May 22nd, 2013 World Biological Diversity Day May 22nd, 2013 National Maritime Day May 25th, 2013 African Liberation Day May 26th, 2013 Trinity Sunday May 27th, 2013 Jefferson Davis Birthday May 27th, 2013 Memorial Day May 29th, 2013 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers May 30th, 2013 Corpus Christi May 31st, 2013 World No Tobacco Day June 1st, 2013 Statehood Day June 3rd, 2013 Jefferson Davis Birthday June 4th, 2013 World Day for Child Victims of Aggression June 5th, 2013 World Environment Day June 6th, 2013 Isra and Mi'raj June 8th, 2013 World Oceans Day June 11th, 2013 Kamehameha Day June 12th, 2013 World Day Against Child Labour June 14th, 2013 Flag Day June 14th, 2013 World Blood Donor Day June 16th, 2013 Father's Day June 17th, 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification June 17th, 2013 Bunker Hill Day June 19th, 2013 Juneteenth June 20th, 2013 West Virginia Day June 20th, 2013 World Refugee Day June 21st, 2013 June Solstice June 23rd, 2013 International Widows' Day June 23rd, 2013 Public Service Day
Civil War Lincoln Welles Navy Commodore Senator Signed Document Boston 1862 Rare For Sale
(1799 – 1889)
Civil War Secretary of the Navy – Appointed by President Abraham
United States Senator
& Ambassador to Russia!!
When Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United
States, he appointed Welles as his Secretary of the Navy. On the outbreak of
the American Civil War Welles was responsible for implementing the Anaconda
Plan. He gradually built up a fleet that was able to guard the South's 3,500
miles of coastline. With the support of the outstanding naval commander, David
Farragut, Welles was able to gradually impose a naval blockade that isolated
the South from the rest of the world. Welles resigned from office in 1869 and
was highly critical of President Andrew Johnson and his reconstruction
A RARE CIVIL WAR DATE  LETTER SIGNED to Masters Mate Charles C. Jones at
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, ordering Jones to report to Naval Commodore, James
B. Montgomery [WHO ALSO SIGNS THE DOCUMENT] at the Boston Navy Yard!!
EXECUTED & SIGNED BY GIDEON WELLES & COMMODORE JAMES MONTGOMERY DURING
THE CIVIL WAR!
The document measures 8” x 10” and is in VERY GOOD CONDITION - An UNCOMMON AUTOGRAPH - APPEARS MUCH NICER THAN THE SCANNED IMAGES &Would look great framed with a period 19th
century engraving of Welles!
An Excellent Piece of Union Militaria!
A RARE ADDITION TO YOUR HISTORICAL-POLITICAL-CIVIL WAR
AUTOGRAPH & MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION!
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
THE HONORABLE GIDEON WELLES
Welles, Gideon (1 July
1802-11 Feb. 1878), journalist, diarist, and secretary of the navy, was born in
Glastonbury, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Welles, a shipbuilder and merchant
in the West Indies trade, and Anne Hale. Welles studied law with William W.
Ellsworth in Hartford, Connecticut, but never practiced. In 1835 he married his
cousin Mary Jane Hale. They had nine children, three of whom survived to
In 1825 Welles became
acquainted with John M. Niles, editor and proprietor of the Hartford Times and
Weekly Advertizer, who espoused Andrew Jackson as the coming political figure
in the nation. His opinion on states' rights, banking corporations, free trade,
and hard money appealed to Welles, who joined Niles's publishing venture and
soon gained a reputation for his support of Jackson and his attacks on the John
Quincy Adams administration. He was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly
in 1825 and served another term in 1835. That year he was elected state
In 1846 Welles became
the first civilian bureau chief in the Navy Department, responsible for the
department's supply of provisions and clothing during the Mexican-American War.
Though an honest and capable administrator, the Whig triumph of 1848 resulted
in his dismissal.
Welles and Niles became
involved in the antislavery movement that gained renewed impetus after the
Wilmot Proviso debates in Congress, which made a resounding political statement
for free soil in the Mexican cession after the peace treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo. Both men supported Martin Van Buren and the Free Soil ticket in 1848,
Niles openly and Welles, still a jobholder in Washington, covertly.
Under pen names Welles
wrote editorials or public letters for such journals as the New York Evening
Post and the antislavery National Era in Washington. An opponent of the
Compromise of 1850, he denounced the Fugitive Slave Act in the compromise on
constitutional, political, and moral grounds. Nevertheless, he supported
Franklin Pierce, the Democratic party nominee in 1852, and hoped that Pierce,
if elected, would not adhere strictly to the party platform that accepted the
compromise. As president, Pierce did not oppose the expansion of slavery. When
the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 threw the territories open to popular
sovereignty and the Hartford Times along with the Democratic organization in
the state supported that legislation, Welles and Niles broke with the party and
the paper and joined the new Republican party.
To give wider currency
to the new party, Welles and Niles established the Hartford Evening Press.
Welles became its first editor. He also ran for governor of the state on the
Republican ticket in 1856 but was defeated.
After the election of
James Buchanan as president, Welles condemned his administration for its Kansas
policy, the Dred Scott decision, and the upsurgence of nativism, whose
intolerance he had opposed over many years. Appointed a member of the
Republican party's executive committee, he devoted himself to planning for the
campaign of 1860. He advocated the publication and distribution at the party's
expense of Hinton Helper's antislavery tract, The Impending Crisis of the South
By now Welles had gained
a large following among Republican party leaders, especially in New England. As
a result, he was pushed for a cabinet position when the party won the election
of 1860. President Abraham Lincoln appointed him secretary of the navy on 4
When Welles took over
the Navy Department, he was immediately faced with the loss of more than half
of the officer corps, 300 of whom resigned or were dismissed for disloyalty.
The Union fleet consisted of forty-five ships, most of which were obsolete.
Only twelve vessels were ready for service. The navy was, therefore, unprepared
to implement Lincoln's blockade of the southern ports. To make matters worse,
Lincoln's attempt to placate Virginia before Fort Sumter resulted in the loss
of the Union's best-equipped naval base at Norfolk, Virginia.
Welles moved rapidly to
expand the navy. He initiated development of a river fleet that would assist
the Treasury Department's internal blockade of the Confederacy as well as
cooperate with the army in joint operations. Before northern shipyards could
begin to build new vessels, Welles sought merchant shipping that could be
quickly converted into gunboats and other auxiliary vessels. He dealt with his
brother-in-law George D. Morgan, a New York merchant who purchased ninety
vessels, and the Massachusetts magnate John Murray Forbes (1813-1898), who
acquired ten more. Morgan drove hard bargains with ship owners and no doubt
saved the department large sums, but he received commissions that amounted to
$70,000 and that prompted a congressional investigation. Welles was not accused
of any wrongdoing, but the unfavorable image fixed on him of a sleepy Rip Van
Winkle was long the subject of cartoons.
Welles was fortunate to
have associated with him a dynamic former naval officer, Gustavus Vasa Fox,
first as chief clerk and ultimately assistant secretary. His staff also
included a capable administrator, William Faxon, a business associate on the
Press. In all, the navy purchased or had constructed 313 vessels, about
one-half of its fleet, and bought or leased another 184 ships from private
parties and the War and Treasury Departments. Personnel increased from 7,600
officers and men to 51,500 in 1865.
Welles complemented the
navy's expansion program with a comprehensive study of naval strategy, setting
up what was called the "Committee of Conference." The committee
produced four "Memoirs" that analyzed the blockade problem, divided
the southern Atlantic Coast into operational theaters, and recommended where
specific lodgments be made. The job required the blockade of the outer
coastline and inner bays from the Virginia capes to the Rio Grande.
First fruits of the
committee's recommendations were the army-navy capture of the Hatteras forts on
28 August 1861 and Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont's seizure of the harbor of Port
Royal, South Carolina, on 7 November 1861. On 6 February 1862 the navy silenced
the batteries of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Two days later a joint
army-navy expedition seized Roanoke Island, which dominated Albemarle Sound. On
16 February the army and navy cooperated in the capture of Fort Donelson on the
Cumberland River in Tennessee, and they captured Island Number 10 in the
Mississippi on 7 April 1862. The Union navy now controlled most of the inland
waterways off the Confederacy's Atlantic Coast, the Tennessee River, the
Cumberland River, and much of the Mississippi River. Although the blockade was
never completely effective, it did cut off a major source of foreign munitions
and other contraband supplies.
The committee also
recommended that a squadron already operating in the Gulf of Mexico be made the
core of another joint army-navy assault on New Orleans. By the end of 1861 the
Navy Department had completed planning for this operation. Welles selected
David G. Farragut to head the expedition. On 25 April 1862 Farragut ran the
forts that guarded the approaches to New Orleans and captured the city. The army
then took control. After the successes of the Port Royal, Fort Henry, and New
Orleans expeditions, public and political criticism of Welles diminished,
though it never completely ended.
The engagement between
the Union ironclad Monitor and the Confederate ironclad Virginia on 9 March
1862 that ended the threat posed to the wooden Union fleet also solidified
Welles's status within the Lincoln administration. However, the failure of the
ironclads to capture Charleston in 1863 led to attacks on his department in
By the war's end Welles
had been primarily responsible for building a navy second only to that of Great
Britain. He had also reorganized the department, improved significantly
contract administration, and established an academy of science, the forerunner
of all government-sponsored research agencies.
As a cabinet member,
Welles gave complete support and loyalty to Lincoln on broad policy measures.
He retained, however, much of his Democratic political views. Though he backed
emancipation, he was decidedly conservative on extending full civil rights to
the former slaves. An ardent believer in states' rights, he insisted such
legislation must be left to the states. His views on Reconstruction were
similar to those of Andrew Johnson. Welles consulted on many of Johnson's veto
messages and consistently approved of his stand against Congressional
Welles is best known as
a diarist. His voluminous journal, kept from 10 August 1861 until 6 June 1869,
is the most comprehensive account available for the Lincoln and Johnson
administrations. This document and the essays he wrote in retirement present a
vivid though intensely personal record of the Civil War and Reconstruction. At
the close of Johnson's administration, on 4 March 1869, Welles returned to
Hartford, where he resided until his death there.
The Library of Congress
has the major collection of Welles's papers, but significant additional
collections are at the Connecticut Historical Society, primarily in the John M.
Niles Papers; the New York Public Library; and the E. Huntington Library, San Marino,
Calif., which has portions of Welles's manuscript diaries for 1846, 1848, and
1860. The manuscript Welles diary, 1862-1869, is at the Library of Congress.
First published as Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy under Lincoln
and Johnson under the direction of John T. Morse (3 vols., 1911), it has been
published and edited by Howard K. Beale and Alan Brownsword in a critical
edition with the same title (3 vols., 1960). Welles's essays are available in
published form in the Galaxy 10-14 (1870-1877); and in his Lincoln and Seward
(1874). Two modern biographies of Welles are Richard West, Jr., Gideon Welles:
Lincoln's Navy Department (1943), and John Niven, Gideon Welles: Lincoln's
Secretary of the Navy (1973). A shorter version of Welles's career is in Paolo
E. Coletta, ed., American Secretaries of the Navy, vol. 1, 1775-1913 (1980).
Valuable material on Welles's administration of the Navy Department may also be
found in Charles O. Paullin, "Half Century of Naval Administration in
America: The Navy Department during the Civil War," U.S. Naval Institute
Proceedings (Dec. 1912), no. 1, no. 2, Mar. 1913. Substantive obituaries are in
the Hartford Times and the New York Tribune, both 12 Feb. 1878, which may be
supplemented by Gustavus Vasa Fox, Manuscript Diary, 12 Feb. 1878, in the
New-York Historical Society. [SOURCE: American National Biography]
I am a proud member of
the Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC), The Ephemera Society of
America, the Manuscript Society and the American Political Items Collectors
(APIC) (member name: John Lissandrello). I subscribe to each organizations'
code of ethics and authenticity is guaranteed. ~Providing quality service and
historical memorabilia online for over ten years.~
WE ONLY SELL GENUINE ITEMS, i.e., NO REPRODUCTIONS, FAKES OR COPIES!
This item has been shown 58 times.
Civil War Lincoln Welles Navy Commodore Senator Signed Document Boston 1862 Rare: $129