Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Adams, John (1735-1826) [Commission for privateer "Active."]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00838 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Document signed Date: 8 January 1800 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering. Partially printed document. John Adams, as president, gives permission to David Stewart, a Baltimore merchant, to use his ship "Active" as a privateer during the Quasi War with France. The ship has a crew of 20, is armed with 10 guns, and is captained by William Storey. Large embossed paper seal of the United States at the bottom. Docket on verso is illegible because of cardboard backing added at an unknown date.

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Pickering, Timothy

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Keywords/Subjects: Navy, Privateering, President Quasi-war, Maritime, France, Military History, President Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: