Catalog Archive
Auction 176, Lot 725

"[Quasi War with France - Endorsement Signed by American Revolution Officer Aaron Ogden]",

Subject: Document - Quasi War, Aaron Ogden Signature

Period: 1800 (dated)


Color: Black & White

8.1 x 6.6 inches
20.6 x 16.8 cm
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This signed document was written during the disbanding of the Quasi War Provisional Army. Dated July 31, 1800, this receipt was for "freight of Schooner to New York from Eliz Town, with public stores." At the bottom is the signature of Major Denman and payment receipt of $40 "of Elias B. Dayton Agent." The verso contains the endorsement of Aaron Ogden, signed "Aa Ogden QMG" with the note "The within service was performed after the disbanding of the army under the General order for that purpose by my direction." Ogden (1756-1839) was an officer in the American Revolution from New Jersey and later served as a U.S. Senator and Governor of New Jersey.

The Quasi War was an undeclared war fought entirely at sea between the United States and France. Tensions rose between the two countries when the French monarchy was abolished in 1792 and the United States refused to pay its considerable debt to France, who had supported the U.S. in its War of Independence (the United States claimed the debt was owed to the previous regime). France was also furious with the Jay Treaty that made Britain an active trading partner with whom France was at war. In 1798, France authorized privateers to attack U.S. ships in the Caribbean and off the Barbary Coast, and after a number of merchant ships were taken, the United States retaliated. This brief undeclared war was a primary catalyst for building and supporting the U.S. Navy.

On land, the provisional army was raised to counter a possible French invasion. However, the army never saw battlefield action and instead became part of the political battle between the Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans. After three years of near war with France, President Adams ordered the dismantling of these provisional forces.


Condition: B+

Light toning along the fold lines with a short separation along the top left vertical fold.

Estimate: $400 - $500


Closed on 2/12/2020