Broadsheet; "An Act For the Government and Regulation of Seamen in the Merchant's Service

Nice example of American Naval Regulation of Labor Agreements between master and crew on Interstate Voyages. Form is pre-printed with Mss. entries; Working document concerning Brig Ruby of Newburyport, Mass, and the detailed (by Act) contract between Master John Dilloway and the six crew members; their roles, wages, etc. in MSS. on an 1811 voyage from Newburyport to the West Indies

Broadsheet; "An Act For the Government and Regulation of Seamen in the Merchant's Service, Image 1

In 1790, a Federal Law was enacted requiring detailed contracts between a ship's master and the crew for all interstate voyages. The full law was printed on the document, with the opposite side to be filled in Manuscript with details of the voyage, master and crew. Forms were pre-printed, and filled in prior to each voyage with appropriate details. All forms of the broadsheet are rare, with full copies very hard to find in any form. There are several variations of the broadsheet as they were printed by various booksellers.

Act reads: "Congress of the United States, at the second session, begun and held at the city of New York, on Monday the 4th of January, 1790. And Act for the Government and Regulation of Seamen in the Merchant's Service. It is agreed, between the Master, Seamen, and Mariners of the (Brig Ruby of Newburyport,) Master, now bound from the port of (Newburyport to the West Indies), that in consideration of the monthly or other wages, against each respective Seaman and Mariner's Name Hereunder Set, they severally shall and will perform the above mentioned voyage" Act continues in 3 column format and closed with printed names of Frederick Muhlenburg, John Adams, Geo Washington and Thomas Jefferson as signers of the 1790 Act.

Date: 1790

Measurement: Matte: 17.5" by 22", Sight: 16.75" by 12.5"

Condition: Fold creases, otherwise fine. Very Rare


SKU: 232-336

For More Information, Please Contact David Hillier at 978-597-8084 or email