Partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 12.75 x 8, April 17, 1799. President Adams appoints Joseph Dobell, Jr., as "a Lieutenant in the Navy of the United States." Prominently signed at the conclusion by President Adams and countersigned by Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert. In very good to fine condition. At the outset of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress hoped that a small naval force could help offset the uncontested exercise of British sea power. The founding legislation, championed by Adams, was passed in October of 1775 and, before the year was out, Congress authorized the construction of a small fleet. As president, Adams went on to strengthen the American fleet during the Quasi-War with France between 1798 and 1800, establish a separate Department of the Navy, and push through an act authorizing a peacetime naval force, courses of action that have often led to him being deemed the 'Father of the American Navy.'
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