Free Hanseatic Republics Passport Issued At London 1840

Free Hanseatic Republics Passport Issued At London 1840

This travel document is one of the rare passport types a collector can find. In fact, this document is the only I ever saw. But some history of the Hanseatic Republics first.

The Hanseatic Republics were composed of the three Free Hanseatic Cities that remained by the late eighteenth century: BremenLübeck, and Hamburg. When the United States announced its independence from Great Britain in 1776, these three Free Cities were sovereign, independent city-states within the Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, and in 1811 annexed Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg directly to the First French Empire. The three Hanseatic cities regained independence in 1813, and the 1815 Congress of Vienna reaffirmed that Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg were independent and sovereign city-states.

Historically major trading hubs for the northern German States and Baltic Sea, the three cities joined together to conduct one streamlined policy in their relations with the United States during the nineteenth century. Yet, each Hanseatic city remained independent of the others. After initial recognition in the 1790s, relations were expanded in the following decades, driven by the increased trade and commercial ties between the Hanseatic Cities and the United States. By the late 1840s, Bremen was one of the main ports through which goods moved between the United States and the German States.

Direct diplomatic relations between the United States and the Hanseatic Republics were established in 1853 but were severed in 1868 when the three republics joined the North German Confederation. Three years later after the process of German unification, the three republics entered into the German Empire. From this point forward, foreign policy of the German Empire was made in Berlin, with the German Kaiser (who was also the King of Prussia) accrediting ambassadors of foreign nations. Relations with the German Empire were severed when the U.S. declared war upon Imperial Germany in 1917.

Mutual Acts of Recognition, 1790-1793

The first known act of recognition between the United States and Hamburg came in 1790 when the Free City of Hamburg accepted the credentials of U.S. Vice Consul John Parish, who was appointed to that position on June 17, 1790. Additionally, on February 19, 1793, the U.S. Congress resolved that John Parish was to be accredited as U.S. Consul in Hamburg.

Recognition between the U.S. and Breman, 1794

The first known act of recognition between the United States and Bremen was in 1794 when Arnold Delius, who on May 28, 1794, was appointed as U.S. Consul at Bremen, arrived to open the first U.S. consulate in that city. The U.S. did not open a consulate in Lübeck until August 6, 1824.

Hanseatic Representation in the U.S., December 4, 1827

The first time that the Hanseatic Republics were represented in the United States Government as a joint delegation came on December 4, 1827, when the U.S. received Hanseatic Republic Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States of America Vincent Rumpff. Rumpff was sent to the United States to negotiate and sign the first treaty between the United States and the three Hanseatic Republics.

Consular Presence

The first U.S. Consulate to open in Bremen was on May 29, 1794, which closed in September 1985. Another U.S. consulate was opened in nearby Bremerhaven on June 27, 1882, which closed on May 1, 1949. (Bremerhaven became part of Bremen in 1947, after the Second World War). The first U.S. Consulate to open in Hamburg was on June 17, 1790. It closed on January 2, 1967. The U.S. Consulate in Lübeck opened on August 6, 1824, and closed on March 1, 1916. The U.S. Consulate to the Hanseatic and Free Cities opened on January 24, 1857, and closed on July 17, 1862.

Diplomatic Relations

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Hanseatic Republics in October 1853 when it received Rudolph Schleiden as Minister Resident of the Hanseatic Legation in Washington D.C. On September 25, 1868, the Hanseatic Republic Acting Chargé d’Affaires A. Schumacker presented the letters of recall of Dr. Johannes Rosing, the Hanseatic Republic’s Chargé d’Affaires. The withdrawal of the Hanseatic mission was due to the three Republics (Bremen, Hamburg, and Lübeck) joining the North German Union.

The Passport

The document comes in a large folio format, is well traveled and was issued by the Agent and Consul for the Free Hanseatic Republics of Lübeck, Bremen & Hamburg in London 20 March 1840. Captain William Dunlop was the bearer of this fantastic travel document, who in another passport (July 1840) is described as carrying despatches from St. Petersburg to Hamburg. Dunlop was in the service of the Honourable East India Company of Great Britain (HEIC) traveling to Hamburg. One dozen endorsements, including a visa with a wax seal issued in Stockholm for travel to Russia, are showing his frequent travels between March and July 1840.

Unfortunately, I could not find reliable data on William Dunlop.

 

  • Free Hanseatic Republics Passport Issued At London 1840

 

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