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President James Buchanan Naval Midshipman’s Appointment

for “Winfield S. Schley” the Future Spanish-American War

Hero of the Naval Battle of Santiago Bay in 1898

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JAMES BUCHANAN (1791-1868). 15th President of the United States from 1857-1861, serving immediately prior to the American Civil War, represented PA. in the U.S. House of Representatives, later the Senate, served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson, named Secretary of State under President James K. Polk, the last Former Secretary of State to serve as President of the United States.

June 15, 1860-Dated Partially-Printed Naval Appointment Document Signed, “James Buchanan” as President of the United States, 1 page, measuring 17” x 13.75”, on Vellum, Washington, DC, Very Fine. This outstanding historic Naval Appointment Document records the Appointment of future Spanish-American War hero of the Battle of Santiago Bay, WINFIELD S. SCHLEY (1839-1911) as a Midshipman -- his First Appointment within the United States Navy. The original, Green Embossed Paper Seal is present and intact, two Patriotic Vignettes with an American Eagle, Flags and Militaria displayed at upper and lower portions. Signed in brown ink at the conclusion, the signature “James Buchanan” measuring a huge 4.5” long. Cosigned by the Secretary of the Navy, Isaac Toucey (1857-1861). Normal light folds with some surface creases, but with overall nice eye appeal and with excellent framing and display possibilities. In 1898, Winfield Scott Schley was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and the hero of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War, who brought about the complete destruction of the Spanish fleet, ensured the independence of Cuba from Spanish rule, and resulting in the Spanish-American War coming to a quick close. An important and historic United States Naval Appointment from the earliest service of one of America's most renowned naval officers, Winfield S. Schley.


WINFIELD S. SCHLEY was a rear admiral in the United States Navy and the hero of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Commanding of the armored cruiser U.S.S. Brooklyn during the battle, his quick thinking resulted in the complete destruction of the Spanish fleet, ensured the independence of Cuba from Spanish rule, and brought the Spanish-American War to a quick close.

James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 - June 1, 1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857-1861) and the last to be born in the 18th century. To date he is the only president from the State of Pennsylvania, and the only president to have never married and to have remained a bachelor.

Buchanan was offered the position of Secretary of State in the Polk administration. Though he considered the possibility of instead serving on the Supreme Court, Buchanan accepted the position and served as Secretary of State throughout Polk's lone term in office. During that time, Polk and Buchanan nearly doubled the territorial extent of the United States through the Oregon Treaty and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In negotiations with Britain over Oregon, Buchanan at first advised a compromise, but later advocated for annexation of the entire territory. Eventually, Buchanan assented to a division at the 49th parallel.

After the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, Buchanan advised Polk against taking territory South of the Rio Grande River and New Mexico. However, as the war came to an end, Buchanan argued for the annexation of further territory, annoying Polk, who suspected that Buchanan was primarily concerned with eventually becoming president. Buchanan did quietly seek nomination at the 1848 Democratic National Convention (Polk had promised to serve only one term), but the nomination instead went to Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan.
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Estimate Range: $6,500 - $7,500
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