Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Theodore Roosevelt promotes Douglas MacArthur's older brother to Lieutenant in the Navy

    Theodore Roosevelt Naval Commission Signed "Theodore Roosevelt" as President and "John D. Long" as Secretary of the Navy, one page, 15.75" x 20.5". Washington, March 22, 1902. In part, "Know Ye, that reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Patriotism, Valour, Fidelity, and Abilities of Arthur MacArthur junior I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint him a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Navy from the 6th day of May 1901 in the service of the United States..." Arthur MacArthur junior (1876-1923), actually Arthur MacArthur III, had entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis when he was 16. Graduated with high honors in 1896, he was commissioned an ensign. MacArthur served aboard the gunboat USS Vixen in the Battle of Santiago on July 3, 1898 and participated in naval operations during the Philippine insurrection and Boxer Rebellion. He was commander of the first successful U.S. submarine, the USS Holland. According to his brother Douglas, he "was one of the original developers of underwater tactics and strategy." In 1911, Lieutenant Commander MacArthur was given command of a new destroyer, the USS McCall. Promoted to Commander, he was in command of the USS San Francisco, a mine sweeper, and in 1917, the armored cruiser USS South Dakota in the Pacific Fleet. When war was declared, MacArthur was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and given command of the light cruiser USS Chattanooga which was on convoy duty. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and was promoted to Captain for his work in protecting the troop transports from German U-Boats. After the war, he headed back to sea on the USS Henderson which was on duty with the Navy Transportation Service. In 1923, Capt. MacArthur was stricken with appendicitis and died at the age of 47. In his memoirs, General Douglas MacArthur wrote, "I loved my brother dearly and his premature death left a gap in my life which has yet to be filled." There are stains at the upper edge and toning at the lower edge and two horizontal areas of light rippling, one of which passes through but does not affect the President's dark signature. Attractive naval vignettes at the top and bottom. Blue seal of the Navy Department is affixed at the lower center. Presidential commissions of famous naval officers rarely appear on the market. Fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 741

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 2 Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 November 2 Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,799,801