent, by written bid, telephone, internet or other means, the buyer agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.

1. Unless otherwise indicated, all Property will be offered by Freeman’s as agent for the Consignor.

2. Freeman’s reserves the right to vary the terms of sale and any such variance shall become part of these Conditions of Sale.

3. As a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, in person inspections of the Property are available by appointment only and therefore, Freeman’s has also made available to the Buyer the opportunity to (a) view the lot online at freemansauction. com and to view the auction’s e-catalogue, (b) submit a request for a condition report either through the online lot listing or by contacting the specialist directly and (c) have a virtual consultation with the specialist. Buyer acknowledges that it has had the right to take advantage of the aforementioned inspections prior to the sale to determine the condition, size, repair or restoration of any Property. Buyer acknowledges that  it had the right to make a full inspection of all Property prior to sale to determine the condition, size, repair or restoration of any Property. Therefore, all property is sold “AS-IS”. Freeman’s is acting solely as an auction broker, and unless otherwise stated, does not own the Property offered for sale and has made no independent investigation of the Property. Freeman’s makes no warranty of title, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, or any other warranty or representation regarding the description, genuineness, attribution, provenance or condition to the Property of any kind or nature with respect to the Property.

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14. Third-Party Internet Bidding Services (a) Third Party Bidding Platforms. We engage third party online bidding platforms to collect or facilitate auction bids (“Bidding Platforms”), each of which levy a fee for their services, and have their own rules on fees and how to bid and buy online using these Bidding Platforms. Freeman’s has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any Bidding Platforms. Your dealings with Bidding Platforms are solely between you and such Bidding Platforms. We encourage you to be aware of, and to read, the terms and conditions and privacy policy of any Bidding Platforms that you visit. You expressly release Freeman’s from any and all liability arising from your use of any Bidding Platform or other third-party website or service. (b) Waiver. Absentee Bids left with Bidding Platforms are released to Freeman’s when a lot comes up for sale. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, WILL WE AND OUR SELLERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS OR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT RESULT FROM THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THESE BIDDING PLATFORMS.  

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All purchases made at Freeman’s, therefore, will be subject to the Pennsylvania State and Local sales tax--currently at a combined rate of 8%, which is applied to the hammer price plus buyer’s premium--unless the successful buyer submits the required tax exemption documentation. Those seeking exemption from sales tax must provide a valid certificate to Freeman’s prior to outgoing shipment.

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17. In no event shall any liability of Freeman’s to the buyer exceed the purchase price actually paid.

18. No claimed modification or amendment of this Agreement on the part of any party shall be deemed extant, enforceable or provable unless it is in writing that has been signed by the parties to this Agreement. No course of dealing and no delay or omission on the part of Freeman’s in exercising any right under this Agreement shall operate as a waiver of such right or any other right and waiver on any one or more occasions shall not be construed as a bar to or waiver of any right or remedy of Freeman’s on any future occasion.

19. These Conditions of Sale and the buyer’s, the Consignor’s and Freeman’s rights under these Conditions of Sale shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Consignor and Buyer agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.   

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