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Item 257 - Alexander Hamilton Catalog 525 (Apr 2018)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $9,782.85 (includes buyer's premium)


Significant DS, signed “A. Hamilton, Sec'y of the Treas'y,” one page, 6.75 x 9.5, April 18, 1794. Printed act from the Third Congress of the United States, in full: "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, That the present Embargo be continued, and every regulation concerning the same shall be in full force until the twenty fifth day of May next." Approved by Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg, Vice President John Adams, and President George Washington, this act renewed an embargo 'on all ships and vessels in the ports of the United States bound for any foreign port or place,' which was primarily directed against Great Britain. In fine condition, with trivial paper loss to the lower left corner tip.

By a joint resolution of Congress on March 26, 1794, an embargo was laid for thirty days on all ships and vessels in ports of the United States bound for any foreign port or place. Two subsequent resolutions—one on April 2nd, and then this one on April 18th—extended the measure. There were two immediate causes of the embargo: the British order in council of November 6, 1783, which placed a virtual blockade on the French islands of the Caribbean; and reports of a belligerent speech given by Lord Dorchester to the Indian tribes in hostility with the United States. The goal of the embargo was to restrict the flow of provisions to the British fleet in the West Indies, though the effects applied equally to the French. Hamilton feared war with Great Britain, and the increasing tension between nations culminated in John Jay’s mission to secure a peace with England. With Hamilton's support, the agreements in the Jay Treaty were achieved in November 1794.

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