THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR SALE!
Issued by a collector of the District of Boston and Charlestown to a seaman of Danish origin named Peter Poll. Peter was forty years old and six feet tall. He had brown hair and blue eyes. The seaman’s hometown was Glueckstadt, which was back then Danish soil. Glueckstadt remained a possession of the Danish Crown until its defeat in the Second Schleswig War of 1864. Austria occupied it but finally incorporated it into the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein in the aftermath of the 1866 Austro-Prussian War.
Glueckstadt is today a district of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located on the right bank of the Lower Elbe at the confluence of the small Rhin river, about 45 km (28 mi) northwest of Altona. Glückstadt is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (Metropolregion Hamburg). US Seaman certificate Bancroft
Guess who this collector was, who issued and signed the seaman protection letter? The man was GEORGE BANCROFT.
A fantastic early and rare 19th Century (1840) document to protect American Seamen, here Peter Poll of Danish origin. The document approx. 8″x10″ and is professionally taped at the folding with document repair tape of archival quality (Acid-free).
A fellow collector told me once… “Documents with the name BANCROFT on it are usually related to great US history.”
American historian George Bancroft was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 3, 1800. In addition to German universities, he also studied at Harvard. His comprehensive study of U.S. history led to the publication of the 10-volume History of the United States. He believed the U.S. was the closest humanity would come to a perfect government. His work earned him the nickname “Father of U.S. history.” US Seaman certificate Bancroft
But Bancroft was also a notable statesman who promoted secondary education at the national and international levels in his home state. During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of the Navy, he established the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1845. He was United States Minister in the United Kingdom (1846-1849) and Minister in Germany (1867-1874). US Seaman certificate Bancroft
His family had been in Massachusetts Bay since 1632, and his father, Aaron Bancroft, was distinguished as a revolutionary soldier, a leading Unitarian clergyman, and the author of the famous life of George Washington. Bancroft was born in Worcester and began his education at Phillips Exeter Academy; he entered Harvard College at thirteen.
At age 17, he graduated from Harvard, class of 1817, and went to study in Germany. Abroad, he studied at the universities of Heidelberg, Göttingen, and Berlin.
At Göttingen, he studied Plato with Arnold Heeren; history with Heeren and Gottlieb Jakob Planck; Arabic, Hebrew, New Testament Greek and scripture interpretation with Albert Eichhorn; natural science with Johann Friedrich Blumenbach; German literature with Georg Friedrich Benecke; French and Italian literature with Artaud and Bunsen; and classics with Georg Ludolf Dissen. In 1820, he received his doctorate from the University of Göttingen.
Bancroft entered politics in 1837 when appointed by Martin Van Buren as Collector of Customs of the Port of Boston. Two of his appointees in the office were Orestes Brownson and author Nathaniel Hawthorne. In 1844, Bancroft was the Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts, but he was defeated. He called for the annexation of Texas as extending “the area of freedom” and, though a Democrat, opposed slavery.
In 1845, in recognition of his support at the previous Democratic convention, Bancroft was appointed to James Polk‘s cabinet as Secretary of the Navy, serving until 1846, when, for a month, he was acting Secretary of War.
During his short period in the cabinet, Bancroft established the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, creating a legacy of education and leadership. Bancroft designed and developed the Naval Academy; he received all the appropriations for which he asked.
He studied the Oregon boundary dispute so intensely that in 1846, he was sent as minister plenipotentiary to London to work with the British government on the issue.
There, he roomed with the historian Macaulay and the poet Hallam. With the election of Whig Zachary Taylor as president, Bancroft’s political appointment ended. On his return to the United States in 1849, he withdrew from public life.
He resided in New York and wrote history. There, Bancroft acted as a founding member of the American Geographical Society and served as the society’s first president for nearly three years (February 21, 1852 – December 7, 1854). US Seaman certificate Bancroft
US Minister in Germany
In 1867, President Andrew Johnson offered Bancroft the post of US minister to Prussia, enabling him to return to Germany (and North German Confederation). Bancroft remained in Berlin for seven years, and President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him Minister to the German Empire in 1871.
During his tenure in Berlin, Bancroft spent much time negotiating agreements with Prussia and the other north German states relating to naturalization and citizenship issues; they became known as the Bancroft Treaties in his honor. The treaties were the first international recognition of the right of expatriation. The principle has since been incorporated into the law of nations.
The Seaman protection certificate, which may have seemed like a simple document at first glance, has turned out to be much more significant than expected. It was actually issued and signed by a highly esteemed American historian and statesman early on in his illustrious career. Such collectibles we love the most!
FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...