Commodore John Rodgers as President of the Navy Board American Naval Commissioner to Charter a Vessel in 1817
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COMMODORE JOHN RODGERS (1772-1838). Senior Naval Officer in the United States Navy who served under Six Presidents in the Quasi-War with France, both Barbary Wars in North Africa, and the War of 1812 with Britain as Rodgers fired the first shot of the War aboard his flagship, the USS President, and played a leading role in the recapture of Washington, DC after the Capital was Burned by the British, he served as Secretary of the Navy in 1823.
April 11, 1817-Dated, Autographed Manuscript Document Signed, “Jn Rodgers” as President of the United States Navy Board, measuring 8” x 10”, 1 page, Navy Commissioners Office (Washington), Fine. Light to moderate toning, normal folds, edge chip at center right edge, and with three chips on the left edge, most likely from an old binding. This Letter reads, in full: “The Board of Navy Commissioners will receive proposals to charter a vessel burthened about 2500 barrels, to take in a cargo between the first & tenth of May next, at this place, & proceed hence to the Mediterranean”. John Rodgers’ handsome clear signature is bold, and measures fully 3.25” across. John Rodgers (July 11, 1772 - August 1, 1838) was a senior naval officer in the United States Navy during its formative years in the 1790s through the late 1830s. He served under Six Presidents for nearly four decades. His service took him through many military operations in the Quasi-War with France, both Barbary Wars in North Africa, and the War of 1812 with Britain.
As a senior officer in the young American navy, Rodgers played a major role in the development of the standards, customs and traditions that emerged during this time. Rodgers was, among other things, noted for commanding the largest American squadron in his day to sail the Mediterranean Sea. After serving with distinction as a lieutenant, he was soon promoted directly to the rank of captain (the rank of Master Commandant did not exist at that time). During his naval career he commanded a number of warships, including USS John Adams, the flagship of the fleet that defeated the Barbary states of North Africa.
During the War of 1812 Rodgers fired the first shot of the war aboard his next flagship, USS President, and also played a leading role in the recapture of Washington D.C. after the capital was burned by the British. He suffered having his own hometown and house burned and his family displaced. Later in his career he headed the Board of Navy Commissioners, and he served briefly as Secretary of the Navy. Following in his footsteps, Rodgers' son, and several grandsons and great-grandsons, also became commodores and admirals in the United States Navy.