United States. PresidentAlternative names
The President of the United States is the chief executive office of the United States. In contrast to many countries with parliamentary forms of government, where the office of president, or head of state, is mainly ceremonial, in the United States the president is vested with great authority and is arguably the most powerful elected official in the world. The nation's founders originally intended the presidency to be a narrowly restricted institution. They distrusted executive authority because their experience with colonial governors had taught them that executive power was inimical to liberty, because they felt betrayed by the actions of George III, the king of Great Britain and Ireland, and because they considered a strong executive incompatible with the republicanism embraced in the Declaration of Independence (1776). Accordingly, their revolutionary state constitutions provided for only nominal executive branches, and the Articles of Confederation (1781-89), the first "national" constitution, established no executive branch. Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com (Retrieved December 14, 2009)
From the description of U. S. presidential letters, 1780-1972. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 298343983
Prior to the Revolutionary War, American merchants were protected from pirates from the Barbary Coast region of North Africa by Great Britain. After the war, however, the United States' vessels found themselves vulnerable to pirate attacks and raids while in the Barbary region. As a result, many treaties were signed and payments made to the region in order to procure the safe passage of U.S. ships. After the 1795 treaty with Algiers, a federal law was passed requiring all U.S. ships to carry a Mediterranean passport when traveling in this region. The passport, only available to vessels proven to be solely and completely owned by a U.S. citizen, had to be signed by the President, Secretary of State, and Collector of the city from which the ship was departing. In most instances, the Collector received the formed pre-signed by the President and Secretary of State. In similar fashion to the passports used by Great Britain for the same purpose, the top portion of the passport was cut off in a scallop-pattern. This top piece was then sent to U.S. Consuls along the Barbary Coast. All vessels with matching documents could proceed through port. Any ship caught without the passport was fined $200.00.
From the description of Jane (Brig) Mediterranean pasport, 1810. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 85450392
From the description of United States ship's Mediterranean passport, ca. 1796. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 144570333
After the end of the Civil war and the assassination of President Lincoln, President Andrew Johnson offered most Confederate soldiers the chance for pardon in exchange for their allegiance to the United States. This pardon allowed all those who swore loyalty oaths to vote and hold office. Many Confederate veterans sought a pardon in part to protect their lands from confiscation by the government. Travis Archibald Davis Weaver (1801-1887) was born in Halifax County, North Carolina and died in Thomasville, Georgia. He was a planter and judge of the Inferior Court of Upson County.
From the description of Travis Archibald Davis Weaver pardon, 1865. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 145734311
The United States, in similar practice to many other countries during the 18th and 19th centuries, required all neutral ships with proof of ownership by a U.S. citizen, to carry a "sea letter" signed by the President of the United States, Secretary of State, and local collector. Any government document issued from that government to a merchant vessel is considered a sea letter. This document had to remain with the vessel during the entirety of its voyage; it served as proof of nationality and guaranteed national protection of the vessel and her cargo.
From the description of Laura (Schooner) sea letter, 1804. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 86108098
From the description of Smart (Schooner) sea letter, 1810. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 137281881
The United States government retained the right to appoint citizens to governmental positions, In 1789, President George Washington issued letters patents for such offices as U.S. Attorney General.
From the description of Matthew McAllister letters patent, 1789. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 99997558
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