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.

Bill of Lading

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A one-page printed form varying in size and style, 8" x 6" to 5" x 11", representing approximate common measurements. Usually began, "Shipped in Good Order And (Well Conditioned) Condition, by..." Small engravings of sailing vessels are often present. Revenue stamps frequently appear, and a handwritten receipt of goods by the consignee is sometimes found on the reverse side.

The Bill of Lading was signed by the master, acknowledging receipt of the cargo described on the document. It also reaffirms his obligation to deliver the goods to the consignee or his order as detailed in the Charter Party. The amount of cargo taken in is indicated, and any identifying marks are included in the description. There were usually three or four copies of a Bill of Lading. One was delivered to the master, another kept by the shipper, and one was sent to the consignee. Bills of Lading were considered part of a private transaction between the owner of the goods and the master, and did not provide the same degree of authenticity as the Charter Party or the Manifest. Bills of Lading are common maritime documents which can provide valuable information about the transportation of various cargoes and the business of shipping.

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