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Lot #5
Thomas Jefferson Document Signed as President Commissioning a Lieutenant in the Navy

Scarce naval appointment signed by President Thomas Jefferson

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Estimate: $6000+
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Scarce naval appointment signed by President Thomas Jefferson

Partly-printed vellum DS as president, signed “Th: Jefferson,” one page, 14.25 x 17.5, March 16, 1807. President Jefferson appoints Hethcote J. Reed as "a Lieutenant in the Navy in the Service of the United States." Neatly signed at the conclusion by President Thomas Jefferson and countersigned by Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith. The white paper seal affixed at the bottom remains intact. Nicely mounted and double-matted with an engraved portrait of Jefferson to an overall size of 31 x 26. In 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.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023

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