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PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PIERCE - DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT SIGNED 11/19/1856 CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM L. MARCY - HFSID 4943

 

FRANKLIN PIERCE and WILLIAM L. MARCY
The President and Secretary of State sign the appointment of a consul for the Cape Verde Islands.
Diplomatic Appointment signed: "Franklin Pierce" as 14th U.S. President and "W.L. Marcy" as Secretary of State, 1p, 17¾x14. Washington, 1856 November 19. In part: "Know Ye, That reposing special trust and confidence in the abilities and integrity of W.H. Morse of Massachusetts I do appoint him Consul of the United States of America, for the Port of Santiago-Cape de Verdes, and do authorize and empower him to Have and to Hold the said office...during the pleasure of the President of the United States, for the time being, and until the end of the next Session of the Senate of the United States, and no longer...And I do hereby enjoin all captains, masters, and commanders of ships and other vessels, armed or unarmed, sailing under the flag of the said States, as well as all other of their citizens, to acknowledge and consider him, the said W.H. Morse accordingly. And I do hereby pray and request His Majesty the King of Portugal, His Governors and officers, to permit the said W.H. Morse fully and peaceably to enjoy and exercise the said office...I offering to do the same for all those who shall, in like manner, be recommended to me by His Said Majesty...." 2¼-inch diameter white paper seal affixed with red wax at left. President FRANKLIN PIERCE hoped to be another Polk, expanding the nation's horizons through trade. In 1818, Samuel Hodges of Massachusetts had been appointed the first U.S. Consul to the Cape Verde Islands, approximately 300 miles west of Senegal, West Africa. The islands were the center of merchant and whaling enterprises; an average of 100 American whaling ships called at island ports each year from 1825-1875, while 338 merchant ships stopped to trade for salt between 1851 and 1879. The islands were also noted for black market slave trade, so between 1843-1859 island waters were patrolled by the anti-slavery African Squadron of the U.S. Navy. The squadron's last Commander was Captain Matthew Perry, who had opened up trade with Japan. Pierce's appointment of W.H. MORSE was made during a recess of the 34th Congress. When the Senate reconvened on December 1, 1856, President Pierce failed to send Morse's nomination to the Senate. According to this document, Morse would hold his office as Consul "until the end of the next Session of the Senate of the United States, and no longer". The Session ended on March 3, 1857. Buchanan, who had wrested the Democratic presidential nomination from Pierce, had been elected President 15 days before this document was signed and, after his March 4, 1857 inauguration, he, too, failed to send Morse's nomination to the Senate. Finally, on January 20, 1858, President Buchanan wrote the following message to the U.S. Senate: "I nominate W.H. Morse, of Massachusetts, who was appointed consul of the United States at St. Jago, Cape de Verde, during the recess of the Thirty-fourth Congress, but whose nomination was accidentally omitted to be sent to the Senate at its subsequent session, to be consul of the United States at that place." On March 30, 1858, Morse's nomination was consented to by the U.S. Senate. WILLIAM LEARNED MARCY of New York assumed his duties as Secretary of State on March 7, 1853 and served through Pierce's one term in office. Lightly creased, lightly shaded at folds and lower margin, which is lightly worn and chipped. Pinhead-size file holes at upper and lower blank areas. Folds, vertical fold at the "ra" in Franklin. Overall, fine condition.


For more documents by these signers click the names below:

PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PIERCE   WILLIAM L. MARCY  


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PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PIERCE
Born: November 23, 1804 in Hillsborough, New Hampshire
Died: October 8, 1869 in Concord, New Hampshire





WILLIAM L. MARCY
Born: December 12, 1786 in Southbridge, Massachusetts
Died: July 4, 1857 in Ballston Spa, New York





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