Introduction Acknowledgments Abstract Log Articles of Agreement Bill of Health Bill of Lading Bill of Sale (1856) Bond for Duties (1825) Bonds for Foreign Voyages Charter Party Classification Certificate (1863) Clearance Certificate Coasting Permit (1809) Consular Certificates (Miscellaneous) Contribution Certificate "Morning Star" (1856) Convoy Instructions (ca. 1800) Crew List Customs Certificates and Forms (Miscellaneous) Drawback Forms and Certificates Enrolment Certificate Freight Circular (1857) Freight List (1857) Letter of Marque/Privateer Commission License (Coasting/Fishing Vessels) Logbook (1828) Manifest Marine Insurance Marine Society Membership Certificate (1839) Master Carpenter's Certificate/Measurement Certificate (1853) Master's Certificate (1861) Mediterranean Passport/Sea Letter Oaths and Affirmations Passenger List Pilot's License Port Rules and Regulations Portage Bill (1852) Receipts (Miscellaneous) Registry Certificate/Ship's Register Sailing Card (ca. 1860) Sailing Orders (1830) Seamen's Protection Certificate Shipbuilding Agreements and Contracts Steamboat Regulatory Documents Whalemen's Shipping Paper (1840) Appendix Selected Bibliography

American Maritime Documents, 1776-1860 - Stein, Douglas L.

Pilot's License

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A one-page document, varying in size and style, usually with the name of the state or port under whose authority the license was granted, prominently written or printed neat the top. Some early documents are completely hand written. Signatures of local commissioners, board members, or other officials responsible for examining and licensing the applicant will usually appear at the end of the document. Seals or notary stamps might also be found on some examples.

Pilots are responsible for the safe navigation of vessels up rivers, into harbors, and out again to the open sea. During the first half of the nineteenth century, pilots received their certification through the state within which the harbor was located. The states had the power to require pilotage in and out of their ports, and in the absence of any Federal legislation they provided their own regulations for pilots. This was often conducted by a state-appointed board examiners, or commissioners, who handled the examinations and licensing of the pilot applicants, as well as the licensing of pilot boats.

* Funding for digitization provided by: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation