Five Certificates of Importation, Green Tea from Canton to Port of Boston, 1827.
Printed sheet, 7 x 3 1/2 inches, accomplished in manuscript.
These forms certify that certain quantities of green tea were imported into the Customs District aboard the “Champion,” Magee, master, from Canton, February 5, 1827. They are signed by Elbridge Gerry (son of the signer Gerry) as Inspector of Revenue, a post to which he was appointed by Madison in 1822, and by H. M. Dearborn, Customs Collector for the Port of Boston. The specificity of these forms suggests that they were printed to order, upon the arrival of each ship. This would distinguish them from other Certificates of Import, such as the one described on p. 61 of Stein’s “American Maritime Documents.” I’ve never seen anything quite like them. One other example exists in the Henry A. A. Dearborn Papers at the Clements Library. Five copies, individually marked in manuscript, very good condition.