PRESIDENT JAMES MADISON - NAVAL APPOINTMENT SIGNED 06/18/1812 CO-SIGNED BY: PAUL HAMILTON - HFSID 43380
Sale Price $1,700.00
JAMES MADISON. Partly printed DS: "James Madison" as fourth U.S. President and "Paul Hamilton" as Secretary of the Navy, 1p, 12½x8-1/8. Washington, 1812 June 18. On heavy vellum. In full: "Know ye, That reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Patriotism, Valour, Fidelity and Abilities of James H. Dobbins I do appoint him a Midshipman in the Navy of the United States: He is therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of a Midshipman by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging. And I do strictly charge and require all officers, seamen and others, under his command, to be obedient to his orders as a Midshipman And he is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time set over him, according to the Rules and Discipline of the Navy. This Warrant to continue in force during the pleasure of the President of the United States for the time being." On the day President James Madison signed this document, june 18, 1812, appointing a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy, the united states senate voted 19-13 in favor of war with england, officially beginning the War of 1812. The U.S. Navy was far outnumbered by that of the British during the War of 1812. At the start, the U.S. had 14 warships and 17 frigates and sloops while the British had more than 100 battleships and nearly 1000 fighting ships of varying classes. The only American naval battles that directly affected the course of war were won by Oliver Hazard Perry on Lake Erie on September 10, 1813 and by Thomas MacDonough on Lake Champlain, September 11, 1814. Yet the U.S. Navy and privateers did some damage to British commerce by taking 1500 prize ships. DOBBINS' CAREER WAS IN THE NAVY AND WAS RATHER SHORT LIVED. HE LIVED ONLY 22 YEARS AND DIED AS A MIDSHIPMAN ON MARCH 23, 1816 (ALMOST FOUR YEARS AFTER THIS COMMISSION) ABOARD THE BRIG SWANWICK WHEN HE WAS "BLOWN OFF THE YARD ARM" OF THE SHIP. Soiled and creased, particularly at blank margin areas. Folds, one vertical runs between the "am" in James and one touches the "l" in Paul. Pinpoint-size hole at cross vertical fold in blank area, 3/8x¼-inch hole just nicks two printed words. With 5x7 color photographic portrait.
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