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    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Document Signed as Acting Secretary of the Navy.
    -October 23, 1916. Washington, D.C. One page. 10" x 15".
    -To: Harry A. Giltner.
    -Light creases, minor wear, else fine.

    United States Navy commission, signed by FDR as Acting Secretary, not printed on the usual Navy Department stationery, but a typed document bearing no official marks of the U.S. Government. Acting under the orders of President Woodrow Wilson, FDR signed this appointment of Harry A. Giltner as Acting Assistant Surgeon in the USN.

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    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.


    A large, terrific, and very rare United States Navy commissioning document signed by FDR as Acting Secretary of the Navy, dated October 23, 1916, not on the usual Navy Department, Washington stationery, rather on a 10 x 15" document bearing no official marks of the Government of the United States, to Harry A. Giltner, Acting Assistant Surgeion in the United States Navy. FDR alone authorizes the commissioning of Lieutenant, Junior Grade Giltner in the United States Navy. The commissioning document reads: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/ NAVY DEPARTMENT/ Washington, D.C./ To all who shall see these presents, Greeting:/ Know ye, that reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Valor, Patriotism, Fidelity and Abilities of–Harry A. Giltner–the President of the United States does hereby appoint him an Acting Assistant Surgeion in the United States Navy, with the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade), from the twenty first day of October, one thousand, nine hundred and sixteen./ He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of the officer of said grade by doing and performing all Manner of Things thereto belonging. And all officers, seamen and marines under his command are strictly charged and required to be obedient to his orders as an officer of said grade. And he is to observe and follow such Orders and Directions from time to time as he shall receive from the President of the United States of America, or his Superior Officer set over him: according to the Rules and Discipline of The Navy./ This appointment to continue in force during the pleasure of the President of the United States for the time being./ Given under my Hand at Washington, D.C., this 23rd day of October, 1916, and in the 141st year of the Independence of the United States./ By the President/ Franklin D. Roosevelt/ Acting Secretary of the Navy/ Registered/ W. A. Hanna/ Registrar." FDR's signature is quite bold on this Commission document, approximately 4" in length. Interestingly, President Woodrow Wilson did not sign this Commission. During this period in American history, such Commission documents were customarily signed by the President in addition to the Secretary (or in this case Acting) of the Navy. This Commission document therefore represents a rarity in that FDR signs and officiates the Commission in the absence of President Wilson's signature. A truly fabulous item. Also included are two other official Naval Commissioning documents for Lieutenant and then Lieutenant Commander Harry A. Giltner, both from 1919, each signed by Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Washington, acting in that capacity when both Josephus Daniels and FDR were away from Washington, D.C.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 516

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