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Francis Hopkinson Boldy Signs an Order to Examine a Ship
FRANCIS HOPKINSON (1737-1791). Signer of the Declaration of Independence as a Delegate from New Jersey, Federal Judge, American Author, and he played a key role in the design of the First American Flag and design of the Great Seal of the United States.
May 3, 1785-Dated, Manuscript Document Signed, "Fras Hopkinson" as Judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania, 1 page, measuring 12.5" x 7.75", Philadelphia, PA, Very Fine. Also included is the May 21, 1785-Dated "Report of Survey on the Ship Anna Capt Copplestone from Bristol," being a partially-printed document signed "Thos Pryor" and "Frans Gurney" as Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia, one page, 9" x 14.5", Very Fine. Headed: "Francis Hopkinson, Esquire, Judge of the Court of admiralty of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To the Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia, Greeting:" It reads, in full:
"Application having been made to Me by Richard Copplestone Master of the Ship or Vessel, called The Anna lately arrived from Bristol and now lying in this Port, for a Survey to be made on the said Ship You,or any two of you, taking to your Assistance my Ship-Carpenter or other Tradesman if you shall think it necessary to do so, are hereby directed and required diligently and carefully to Survey and examine as well the said Ship as the Goods, Wares, and Mechandizes laden on board, or any Parts or portions thereof, as you shall be thereto requested by the Owners or Consignees of the said Cargo or of any part thereof; and you are to estimate the Amount of Damage, Wastage or Loss, to the best of your Skill and Judgment, particularly specifying the Marks and Numbers of the Bales, Boxes, Casks or Packages, where such damaged Goods or Deficiencies may be found: In pursuance and according to the Direction of an Act of General Assembly of the Commonwealth, entitled 'An Act for the further Regulation of the Port of Philadelphia, and 'enlarging the Powers of the Wardens thereof;' And how you Shall have executed this Writ made a Return to Me, under your Hands duly signed on the Sixth Day of May Instant or on the next Court Day together with this writ..."
Light toning at folds which have been expertly reinforced on verso. Blind embosses seal of the Admiralty Court affixed in mid-left blank margin. Massive bold 4" long signature, "Fra Hopkinson" at its conclusion. (2 items)