Custom House Document Collection (Coll. 292)


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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Descriptions of Types of Documents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Title: Custom House Document Collection
Dates: 1790-1866
Extent: 289 items
Abstract: The collection consists of various Customs documents, primarily from ports on the eastern seaboard, from the late 1700's until 1866. It contains approximately 300 customs documents of different types which were required to be carried by the masters of vessels to prove their cargo was legitimate, and had paid the necessary duties at each port of entry.
Identification: Coll. 292

Descriptions of Types of Documents

The following descriptions are taken from "American Maritime Documents 1776-1860" by Douglas L. Stein:

"Certificate for Exporting Goods From a District Other Than the One of Original Importation: This form notes the district of importation, the district of exportation, the final destination, and the master(s) and vessel(s) employed in transporting the cargo. The cargo was listed below the initial statement, with the amount of drawback appearing near the bottom of the certificate. Issued through the custom house, the form carried the signatures of the collector and the naval officer."p. 71

"The Coasting Permit was a customs document required to be carried by shipmasters of vessels transporting certain previously imported goods from one U.S. port to another. They were generally small, undecorated forms, and carried the signature of the issuing customs official. Coasting Permits were authorized by 1790 and 1793 legislation that dealt with licensing and enrollment of American vessels, but these permits were valid for one voyage only, and were used in addition to these other documents. The master of a ship carrying certain imported goods, such as wine, sugar, and tea (or distilled spirits manufactured in the U.S.) made duplicate Manifests of all the vessel's cargo. He then delivered them to the collector and swore that, to the best of his knowledge, the goods had been legally imported and all appropriate duties paid. The collector would then certify the oath on the Manifests, and return one to the master along with the Coasting Permit attached, which described the cargo and authorized him to proceed on his intended voyage. Coasting Permits are representative of the many documents and forms used by the United States during the early years of the nineteenth century to protect American markets from illegal importation and transportation of foreign goods." p. 42

"Entry of Merchandise Certificate: This form indicates an Entry of Merchandise for coastwise transport...This one-page printed document details the cargo's movements as affirmed by the Collector, and was required in order to retain the right to drawback." p. 70

"Inward Foreign Entry Certificate: This customs document, in various forms, was issued through the collector whenever imported foreign cargo arrived in his district. It contains a description of the goods, and in addition required an oath from the owner, agent, or cosignee, that the items were legally imported, that the manifest was accurate, and that the appropriate duties had been paid. Once the Certificate was completed to the collector's satisfaction, he signed it and the goods were released from the port's authority." p. 63

Manifests: "A Manifest is the detailed statement or invoice of a vessel's cargo. It includes such information as the Bills of Lading numbers, the number of packages and their identifying marks, the names of the shippers and cosignees, ports of destination, etc. More specifically there are outward (or clearing Manifests), inward Manifests, coasting Manifests, and passenger Manifests. The kind of information required could vary somewhat from one kind of Manifest to another, but their purpose was the same. This was the official document consulted when any legal action might be necessary relative to a vessel's cargo. The Manifest, properly made out and sworn to by the master, had to be presented to the collector, consul, or other appropriate authority, before a ship entered or cleared port. Manifests are fairly common maritime documents, and they can be an informative research source for the maritime historian." p. 91

The collection also contains 26 U.S. Customs Treasury Department circular letters dating from 1798 to 1836.

This collection is composed of oversized materials.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division. See also: Mystic Seaport's copyright notice.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Subjects:

Customs Administration
Drawbacks
Shipping
Tariff

Document Types:

Commercial documents
Customs records
Ship's papers

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 292, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

The entiretly of this collection is stored with the oversized materials.

Port of Baltimore; 1800-1811
Box Folder
1 1 Coasting Permit; Certificates for Exporting Goods from a District Other than the One of Original Importation; 1801-1811 (5 items)
2 Entry of Merchandise Certificates; 1801-1802 (26 items)
3 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1800 Jan-Mar (31 items)
4 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1800 Apr-Dec (26 items)
5 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1801 Jan-Apr (22 items)
6 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1801 May (31 items)
7 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1801 Jun-Dec (14 items)
8 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1802-1806 (25 items)
9 Manifests; 1808-1815 (6 items)
Port of Bath; 1817
Box Folder
2 1 Manifest; 1817 (1 item)
Port of Boston; 1819-1833
Box Folder
2 1 Manifest; 1819 (1 item)
1 Certificate for Exporting Goods from a District Other than the One of Original Importation; 1833 (1 item)
Port of Bristol; 1819
Box Folder
2 1 Manifest; 1819 (1 item)
Port of Castine; 1825
Box Folder
2 1 Certificate for Exporting Goods from a District Other than the One of Original Importation; 1825 Oct 4 (1 item)
Port of Eastport; 1863
Box Folder
2 1 Manifest; 1863 (1 item)
Port of Manchester (England); 1834
Box Folder
2 1 Owner/manufacturer oath; 1834 (1 item)
Port of Middletown; 1790-1812
Box Folder
2 2 Manifests; 1790-1812 (16 items)
Port of New Bedford; 1810-1860
Box Folder
2 3 Inward Foreign Entry Certificates; 1810-1846 (6 items)
3 Manifests; 1819-1827 (17 items)
3 Bond for Duties; 1860 (1 item)
Port of New Haven; 1819
Box Folder
2 4 Manifest; 1819 (1 item)
Port of New London; 1863
Box Folder
2 4 Manifest; 1819 (1 item)
Port of New Orleans; 1819-1854
Box Folder
2 4 Certificates for Exporting Goods from a District Other than the One of Original Importation; 1831-1833 (3 items)
4 Manifests; 1819-1847 (2 items)
4 Permit to Land Cargo; 1850-1854 (1 item)
Port of New York; 1797-1863
Box Folder
2 5 Certificates for Exporting Goods from a District Other than the One of Original Importation; 1825-1834 (9 items)
5 Entry of Merchandise Certificates; 1797; 1802 (3 items)
5 Manifests; 1819-1863 (9 items)
5 Bill of Lading; 1803 (1 item)
Port of Philadelphia; 1793-1866
Box Folder
2 6 Coastwise Arrivals for the Fourth District; 1865 Mar 17 (1 item)
6 Debenture Certificates; 1807-1848 (6 items)
6 Entry of Merchandise Certificates; 1800-1866 (5 items)
6 Inspector's Statement & Receipt; 1823 Jul 1 (1 items)
6 Manifests; 1793; 1804 (2 items)
Port of Providence; 1863
Box Folder
2 7 Manifest; 1863 (1 item)
Port of St. Croix; 1834
Box Folder
2 7 Owner/manufacturer oath; 1834 (1 item)
Port of St. Louis; 1853
Box Folder
2 7 Certification of Duties Paid; 1853 (2 items)
Port of St. Thomas; 1831-1836
Box Folder
2 7 Debenture Certificates; 1831-1836 (5 items)
Port of Salem; 1825
Box Folder
2 7 Drawback; 1825 (1 item)
Port of Stonington; 1819
Box Folder
2 7 Manifest; 1819 (1 item)
Port of Wilmington; 1863
Box Folder
2 7 Manifest; 1863 (1 item)
Treasury Department Circular Letters; 1798 - 1836
Box Folder
2 8 Circular Letters; 1789 - 1799 (3 items)
9 Circular Letters; 1801 - 1804 (5 items)
10 Circular Letters; 1814 - 1819 (3 items)
11 Circular Letters; 1820 - 1828 (8 items)
12 Circular Letters; 1830 - 1836 (8 items)

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