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Appointment of a Captain in the Navy who commanded the Constellation in the Navy's anti-slavery African Squadron.
Partly Printed DS: "James Buchanan" as 15th U.S. President and "Isaac Toucey" as Secretary of the Navy, 1p, 15½x19. Washington, 1858 January 27. Appointment of JOHN S. NICHOLAS as Captain in the Navy. Midshipman Nicholas had been appointed Lieutenant in 1826 by J.Q. Adams and Commander in 1841 by Tyler. On January 6, 1858, President Buchanan sent to the Senate a letter, in part (from the Senate Journal): "In accordance with the finding of the court of inquiry in each case, respectively, as approved by me under the 'Act to amend an act entitled "An act to promote the efficiency of the Navy"' approved January 16, 1857, I nominate...John S. Nicholas, now a commander on the reserved list, to be a captain in the Navy from the 14th of September, 1855, on the active list, to take rank as such, next after Captain George F. Pearson." ISAAC TOUCEY (1792-1869), Buchanan's only Secretary of the Navy, was a Northerner with Southern sympathies. During his term, he was accused of favoring the cause of the seceding states by deliberately sending some of the best vessels of the Navy to distant seas to prevent their use against the Confederates, a charge he denied. However, of the Navy's 90 ships, 48 were not in commission and only 12 were at home when the Civil War began in 1861. Three years after this commission, on May 21, 1861, the U.S.S. Constellation, under the command of Captain JOHN S. NICHOLAS, captured the slave brig Triton at the mouth of the Congo River, Africa. The Constellation, lone survivor of the Civil War Navy and the anti-slavery African Squadron, is now docked at the Maryland Port Administration's Pier 8 in Locust Point. Folds, vertical fold touches the "J". Lightly soiled. Overall, fine condition. Framed in Gallery of History style: 29¾x25¼.

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Born: April 23, 1791 in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania
Died: June 1, 1868 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Born: November 15, 1792 in Newtown, Connecticut
Died: July 30, 1869 in Hartford, Connecticut

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