Late 18th to Early 19th Century Documents Signed by Statesmen Including David Henshaw & Richard Frothingham

Lot of 5. Includes: 7.5 x 9.75 in. document from the Massachusetts Commissioner's Office. Accounting of the Certificates of Funded Debt. Dated 7 January 1791 and signed by Richard Frothingham of Charlestown. Apparently this Richard Frothingham is the grandfather of the author with the same name of several Massachusetts histories. We find Richard Frothinghams living 1749-1819 (probably this one), 1782-1861, 181222-1880, and beyond. All of these are Richards. There seems to be another Richard who is the son of Thomas, hence there are multiple Frothingham lines in Charlestown. (There is a death record for one of the Richard Frothinghams on 4 Aug. 1788 and another on 10 Sept. 1789 - not likely an error in the records; Massachusetts has good vital records, even for the colonial period). During the first half of the 19th century, we find one of the Richards was a carriage maker, the other the mayor, newspaper editor, and author. The latter seems to be the grandson of this Richard Frothingham.

There are four certificates of citizenship, the earliest signed by David Gelston, Collector of the District of New York (1801-1820) on recto, by Jonathan Thompson, Collector (1820-1829) on docketing on verso. The original date seems to be 19 Sept. 1802 (but the third number is a bit difficult - could be 1812).

The other three are signed by David Henshaw (1791-1852), Collector for the District of Boston and Charlestown (1820s - 1838), dated 23 June 1829, 1 Sept. 1831, and 14 May 1832(?). He served as Secretary of the Navy under John Tyler for just under seven months (1843-1844). He was not confirmed by Congress, and left office when the Thomas Gilmer was approved. While in office, he had to deal with shipbuilding problems and supplying Navy yards; he did appoint some senior officers; and he attempted to establish a naval school. The year before, 1842, there had been a failed mutiny aboard a school ship, the Somers, that resulted in three men being hanged, and questions raised about training of midshipmen. However, it wasn't until 1850 that the US Naval Academy was officially "born." A non-funded school had been established in 1845, that started teaching navigation, mathematics, plus English, French, philosophy, etc. It became the Naval Academy at Annapolis five years later.

There is also a small certificate in the lot acknowledging a donation (10 cents) to a missionary society, dated 1856, with printed signature.

Condition:Most as expected with light toning and folds. The early Port Collector's certificate is trimmed, the other three as printed.

Estimate: $100 - $200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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