First Deed of Gift
New York, July 8, 1857 To the Secretary of the New York Yacht Club.
The undersigned members of the New York Yacht Club, and late owners of the schooner yacht America, beg leave through you to present to the Club the Cup won by the America at the Regatta of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes, England, August 22, 1851. This Cup was offered as a prize to be sailed for by yachts of all nations without regard to difference of tonnage, going round the Isle of Wight, the usual course for the Annual Regatta of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and was won by the America, beating eight cutters and seven schooner yachts which started in the race. This Cup is offered to the New York Yacht Club, subject to the following conditions:
Any organized Yacht Club of any foreign country shall always be entitled, through any one or more of its members, to claim the right of sailing a match for this Cup with any yacht or other vesselof not less than 30 or more than 300 tons, measured by the Custom House rule of the country to which the vessel belongs. The parties desiring to sail for the Cup may make any match with the Yacht Club in possession of the same that may be determined upon by mutual consent; but in case of disagreement as to terms, the match shall be sailed over the usual course for the Annual Regatta of the Yacht Club in possession of the Cup, and subject to its Rules and Sailing Regulations—the challenging party being bound to give six months' notice in writing, fixing the day they wish to start. This notice to embrace the length, Custom House measurement, rig and name of the vessel.
It is to be distinctly understood that the Cup is to be the property of the Club, and not of the members thereof, or owners of the vessels winning it in a match; and that the condition of keeping it open to be sailed for by Yacht Clubs of all foreign countries, upon the terms above laid down, shall forever attach to it, thus making it perpetually a Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries.
J. C. Stevens
Edwin A. Stevens
J. Beekman Finley
George L. Schuyler