Nov 17, 2020 - Sale 2551

Sale 2551 - Lot 36

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
FOR A U.S. WARSHIP GIFTED TO THE DEY OF ALGIERS ADAMS, JOHN. Partly-printed vellum Document Signed, as President, ship's papers for the frigate Crescent. Countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering. 18 1/4x12 inches, scalloped upper edge; slight scattered fading to text (but signatures relatively bold), encapsulated (but removable), faint scattered staining, folds, seal intact; matted and framed. [Philadelphia], circa 13 January 1798

Additional Details

Built in Philadelphia and launched in July of 1797, the 36-gun warship Crescent had been promised as a gift to Hussein Dey in Algiers in order to appease him for the U.S. delay in payment due to him according to the terms of the 1795 Treaty of Peace and Amity. Because of the U.S.'s lack of a navy (the first frigate authorized by the Naval Act of 1794 would not sail until May of 1798), commercial shipping relied upon Algerian protection, and because maintenance of revolutionary war debt had made cash difficult to obtain, payments from the U.S. were not always timely. The Crescent set sail for Algiers on January 18, 1798, arriving there in late February. Despite the gift and subsequent payments, American merchant ships in North African waters continued to be preyed upon by Barbary pirates until U.S. Navy ships arrived there in sufficient numbers in the 1820s.