University Archives

Lot 282

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Theodore Roosevelt Signed Naval Commission

A stately 1p document signed by 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) as "Theodore Roosevelt" at lower right. Signed at Washington, D.C. on May 3, 1904. Countersigned by Charles Hial Darling (1859-1944), Assistant Secretary / Acting Secretary of the Navy, as "Chas. H Darling" at lower left, and also signed in the docket by a registrar as "G. Earle Yancy." Partly handwritten and partly printed on vellum. An embossed blue "United States of America Navy Department" seal is found at the center of a vignette depicting mythological sea creatures at bottom. Expected wrinkles and folds and scattered foxing. Else near fine. Matted and archivally framed behind museum-quality UV ray filtering glass with document separators in a handsome rosewood finished frame. Not examined out of the frame. Sight size: 15" x 17.5." Overall size: 22.25" x 25.25" x 1." Accompanied by a signed James Spence Authentication Letter of Authenticity dated December 5, 2017.

In the spring of 1904, President Roosevelt appointed James L. Belknap "Assistant Surgeon in the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant junior grade." Historical records indicate that Belknap joined the naval service on April 22, 1898 and resigned ten years later, on May 6, 1908. Like Roosevelt, Belknap was a fellow New Yorker; in 1901, Belknap served as Assistant Surgeon at the Naval Hospital at the New York City Naval Station.

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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