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79 Documents taken from the archives of history to study or personalize. This is the largest collection of old documents on the web.

Change History – personalize any document $34.95

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African Queen 1914

(Quote) “Now that I’ve had a taste of it, I can see why you love boating, Mister Alnutt.”

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American Brigantine v England 1814

(Letter of Marque) License issued by the United States to capture British shipping. Issued during the war of 1812 to the Brig Prince Neufchatel of 318 tons, 18 carriage guns and 129 men.

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American Schooner v England 1814

(Letter of Marque) You can change ship name, city, number of crew, number of guns, enemy country, etc. License issued by the United States to capture British shipping. The war of 1812 caused President James Madison to issue this Letter of Marque to the Schooner Lucy of 25 tons, 4 carriage guns and 26 men so she could become a private war ship in order to “Subdue, seize, and take any armed or unarmed British vessel.”

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Ann Bonny and Mary Read’s Trial 1721

(Admiralty Report) They wrote the book on women’s issues!”…only two of the pirates had put up any fight and they had fought like wildcats.” Their sentence was to be “severely hanged by the neck till you are severely dead.” This is an excerpt of their trial sentencing and comments.

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Anti-Pirate Fleet 1404 

(Letter of Marque) License to Henry Payne to form a fleet to capture the enemies of England, “To pass the seas with as many ships, Barges, and Balingers  of war, men-at-arms, Bowman…to do all the hurt he can do.”

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Anti Pirate Squadron Instructions 1672

(Instructions) Orders to the Admiral of the squadron to stop French pirates in 1627 England.

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Arming the William of London 1650

(Letter of Reprisal) Permission to arm the William of London is the purpose of this Letter of Reprisal against France for the loss of the Mercury.

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Avalon 1667

(Letter of Marque) Privateer license for the mighty HMS Emerald Dragon. Avalon is the legendary island where King Arthur was taken to recuperate and return to England at her greatest time of need. This is not an authentic document, but contains all the elements of the best war documents. It is a fine document for a women as the Queen rules.

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Bartholomew Roberts Plunders the Samuel 1720

(Admiralty Report) A drunken orgy of the plundering of the merchantman Samuel in 1720. “A merry life, and a short one.”

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Bartholomew Roberts’ Death 1722

(Admiralty Report) An exciting account of the second most successful pirates’ last battle from a report made at the trial of the remaining captured pirates.“A
merry life, and a short one.”

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Bartholomew Roberts’ Shipboard Articles 1721

(Articles) As was custom, the pirate crew drew up these articles of shipboard conduct, mostly having to do with strong spirits and marooning. This was the only law on a pirate ship. “A merry life, and a short one.”

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Beheading King Charles I 1649

(Admiralty Report) The King knelt; Hulet moved the King’s hair out of the way,
a flash of light on the ax head, the axe descended smoothly, the King was dead. The head was always held aloft so the crowd could be sure the intended was indeed beheaded. Sergeant Hulet held the head high by its long hair and cried, “Here is the head of a Traitor.” Inexperience made him drop the head which thudded to the boards.

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Blackbeard Raids Charleston 1718

(Admiralty Report) Blackbeard’s  fleet blockaded the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina for five days and plundered all the ships in the harbor.

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Blackbeard’s Death 1718

(Admiralty Report) A stirring account of Blackbeard the pirate’s demise in his last spectacular battle on the Carolina coast.

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Blackbeard’s History 1680-1718

(Admiralty Report) An admiralty report of the fiercest pirate who ever lived. He plundering from Trinidad to Maine.

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Blackbeard’s Reward Poster 1718

(Advertisements & Pamphlets) A copy of Blackbeard’s reward Poster in which the Governor of Virginia offers £500 for Teach, £100 for officers, £15 for crew.

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Broadside by the French Pirate LaBouse 1717

(Admiralty Report) A record of the devastating effect of this powerful naval action fired by a French pirate. The broadside was seldom fired because of the destruction it would cause the other ship. A ship had no value if it was badly damaged.  After all, it was all about booty!

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Broadside Fired 1592

(Admiralty Report) A true account of the sea battle between the HMS Guardland and the Turkish man-o-war Black Bull who wouldn’t strike her colors in respect to the Queen’s authority of the seas.

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Captain Bligh 1789 -Knowledge of the Sea

(Quote) “Knowledge of the sea never comes amiss to a seaman.” ~Captain Blight late of the HMS Bounty

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Captain Bligh 1789 -Think of the distance we have come 

(Quote) “Think, if you like, of the distance we have come, but never let your mind run forward faster than your vessel. ~Captain Blight late of the HMS Bounty

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Calico Jack’s Trial 1721

(Admiralty Report) The charges against Calico Jack Rackman and his crew at trial in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1721. This is a very good document to personalize if you have a business group, sports team, scout troop, class or club because you can substitute up to ten names for the crew that is listed in the document.

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Canada v American 1799

(Letter of Marque) License issued in Canada by the British to capture American ships. This Letter of Marque authorizes the Duke of Kent, a British ship mounting 20 Carriage guns and navigated by 100 men as a private ship of war based in Nova Scotia, Canada to “distress and annoy all His Majestie’s Enemies.” the Americans.

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Canada v America 1812

(Letter of Marque) The most famous pirate ship out of Canadian territories. This License was issued in what is now Canada by the British to capture American ships. This remarkable schooner with only four carriage guns is credited with more than 50 captures of American vessels in the War of 1812. A real badass!

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Captain David Cabreth 1585

(Letter of Reprisal) Authorization for English Privateer to capture ships supplying their enemies with victuals and war material.

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Captain George Lowther Plunders Slaver 1723

(Admiralty Report) This report is about the pirate George Lowther taking a Slave Ship off the coast of Africa. With so many anti-pirate fleets on the Spanish Main (South America) many pirates relocated to Madagascar a large island off the southeast coast of Africa. It was a lucrative area for plunder.

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Captain George Lowther’s Articles 1729

(Articles) Articles were an important agreement between the crew and the captain of any pirate vessel because they spelled out the conditions under which the crew would agree to sail with the pirate captain. These are the articles of one of the most successful pirates of all time.

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Captain John Couper 1586

(Letter of Reprisal) This Letter of Reprisal was for Captain John Couper whose ship was captured by the Spanish, so he was allowed to captured one of theirs and his compensation was £2,000.

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Captain John Foxall 1585

(Letter of Reprisal) Reprisal authorization issued because the Spanish captured his ship and goods.

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Captain John Kitchin 1585

(Letter of Reprisal) Reprisal against Spain for capturing John Kitchin’s ship and goods.

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Captain John Phillips’ Articles 1724

(Articles) Little is known about this pirate except for these Articles. They are interesting because they refer to Moses’ Law (see Glossary)

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Captain Kidd 1695

(Letter of Marque) Great document to personalize because it mentions 30 carriage guns and the name of his ship. Captain Kidd was a land owner and merchant in New York City. He was hung as a pirate because he couldn’t find these Letters of Marque and Reprisal. The Letters were found in the Public Record Office 200 years later! Kidd, contrary to popular belief, only captured two ships in his short career as a Privateer. He fought and lost many legal battles until he was finally hung at Wapping, England.

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Captain William Fenner 1586

(Letter of Reprisal) Reprisal authorizing William Fenner to take one Spanish ship as pay-back for wrongs done to him by the Spanish.

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Cinque Ports Warrant 1563

(Letter of Reprisal) Authority to the Wardens of the Cinque Ports to issue Letters of Reprisal.  The Cinque Ports were the influential Naval ports located in the south of England, This was an important document for them because it allowed them to sell these Letters.  These ports were the official government ports where the Privateers had to bring their booty for accounting and dispersal.

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Code Duello 1777

(Miscellaneous) The Rules of Dueling. Between 1798 and 1848 thirty-six naval officers were killed in eighty-two duels. This is the only document in the collection that costs $74.95 because it has three sheets of Olde Paper©.

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Cold Sea Hot Blood 1933

(Quote) The Sea is Cold but contains the Hottest Blood of all.  ~D.H. Lawrence

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Conch Republic 1882

(Letter of Marque) This little chain of islands called the Conch Republic of the Florida Keys issued this license to arm a private warship (Privateer) when their borders were seized by the United States government in a contest over immigration. This is not an authentic document but does reflect an historical event.

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Confederate States of America 1861

(Letter of Marque) This is an aggregate of three documents written by Jefferson Davis and his Congress. There were 99 Letters of Marque issued by The Confederate States of America.

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Devil’s Pact 1633

(Miscellaneous) You can re-name all the devils and the poor soul who made the pact. There is also a place for you to personalize names and country. Supposedly this is a real pact with the Devil found in the Vatican written in blood.

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Elizabeth of London 1636

(Letter of Reprisal) Order by the English directing the capture of the Compass of Horne a Dutch Ship that had sunk the Elizabeth of London in Falmouth Harbor.

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Elizabeth of Plymouth 1585

(Letter of Reprisal) Bond of £1,000 for good behavior of the Elizabeth of Plymouth, for which Letters of Reprisal had been issued.

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Enemy Wine Seized 1225

(Admiralty Report) The English seized wine from a French pirate ship. “We took the wine because ‘..they were in hostility to us.”

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Enforcing Gun Salute Instructions 1673

(Instructions) Instructions for enforcing the gun salute and taking captured English seaman out of foreign ships.

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England v Scotland 1404

(Letter of Marque) License to Henry Prince to kidnap a crew to attack the ships of Scotland and authorizing press gangs that must obey the captain under pain of death.

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Exorcism of the Undead

(Miscellaneous) “Get out! Offender! Get out! Seducer! Unholy spawn of Alan-buk! Full of guile and falseness! Enemy of virtue! Persecutor of the Innocents! Give way, most despicable being! Fear and take flight at the name of Our Lord whom the powers of Hell fear..”

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Fight For A Galleon 1746

(Quote) “A man who would not fight for a galleon would fight for nothing at all!”  ~Admiral Sir Charles Wager

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French v English 1693

(Letter of Marque) License from the Admiral of France to attack pirates, corsairs, subjects of the Catholic King of England (substitute your name).”…to arm the cutter Revenge with men, cannon, ball, powder, and lead…and attack pirates, corsairs and other lawless men.”

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French Wine Seized 1411

(Letter of Reprisal) This is a good document to personalize for groups as it allows the whole crew to be listed. Letters of Reprisal against the French for taking the Zeland and her wine.

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Henry Morgan 1669

(Letter of Marque) This is the Privateering license for the greatest pirate of all time. Morgan commanded all land and sea forces in the Western hemisphere. If you were Spanish, you were in deep trouble. A real legend. This is his Letter of Marque that was issued to him from the governor of Jamaica authorizing him to invade Cuba and anywhere else the Spanish might be in the western hemisphere.Also see Morgan’s Instructions that accompanied his Letters of Marque. They are the rules he must abide by and the authority he can wield.

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Henry Morgan’s Instructions 1670

(Instructions) These Instructions were issued along with Morgan’s Letter of Marque. The most famous pirate of all time was actually a Privateer. This important document authorized Morgan to subjugate or destroy England’s enemies, namely the Spanish. It spells out everything he is empowered to do. Morgan took it to the extreme and that is why he is commonly thought of as a pirate.

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Indentured Servant 1627

(Miscellaneous) This is a contract to be a servant for four years on a Virginia Plantation in exchange for 50 acres of land. They would live no better than a slave. This is great to personalize because you can stipulate any terms and conditions.

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Instructions For Capturing Pirates 1577

(Instructions) Detailed instructions for capturing pirates and sea rovers. This would accompany a Letter of Marque.

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Jane Ann & the Pirate 1845

(Ads & Pamphlets) This historic document was printed and used as a handout soliciting help.  Edwards was taken prisoner when the ship he was on was captured by pirates. They tortured him and and cut out his tongue and set him adrift. William Edwards was lucky to survive at all.  With the help of others he was able to have this flyer printed to explain his plight–no family, no education, no trade, no tongue and no future.

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Magna Carta 1215

(Miscellaneous) Magna Carta is a charter agreed by King John of England to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. Neither side stood behind their commitments, and the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to the First Barons’ War.

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Marooned Man Found 1709

(Admiralty Report) Alexander Selkirk was marooned for four years and four months. He was the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s book Robinson Crusoe.

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Marooned Padre 1708

(Admiralty Report) This lucky Padre was marooned with a young female negro. We can only imagine him saying, “There is a God!”

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Marooning Report 1703

(Admiralty Report) Report of marooning. Samuel Huxford in the Cape Verde Islands where he died within three months.

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Marriage License Circa 1800

(Miscellaneous) Customize all the details of the glorious day. A beautiful marriage license from the past printed in full color and personalized for you. Honor your union and the anniversary of that union.

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Modern Piracy 2011 

(Real life –no document) Modern piracy is alive and well and a $15 billion a year problem.  This link takes you to the International Piracy report page of ICC Commerce Crime Services report to the IMB Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is an information site listing international acts of piracy. It’s updated weekly by the International chamber of Commerce’s Commercial Crime Services.

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Mutineers Turn Pirate 1705

(Admiralty Report) Mutineers choose sides and strip the ship.

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Naval Battle England v Spain 1709

(Admiralty Report) Report of battle at sea by three British Naval Ships against a Spanish Galleon.

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Pact with Devil 1269

(Miscellaneous) You can change the name of the person who sold their soul for a change of fortune. This document is after the legend of Faust according to Le Miracle de Theopile.

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Pirate Hanged 1228

(Admiralty Report) This is almost the only record of hanging for piracy before the sixteenth century. “…confessed after inquisition.” See also, Capt. Kidd, Pirate Sentence to Hang, and Ann Bonny for later hangings.

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Pirate Pardoned 1346

(Admiralty Report) Pirate is pardoned because he volunteered to use his warship in the King’s service. He went from a pirate to a privateer.

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Pirates Sentenced to Hang 1722

(Admiralty Report) Fifty-two men were hanged in the month of April. Their bodies were then wrapped in chains and hung in public view until they rotted.  “…to be hanged by the neck, till you are dead, dead, dead.”

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Pirate Treasure 1611 

(Admiralty Report) The owner of the treasure sent it from Portugal to France in a French ship. They were captured by a pirate who tried to take it to Ireland, but they in turn were captured by the King’s ship Advantage who’s captain stole some of it and this is a record of the fine imposed on him for his theft.

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Poor Conditions on Pirate Ship 1710

(Admiralty Report) A brief report of the poor conditions of the three ships that captured the Manila Galleon.

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Prize Money 1668

(Ads & Pamphlets) This advertisement is for a crew for a 36 gun Dutch East Indiaman Privateer to “…seek out enemies of his Majesty to their confusion and destruction.”

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Quote by Horace 65 B.C.

(Quote) Roman Poet “They change their skies, but not their souls who run across the sea.”

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Riches & Honor 1779

(Ads & Pamphlets) This is by far is the most popular document that we personalize. It even has a place to write in your favorite bar and business or landmark. This actual advertisement appeared in the Nova Scotia Gazette on Jan 12, 1779. It is an advertisement for a crew to serve aboard the “… privateer Revenge mounting Thirty Carriage Guns, with Carronades, and swivels, sailing southward for four months from Halifax Harbour in quest of Riches and Honor!”

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Roman Ritual of Exorcism

(Miscellaneous) The main parts of the Ritual are performed, of course, by the exorcist alone. His assistants (indicated in the text by the letter A) join him in Psalm and Gospel readings and in responding Amen to nine Prayers and Addresses. Some exorcists add two or three assistants to the usual four; and the additional assistants recite the Rosary or chant hymns right through the exorcism.

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Ship Surgeon Amputates 1703

(Admiralty Report) Report of on board surgery after a naval battle. Conditions were crude and treatment usually consisted of amputating the limb.

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Ship’s Stores 1708

(Admiralty Report) A partial list of the ship’s stores for a privateer man of war.

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Sir Walter Raleigh 1585

(Letter of Reprisal) Sit Walter Raleigh was a privateer and the Queen’s favorite courtier. This is a bond he posted to account for pirates’ goods he hoped to capture.

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Slave Prince Public Viewing 1691

(Ads & Pamphlets) Advertisement for the sale of a much tattooed slave prince from New Guinea.

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Spanish Treasure Galleon 1709

(Admiralty Report) Three English privateers fire 500 six-pound cannon balls and get beaten badly by the superior Spanish galleon.

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The Longest Sword 1708

(Quote) Quote from Mutineers: “Hee that had ye Longest sword should carray it.  And his woard should be ye Law.”

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Tryals of Captain John Rackam 1720

(Admiralty Report) Poster notifying the public of the forthcoming trial of the notorious pirate and crew.

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Two Ships and Two Captains 1405

(Letter of Marque) This document is good to personalize for siblings, twins, partners, etc. because it gives two people equal power without showing favorites. King allows both captains to keep all the booty instead of the usual “tenths”.

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Vampire Hunter Commission 1865

(Miscellaneous) Abraham Lincoln signed this Commission earlier in the day that he was shot. The American Civil War had just ended and the country had other pressing matters to contend with. A plague of vampires and other supernatural entities was spreading. This may have been the last official document that Abraham Lincoln signed as president of the United States.

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Change History – personalize any document $34.95

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