JAMES BUCHANAN and ISAAC TOUCEY
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:
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
PRESIDENT JAMES BUCHANAN ISAAC TOUCEY
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