[N.p. ca. 1780]. p., 3 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches. Minor wear and soiling. Very good. Item #WRCAM50246
Printed certificate signed by Capt. John Barry, captain of the first ship in the Continental Navy. The document reads: "I do hereby certify, That the Bearer, [blank] late [blank] on board the [blank] under my command, is entitled to whatever share or portion of prize-money may accrue to him from [blank] to [blank] [signed] John Barry Capt." Capt. John Barry (1745-1803) entered the service of the Patriot cause in late 1775, taking command first of the Alfred and subsequently the Lexington. On April 6, 1776, the Lexington engaged with the British sloop Edward, capturing the British vessel and resulting in the first American naval victory of the war. Following the war, Barry was made a senior captain in the new United States Navy and effectively protected U.S. shipping interests in the West Indies during the Quasi War with France. He is credited with developing both the navy and its finest commanding officers, including Stephen Decatur. A scarce and ephemeral piece of American naval history. The only example of such a form, also unaccomplished, realized $1100 at Christie's in 1993.