Appointment by President John Adams; Boldly Signed by Him

  • John Adams Signed Document.
  • John Adams Signed Document.

John Adams Signed Document.


Item Number: 77092

John Adams Signed Document, while as President. One page on vellum. Partially printed and some in manuscript, Philadelphia, June 27, 1798, appointing George Calder as Midshipman in the Navy. It is also signed by Benjamin Stoddart as Secretary of the Navy. A sharp example of a large Adams signature on a Midshipman’s commission. Calder served in that capacity until 1802, then was appointed Sailing Master, resigning in November of 1804. Many of his papers survive in the James W. Patton archive at University of North Carolina. Small repair to the upper right corner, in near fine condition. One page on vellum. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 15.25 inches by 17 inches.

John Adams was an American statesman who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and the first Vice President (1789–97). He was a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father, a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain. John Adams collaborated with his cousin, revolutionary leader Samuel Adams, but he established his own prominence prior to the American Revolution. After the Boston Massacre, he provided a successful (largely unpopular) legal defense of the accused British soldiers, in the face of severe local anti-British sentiment and driven by his devotion to the right to counsel and the "protect[ion] of innocence." Adams was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its foremost advocate in the Congress. As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and acquired vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780. This influenced the development of America's own constitution, as did his earlier Thoughts on Government (1776). Adams's credentials as a revolutionary secured for him two terms as President George Washington's vice president (1789 to 1797) and also his own election in 1796 as the second president. In his single term as president, The major accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton's opposition. Due to his strong posture on defense, Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy." He was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion, now known as the White House.

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