Abraham Lincoln Partly Printed Document Signed in full, as president, one page, 13" x 16", Washington, 28 July 1862, countersigned by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles; on parchment, with handsome engraved maritime vignettes The document appoints Joseph Smith a rear admiral in the Navy of the United States. Margins trimmed close to text; wrinkled, with signatures and most of the handwritten portions blurred (Lincoln's signature still easily readable; Welles' faded). Despite faults, a significant document, the last promotion ever given to one of the highest ranking Navy officers of the Civil War, and one who still holds the record for length of service. Smith (1790-1877) campaigned against the Tripolitan pirates in his youth, served during the Mexican War, and came out of retirement to run the Washington Navy Yard. He was instrumental in the development of ironclads, distinguished for his insistence upon building John Ericsson's original ironclad battleship Monitor.

    : Charles Hamilton, New York, circa 1985.

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    20th Thursday
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