Old Certificate Has Been Sold & Donated to the Society.
SOCIETY OF NEW YORK
CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP
This is an official certificate of America's early maritime history from
a society which dates back to 1770 and which was chartered by King George III. It was presented to a Civil War veteran, Union
captain, and American Shipmaster. It is perfect for the serious collector of nautical documents.
WERE TAKEN THROUGH GLASS
Framed size 21" x 18 "
Viewable area 12 1/2" x 9 1/2"
PRICE $400.00 plus $29.50 shipping
to 48 contiguous States
Presented is a certificate of membership dated 10 November 1890 in the name of Capt. Spiro Bennis.
It is signed by Austin Jayne as secretary and James Parker as president. The Marine Society of New York, which is
still active today, was formed in colonial times, and chartered by King George III in 1770 to "...improve maritime
knowledge and relieve indigent and distressed shipmasters, their widows and orphans..." is a charitable and educational
organization, the regular membership being composed entirely of seafarers, all of whom must be, or have been Captains or Officers
of merchant vessels under the United States flag. Among the early honorary members of the Society was President George Washington.
The engraved document has a border of scrolls which frames and defines the four corners.
In side corners are engraved scenes. The left corner shows a group of three ladies dressed in Grecian gowns, one
of whom is holding a chart of Manhattan Island. There is a single male dressed in colonial garb joining the group. The right
corner shows four survivors of a ship wreck being welcomed ashore in New York harbor,welcomed by two ladies dressed in Grecian
garb. In the lower left corner is a single Indian chief holding a bow and arrow. And the right corner shows four ships
of various sizes in the placid waters of New York Harbor.
CAPTAIN SPIRO V BENNIS was a Civil War Navy veteran and sea captain
who saw service in the Civil War as acting master of the USS Antona, USS Aroostook & USS Stockdale, all of which
operated mostly in Mobile Bay. He also took part in the Fish River expedition of 1864. Afterwards he served as captain of the New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Co's., SS
Niagara before she was requisitioned by the U.S. Navy to serve in the Spanish American War. In August 1985,Captain
Bennis rescued the crew of the German Bark Caroline Suzanne during a violent storm off the coast of Florida. He was awarded
a gold watch by Emperor William for his heroic serviced. After this he was put in charge of building two steamships for
the Ward Line in Delaware. The NY&CSC was a subsidiary of the Ward Line whose operations dated back from 1840 to 1954.
He died in 1892 in California.
certificate showing intricate engraving and New York label
CONDITION: In good overall condition with some discoloration to the paper primarily
along the outside border. The ink and signatures are sharp and clear. The engraving is sharp and clear.
An unframed copy of this picture of Captain Spiro V. Bennis is included
& TODAY: The Marine Society of New York
is a charitable and educational organization, the regular membership being composed entirely of seafarers, all of whom must
be, or have been Captains or Officers of merchant vessels under the United States flag. It was formed in colonial days, and
formally chartered by King George III in 1770 to "...improve maritime knowledge and relieve indigent and distressed shipmasters,
their widows and orphans..." Among the early honorary members of the Society was President George Washington.
that day to this, the Society has endeavored to improve maritime knowledge. It has relieved, insofar as it was able, the needs
of over 5,000 distressed shipmasters, their widows and orphans. It has today a number of masters' widows on a monthly
allotment basis, many of whom require advice, counsel and assistance for their well being. Among
the records of the Society, covering a span of more than two centuries, many achievements stand out: a respected member, Captain
Robert Richard Randall, in the year 1801 provided the basis for the founding of The Sailor's Snug Harbor on Staten Island.
It is the only institution in America accepting old or disabled seamen and one of the oldest charitable organizations in the
country. The President and First Vice President of the Marine Society are, by office, members of the Board of Trustees of
The Sailor's Snug Harbor. Because the carefully drawn will of Captain Randall
made no provision for wives or relatives of seamen, the Society, in 1854, assisted in the foundation of the Mariner's
Family Home on Staten Island. Recognizing the need for education among our merchant seamen,
the Society, in 1874, together with other interested groups, prevailed upon the New York State Legislature to pass a law establishing
the New York School ship. It assisted in procuring the training vessel "Saint Mary's" from the Navy Department
for such employment. One or more members of the Society served on the Board of the School ship until it became part of the
New York State University in 1949 as one of their colleges.
In the year
1882, because of lack of funds, the State of New York abandoned the Marine Hospital at Government, Staten Island, expecting
the U.S. Government to accept it. The Federal Government also could not fund the hospital and the Marine Society was called
upon to take over it, which it did under a rental agreement with the U.S. Public Health Service. The Society thereafter owned
the hospital and maintained it until 1902, when the Federal Government purchased it. From the proceeds the Society shared
equally the of $68,000 with the Mariners Family Home and the Society for the Relief of Destitute Seaman's Children. By and large, the Marine Society of New York has performed its charitable service through
the years quietly and without fanfare, as becomes an organization of seafarers, and it stands today as the watchdog of their
interests and those of American Merchant Shipping as a whole.
from a donation on election, there are no yearly dues, and it is believed that all eligible seafarers in good repute should
RATE SHIPPING to 48 contiguous States $29.50.
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