PRESIDENT ANDREW JOHNSON - DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT SIGNED 11/11/1865 CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM H. SEWARD - HFSID 16427
Sale Price $1,530.00
DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT OF A FORMER PRISONER OF WAR, SEVEN MONTHS AFTER LEE'S SURRENDER.
ANDREW JOHNSON and WILLIAM H. SEWARD
Partly Printed DS: "Andrew Johnson" as 17th U.S. President and "William H. Seward" as Secretary of State, 1p, 16½x11. Washington, 1865 November 11. In part: "To Edwin F. Cook of New Jersey, Greeting: Reposing special trust and confidence in your Integrity, Prudence and Ability, I do appoint you to be Secretary of the Legation of the United States of America to Chile, authorizing you, hereby, to do and perform all such matters and things as to the said place or Office doth appertain...." Seven months earlier, on the evening of April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln and accomplice Lewis Payne stabbed Secretary of State Seward. It was months before Seward returned to office. EDWIN F. COOK, a Captain in the 2nd New York Light Cavalry at the beginning of the Civil War, rose to the command of his regiment and became Chief of Staff in General Hugh J. Kilpatrick's cavalry division. While Cook was in command of the force that was sent to enter Richmond from the south, on March 4, 1864, his horse was killed under him in the same volley that killed General Ulric Dahlgren. Cook was taken prisoner and sent to Libby Prison, where the 28-year-old soldier lost his health. He was moved to other prisons in South Carolina and Georgia. Cook once succeeded in escaping, but, after wandering for two months in North and South Carolina, he was recaptured. He was finally exchanged for a Confederate prisoner and on March 13, 1865 was brevetted Brigadier-General of Volunteers. By this document, President Johnson, cognizant of Cook's war experiences, appointed him Secretary of the U.S. Legation in Santiago, Chile, hoping the climate would benefit his health. On December 19, 1865, President Johnson sent to the U.S. Senate his formal nomination of Cook. The Senate referred the nomination to the Committee on Foreign Relations. On January 18, 1866, Senator Charles Sumner of the Committee reported favorably on the nomination and on January 22, 1866, the Senate resolved to "advise and consent to the appointment". Cook's health did not improve. He died in Santiago, Chile on August 6, 1867 at the age of 31. Pale blue embossed paper seal, 2¾-inch diameter, affixed at lower left. Pinhead-size holes at folds touch the "m" in William. Reinforced with tape on verso at mid-horizontal and mid-vertical folds, which had separated. Lightly creased. Light ink transference at blank areas. Overall, fine condition.
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