Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Polk, James K. (1795-1849) Pardon of John Paterson, John Smith & Peter Johnson, convicted of larceny on high seas.

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00045.09 Author/Creator: Polk, James K. (1795-1849) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Document signed Date: 24 June 1848 Pagination: 2 p. ; 39 x 26 cm

Summary of Content: Convicted of larceny on high seas; sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and a fine of $30 each. Pardoned after serving prison sentence, as "they are seafaring men, dependent upon their monthly wages for support, have no property, and are wholly unable to pay the fine...". (c/s James Buchanan) "Duplicate" written on top.

People: Paterson, John
Smith, John
Johnson, Peter, fl. 1848
Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
Polk, James Knox, 1795-1849

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PresidentPardonLawCriminals and OutlawsMaritime

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources