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Lot 348

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Gideon Welles War Date DS

Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles sends a prospective temporary ensign to Rear Admiral Hiram Paulding (1797-1878), commandant of the New York Navy Yard, for examination. Paulding in turn, sent the prospect to Lt. Commander Edward Barrett (1827-1880), the commander of the training ship USS Savannah. Barrett examined and passed him.

GIDEON WELLES, Partially Printed Document Signed, to Charles W. Seekins, July 10, 1863; Endorsement signed by Hiram Paulding. 1 p.

Complete Transcript:

Navy Department, / July 10, 1863.
You have permission to report to Rear Admiral Paulding Commandant of the Navy Yard at New York for examination as to your qualifications for the position of Acting Ensign in the Navy of the United States on temporary service, which appointment will be conferred upon you should you be found qualified.
I am, respectfully / Your obedient servant,
Gideon Welles / Secretary of the Navy.
Mr Chas W. Seekins
New York / 160 South St

[Endorsement:] Report to Lieut Commdr Barrett, on board the Savannah, for examination
H Paulding / Commdt
July 11/63

[Endorsement on verso:] July 13/63 / Examined & passed / E Barrett / Lieut Comd’r

Gideon Welles (1802-1878) was a Connecticut native, journalist, Democratic state legislator, Hartford Postmaster, and Chief of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing for the Navy early in his career. In the 1848 presidential election, Welles left the Democratic Party over the issue of the expansion of slavery. Welles founded an influential Republican organ, the Hartford Evening Press, in 1856. Abraham Lincoln appointed Welles as Secretary of the Navy, and Welles was highly effective in mobilizing the resources of the country for an extensive blockade and offensive operations against the Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln nicknamed Welles his “Neptune,” and Welles served as Secretary of the Navy from 1861 to 1869.

Charles W. Seekins was born in New York. He was appointed an acting ensign on July 17, 1863, and assigned to the Steamer Commodore Barney. He later served on the USS Canonicus and the USS Stonewall. He was discharged in 1866.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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