Lincoln Executive Order Appointing a Temporary Secretary of the Treasury
Abraham Lincoln Manuscript Executive Order Signed as
President. One page, on blue-lined paper, 8" x 10", Washington,
D.C., April 27, 1864. This brief appointment reads in full:
"George Harrington, is hereby appointed to discharge the duties
of the Secretary of the Treasury, during the absence of Salmon P.
Chase, the Secretary." Boldly signed "Abraham Lincoln."
Docketed on verso: "Recorded in the Dept. of State 27th April,
On several occasions during his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase was away from office, and George Harrington was repeatedly called upon to serve as the ad interim secretary. It is likely that Chase's regular absences were due to strained relations between himself and the president, as Chase had been quite critical of Lincoln's administration, and in early 1864 it was rumored that certain influential persons were promoting Chase as a more viable presidential candidate for the upcoming election than Lincoln, the incumbent. April brought retaliation from Lincoln in the form of a negative speech about Chase in Congress. Chase did not formally resign until June 30, 1864, and Lincoln accepted his resignation, citing "... mutual embarrassment in our official relation which it seems can not be overcome..."
Upon Chase's resignation, Lincoln again temporarily filled the opening with George Harrington, who had been serving admirably as assistant secretary of the treasury. Eventually, Lincoln was able to convince a reluctant William P. Fessenden, U.S. Senator from Maine, to take the position. Fessenden was nominated and confirmed, and entered upon the duties of the office on the 5th of July. George Harrington went on to become Minister to Switzerland and was Thomas Edison's partner in the American Telegraph Works.
The document is in exceptional condition - clean, sharp, and very fine - with a large and very bold signature of Lincoln as president. Perfect for framing and prominent display!
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