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.

Letter of Marque/Privateer Commission

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By 1812 the distinction between a Letter of Marque and a Privateer's Commission was difficult to establish. Often the vessel's description (i.e. number of guns or the size of her crew) is the most accurate indicator as to whether it was an armed merchantman or a private warship. The document illustrated here, belonging to the ship Alexander, is typical of the commissions granted by the government during the War of 1812. Printed on heavy grade paper, approximately 16" X 13". (Mss. Coll., Peabody Museum, Salem, MA. Photo by Mark Sexton.)

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