Description

    Extremely Important Andrew Foote Commission Signed By Lincoln And Wells. Partially printed vellum Document Signed, "Abraham Lincoln" and "Gideon Wells", one page, 14.5" x 17.5", Washington, D.C., August 5, 1861. A beautiful piece of Victorian lithography in and of itself, this Naval commission carries a large vignette of a semi-nude Liberty riding behind Neptune on a shell pulled by tritons. Making a good graphic even better, the great sea god's outstretched arm is pointing directly at Lincoln's signature. Below are American flags, fouled anchors, various boarding implements and a large applied green paper seal. The recipient of this elaborate document was instrumental in helping to preserve the Union. Better known to historians as "Admiral" on account of the highest rank he attained, Andrew Hull Foote (1806-1863) is here named a Captain early on in the Civil War. Foote was a volatile combination of warrior and reformer perfectly suited for command. As a young man, he left behind his studies at West Point to ply the high seas and became a Navy midshipman in 1822. Much of his early career was spent off the West African coast engaged in suppressing the slave trade. This must have been rewarding work for an officer with firm abolitionist convictions. Foote suffered neither infractions against international law nor insults to the American flag. Acting as an observer during the Chinese Opium Wars in 1856, Foote's command - the U.S.S. Portsmouth - came under fire from Chinese batteries. Brooking no nonsense, American landing parties captured and silenced the aggressors. The Civil War brought rapid promotion to many career officers, including Foote. He was given command of the Mississippi River Squadron and, in early 1862, successfully cooperated with the U.S. Army to capture the key Confederate forts of Donelson, Henry and Island #10. These Union victories went far towards securing Kentucky and Tennessee while providing a base of operations against key objectives in the Deep South. Foote himself was wounded at Fort Donelson and temporarily was assigned to a desk in Washington following the campaign. His potential as an admiral, however, was never realized. Foote died in 1863 while en route to Charleston, South Carolina where he was to command the blockading fleet. Here is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a Lincoln-signed document of the highest order. Light browning along the edges, moderate ink fading. Lincoln's large signature, however, remains quite prominent. Overall fine condition.

    Estimate: $18,000 - $22,000.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2006
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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