Tag Melville

Will you be good enough to supply me with a passport? I sail four days hence.

Posted by Ian Crouch at the New Yorker:

We Americans get a lot of grief for our low percentage of passport holders, but they’re not the easiest things in the world to get. Nor are they particularly easy to renew. That’s especially true on short notice—as anyone can tell you who’s happened to forget until the eleventh hour pre-trip that Canada is, well, a whole other country, or waited until the last minute to check the expiration date on their old passport. (There’s a reason why all those passport-expediting services exist.)

In the old days, passports may have been a bit easier to obtain, at least judging by the copy of Herman Melville’s 1856 U.S. passport application, a link to which popped up in my Twitter feed this morning:

The White Whale

(via The Selvedge Yard)