London: Customs House, 1761. . Single Sheet of parchment, 13 1/4 x 17 3/8 inches The beautifully printed document bears three blue forty shilling (40/-) stamps at the top, and was signed by John Evelyn, grandson of the diarist, and four other Commissioners. Also affixed is the embossed wafer seal of the Commissioners. Written under the seal is: ÒSecurity is given in the sum of One Thousand Pounds.ÓThe manuscript portion of the document reads: ÒCary Mitchell Esquire to be collector of all the rates and duties and impositions arising and growing due to his Majesty at the lower part of James River in Virginia.Ó The word ÒRenewedÓ is written under this and refers to the fact that Cary Mitchell was first appointed to this post in 1749 under George II. This far-reaching commission entitled him to Òenter into any ship, bottom, boat, or other vessel; as also into any shop, house, warehouse, hostery or other place to make diligent search into any trunk, chest, pack, case, truss or any other parcel or package whatsoever for any goods, wares or merchandise.Customs officers were not a popular group as the colonies were beginning to chafe under British taxation, this was only four years before the Stamp Act of 1765 enflamed these Englishmen, who wanted the rights of Englishmen, to revolt against the mother country. After the Declaration of Independence Mitchell was one of the first men tried for disloyalty.Those interested, please request jpeg. (Inventory #: 2380)
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