Secretary of State James Monroe grants unarmed British vessels safe passage to Sable Island, during the War of 1812.
Document is signed by James Monroe and was issued on November 7th, 1812. Document is mounted in wood frame, museum glass, portrait of James Monroe opposite the document. Decorative plaque with the presidential term of James Monroe in gold. Not examined outside frame. Full piece measures 25″ x 18.5″. Framed by Sportsman’s Gallery of Rifle, Colorado. Document folded along bottom quarter, obscuring additional writing and the likely recipient. Signed “Jas. Monroe” next to his title. A fine diplomatic piece between two warring countries.
Sable Island is a crescent shaped barrier island, 100 miles from Nova Scotia, known to sailors as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Before the War of 1812, the British had set up a lifesaving station on Sable Island, to provide medical care and shelter for the survivors of shipwrecks. On the orders of President Madison, the nascent United States Navy was not to “interrupt any British unarmed vessels bound to Sable Island, and laden with supplies for the humane establishment at that place.” This order was distributed to Navy vessels and “private armed vessels” in the Atlantic Ocean and personally signed by Secretary of State James Monroe.