Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    [Hawaii]. John Percival Autograph Letters (3) Signed, with a Jeremiah Evarts ALS regarding charges brought against the celebrated "Mad Jack" Percival. Two of Percival's letters concern charges against the controversial naval officer for misconduct while in Hawaii (the Sandwich Islands). Both are addressed to Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, and dated February 17, 1828 (two pages of one bifolium) and April 12, 1828 (one page of a bifolium). Percival's third letter is dated January 16, 1844 (one and one-half pages of a bifolium). Evarts' lengthy letter contains the sordid details of the charges of lewdness brought against Percival. All are very clean with folds. The letter dated 1844 bears some minor tape residue to the left edge.

    From Boston on February 17, 1828, Percival complains about the charges brought against him to Naval Secretary Southard: "I am led to believe that the continuing open any longer the commissions for taking testimony at New York & Philadelphia may have an injurious tendency towards me personally. . . . [Mr. Evarts] has frequently stated that his object is to prosecute me as long as he can find the means of prosecution. . . . He has stimulated sailors whose conduct was controlled by me after the wreck of the London (in order to prevent embezzlement) to bring actions against me. . . . Of this vindictive course perhaps I have no right to complain to the [Naval] Department." Later, in the letter dated April 12, 1828, also from Boston, Percival requests from Secretary Southard "A duly certified copy of the communication made after the 9th of June 1827 by Mr. J. Evarts 'as to what Dr. Blatchly himself can testify.'" He also calls for a "list of the witnesses to be called on the part of the Missionaries & Edwards at the Court of Enquiry." Percival's third letter, dated January 16 1844, aboard the USS Constitution, concerns later naval matters.

    Jeremiah Evarts' ten-page letter to Naval Secretary Southard dated March 27, 1828, from Washington, D.C., contains interesting content on the charges against Percival. "I proceed to charge Lieut. Percival with the following misdemeanors . . . directly & intentionally promoting the riot at Honolulu . . . gross profraneness & blasphemy . . . living habits of lewdness . . . cohabiting with a young native female as his concubine . . . in a subsequent period of his stay, he took another native female, a child eleven years old, for the gratification of his infamous desires." Evarts' list continues.

    John "Mad Jack" Percival (1779-1862) was a controversial naval officer known for his exploits during the War of 1812 and actions against West Indian pirates. In 1826, he commanded the USS Dolphin as it sailed deep into the uncharted Pacific Ocean, returning via Hawaii, thus becoming the first American naval visit to the island. Jeremiah Evarts was a Christian missionary and activist for indigenous peoples. From the Donald P. Dow Collection.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 776

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 45 days left to consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    AZ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424