Manuscript DS as president, signed “G:o Washington,” one page, 10.75 x 9.75, September 26, 1789. President Washington appoints Nathaniel Ramsey of Maryland as “M[ar]shal of and for the Maryland District…for the Term of four years.” Beautifully signed at the conclusion by President Washington. The crisply embossed white paper seal affixed to the upper left remains fully intact. Removably encapsulated in a mylar sleeve and double-matted and framed with an engraved portrait and nameplate. Small areas of paper loss along intersecting folds (affecting a few words in the center) and some mild show-through at the top edge from mounting remnants to reverse, otherwise fine condition; Washington’s crisp signature against the bright, clean document is a choice exemplar.
The office of United States Marshal had been established just two days earlier when President Washington signed the Judiciary Act of 1789 into law. The newborn country was divided into sixteen judicial districts, each to be headed by a marshal whose primary function was to enforce federal laws at the local level. It was up to President Washington to appoint the sixteen marshals and many of the men he chose had distinguished themselves in the Revolutionary War; Ramsey was no exception, having commanded troops in the defense of Philadelphia and at the Battle of Monmouth. He went on to serve two terms as marshal, holding the position until 1798. This early presidential document is unusually clean and visually appealing, and as one of just sixteen possible US Marshal appointments for the original class it is an extremely rare format. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.