Form No. 102. U.S. Light-House Establishment. Proposal and Contract for Provisions. [Lighthouse Contract]
Contract and bond between ship chandlers Darrah & Elwell of Philadelphia and the Inspector of the Fourth Light House District, Commander Geo. C. Reiter, U.S.N., to supply foodstuffs “…for delivery free on board the United states Light House Establishment Steamer at Philadelphia, Pa., or at Wilmington, Delaware.
The pamphlet-form, partly printed contract, here completed and signed in manuscript, includes bidding instructions, a schedule of prices for various food articles, notarized bondsmen’s oaths, a “Certificate of Solvency” signed by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and printed “Directions as to Execution of Contracts.” Interestingly, in the case of the latter directions, “In no case will a married woman be accepted as a surety, and when an unmarried woman (widow or spinster) is given, she must be described as such in the body of the bond.”
Darrah & Elwell’s bid, here supplied in manuscript, specifies that the amount of provisions per man, per year on board lighthouse vessels was $64.48; at lighthouse stations and fog-signal stations, $35.53. Foodstuffs to be supplied include corned beef, codfish (“George’s Bank”), rice, beans, sugar, coffee, tea, butter, and other foods and spices. These bids conform to a printed schedule of “Allowances of Provisions” that appears immediately following the printed “Instructions for Bidders.” A handwritten amendment to the contract specifies to the promise to deliver the supplies to Philadelphia or Wilmington, as mentioned above.
An unusual maritime document, completed in manuscript, for supplying foodstuffs to the U.S. Lighthouse Board’s Fourth District which comprised the Atlantic coast and adjoining bays from northern New Jersey to northern Virginia.
Description: Form No. 102. U.S. Light-House Establishment. Proposal and Contract for Provisions. [Lighthouse Contract]
Philadelphia: Office of Light-House Inspector, March 2 and June 16, 1896. 20pp. Bound, partly printed form. Gray printed wrappers; stitched. Contemporary docketing; notary seals. Fold lines; short separation at folds at fore-edge; very good.