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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
9   Thomas Jefferson  $500 $3076 $3384 20 You must login to place a bid.

#9 - Thomas Jefferson

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Rare midshipman appointment from President Jefferson

Partly-printed vellum DS as president, signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 10.5 x 10, January 16, 1809. President Jefferson issues a naval appointment for Henry Pilliam. In part: “That reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Patriotism, Valour, Fidelity, and Abilities of Henry Pilliam, I do appoint him a midshipman in the Navy of the United States.” Neatly signed at the conclusion by President Jefferson and countersigned by Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith. The document bears an embossed Navy Department seal to the upper left. Intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through last letter of the signature), overall wrinkling, and light staining, otherwise fine condition. Such appointments by Thomas Jefferson are quite scarce, as he and the Republican party opposed a strong navy, arguing that small gunboats in the major harbors were all that the nation needed to defend itself. However, as Jefferson’s term neared its conclusion the naval forces were beginning to grow out of necessity in order to protect the maritime interests of the United States, as merchant vessels were frequently being interfered with during their voyages on the high seas. Ultimately, these disputes would culminate in the War of 1812 during President Madison’s administration, in which the US Navy saw substantial action against the British forces. An exceptionally desirable and well-preserved example of a Jefferson appointment. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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