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6   James Madison  $200 $1531 $1685 22 You must login to place a bid.
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#6 - James Madison

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War of 1812 promotion for the ‘Rattlesnake’ commander who seized ten British ships

War-dated partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 13 x 17.25, December 10, 1814. President Madison appoints James Renshaw as “a Master Commandant in the Navy in the Service of the United States.” Crisply signed at the conclusion by Madison. The white paper seal affixed at the bottom in the center of the intricate vignette remains crisp and fully intact. Intersecting folds, a split to the left edge, and a few small holes along the upper folds, otherwise fine condition.

Earlier in 1814, the US Navy Brig 'Rattlesnake,' armed with 14 guns, commanded by Lieutenant James Renshaw, cruised the North Atlantic, taking eight British vessels as prizes. On May 29, 1814, a British frigate chased the brig; to escape, Renshaw jettisoned much equipment and all his guns except two long nine-pounders. The 'Rattlesnake' then took two more British merchantmen vessels, but on June 22nd, off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, it was chased and forced to surrender to the 50-gun British frigate 'Leander,' commanded by Captain Sir George R. Collier. The 'Rattlesnake' was then taken into the Royal Navy. Shortly after issuing this appointment promoting Renshaw to Master Commandant, on December 24, 1814, the peace treaty with Great Britain was signed in Ghent, Belgium, to end the War of 1812. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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