PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKINLEY - MILITARY APPOINTMENT SIGNED 05/23/1898 CO-SIGNED BY: LT. GENERAL HENRY C. CORBIN, RUSSELL A. ALGER - HFSID 4042
WILLIAM McKINLEY, RUSSELL A. ALGER and HENRY C. CORBIN Spanish-American War-dated appointment of a Captain. War-date Partly Printed DS: "William McKinley" as President and "R.A. Alger" as Secretary of War, 1p, 15½x19¼. Washington, 1898 May 23. On vellum.
Sale Price $1,280.00
WILLIAM McKINLEY, RUSSELL A. ALGER and HENRY C. CORBIN
Spanish-American War-dated appointment of a Captain.
War-date Partly Printed DS: "William McKinley" as President and "R.A. Alger" as Secretary of War, 1p, 15½x19¼. Washington, 1898 May 23. On vellum. 2½-inch diameter blue War Office seal affixed at bottom left next to military vignette. Large eagle vignette at top. In part: "Know Ye, That reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity, and abilities of William G. Ball, I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate do appoint him Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers with the rank of Captain in the service of the United States...." Countersigned: "H C Corbin" as Adjutant General in docket written in red ink at top left portion. On February 15, 1898, three months before this document was signed, the battleship U.S.S. Maine was blown up in Havana harbor. On April 23, 1898, President McKinley issued a call for 125,000 volunteers to serve two years. Two days later, the United States declared war against Spain. President McKinley depended on Adjutant General HENRY C. CORBIN when it came to military matters. Frequently, it was Corbin who ordered military movements, not Secretary of War Alger. Corbin served as Adjutant General from 1898-1904. The Spanish-American War ended when the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898. By this treaty, Spain freed Cuba and ceded Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the United States, receiving $20 million in payment for the Philippines. RUSSELL ALEXANDER ALGER, an attorney and Civil War hero like McKinley, served as Secretary of War during McKinley's first term, from March 5, 1897 until August 1, 1899, when he resigned over criticism of his management of the War Department. Despite having been Governor of Michigan (1885-1887), Alger lacked the decisiveness required during the Spanish-American War. McKinley made his own strategic decisions without consulting Alger, and "Algerism" became a synonym for incompetence. Despite his failure in McKinley's Cabinet, Alger went on to publish a book, The Spanish American War (1901) and served in the U.S. Senate (1902-1907). Since the Spanish-American war lasted less than eight months, documents directly relating to the war are scarce and extremely desirable. Creased at margins, some yellowing in body copy, lightly soiled at upper left blank border. Fine condition.
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