Gideon Welles - Manuscript Letter Signed 03/07/1864 For Sale
GIDEON WELLES As a major corruption scandal breaks, Secretary Welles signs an order stopping payment to suppliers and purchasing agents involved. Manuscript Letter signed: "Gideon Welles", as Secretary of the Navy. 1 page 7¾x9¾. Navy Department, 1864 March 7. Signed letter to be sent as a telegram to Commodore C. K. Stribling, Commandant, Philadelphia Navy Yard. In full: "Make no bills or payments for either Schofield, Savage or Raymond until further orders." Ink notation in lower left indicates telegram sent. The word "Asst" has been crossed out, indicating that Welles decided to convey this order personally, rather than through a subordinate. Gideon Welles (1802-1878) formerly a Jacksonian Democrat, joined the newly founded Republican Party in 1854 because of his strong opposition to slavery. An able administrator, he served as Secretary of the Navy throughout the Presidencies of Abraham Lincoln (who called him "Neptune") and Andrew Johnson (1861-1869). On March 15, 1864 Isaac Henderson, US Navy Agent at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, was arrested. A Grand Jury was summoned, and heard testimony from Brooklyn hardware merchant Joseph L. Savage that Henderson was overcharging the Navy for supplies acquired, and was demanding kickbacks from Savage and other merchants. Savage's affidavit implicated purchasing agent Charles L. Schofield. Welles recommended Henderson's immediate dismissal, pending an investigation. President Lincoln concurred, despite the political sensitivity of the case. (Henderson was also a business partner of William Cullen Bryant, editor of the New York Evening Post, whose endorsement had greatly helped Lincoln secure the Republican Presidential nomination in 1860.) Research to date has not identified "Raymond." The enormous purchasing requirements of the Civil War, and the urgent need for haste, created great opportunities for corruption. In this case, the scrupulously honest Welles moved quickly to combat it. Horizontal fold creases. 1" slit at right edge of center fold - just touching the "s" in signature. Small > tear at upper left corner. Edges toned and lightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition. Click image(s) to enlarge: Image(s) shown contain our company watermark. The actual document does not contain these watermarks. HistoryForSale is the world's largest dealer of authentic autographs and manuscripts. Our inventory contains documents in all areas of interest including presidents, royalty, military, aviation, religion, business, science, celebrities, sports, music, authors and more. Whether looking to add to your collection, acquire a unique centerpiece for the home or office, or as a truly one-of-a-kind gift for someone special, you'll find it here at HistoryForSale. Contact us today and let us assist you in finding that perfect item. The Gallery of History, founded in 1981, is a long-standing UACC Registered Dealer, #RD110, and is a long-standing member of the Manuscript Society.
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Gideon Welles - Manuscript Letter Signed 03/07/1864: $9,999