November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
A small archival collection of four pieces relating to the military career of Archibald Henderson (1783-1859), the longest-serving Commandant of the Marine Corps (1820 to 1859) and two early pamphlets on Marine Corps and Navy administration during the early 19th century. Henderson is known to many generations of “Leathernecks” as the "Grand old man of the Marine Corps," serving in the United States Marine Corps for 53 years. He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Corps on 4 June 1806 and served aboard USS “Constitution” during some of her famous victories in the War of 1812. Breveted a major in 1814, he was the acting Commandant from 6 September 1818 to 2 March 1819. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, Henderson was appointed Commandant on 17 October 1820 and served in that capacity for the next 38 years. Henderson is credited with thwarting President Andrew Jackson’s attempt to fold the Marine Corps into the Army in 1829. Instead, Congress passed the Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps in 1834, ensuring the Marines would remain part of the Navy Department and he was promoted to colonel the same year. He went into the field as Commandant during the 1836-1837 Indian campaigns in Florida and Georgia, being promoted to brevet brigadier general in 1843 for his meritorious service actions in these campaigns. Henderson died suddenly on 6 January 1859 and is buried in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC. The collection consists of the following: 1) Archibald Henderson, autograph letter signed as “Colonel Commandant”, dated 6 July 1837, Marine Barracks, Washington Navy Yard, one page (9-5/8" x 7-7/8"), hinged and floated in a window mat and attractively framed with a reproduction of Henderson’s portrait. The letter is addressed to Mahlon Dickerson, Secretary of the Navy, and relates to a solicitation from Captain Stevens of the Navy “to obtain for his son a Commission in the Marine Corps”. Henderson argues that “It is desirable to draw closer the ties that unite the Corps to the Navy and [begs] leave to ask your kind offices to obtain a Commission for him”, although admitting no personal knowledge of the “young gentleman”; 2) Brevet Brigadier General Archibald Henderson to 1st Lieutenant R. S. Nicholson, commanding the Marines aboard the Receiving Ship “Pennsylvania” at Norfolk, autograph letter signed, dated “Head Quarters of the Marine Corps, Washington, 28th Jany. 1858”, 2 pp. (9-5/8" x 7-7/8"). Henderson explains to the subaltern that “If an injustice has been done you in detailing you for duty at sea it has arisen from some exigency of the service” and that “1st. Lieut. Boyd has rec[eive]d. prefatory orders for the Niagara.” On the obverse of the sheet, Lieutenant Boyd’s unsigned and undated reply is appended in the young officer’s hand, in which he states acknowledge of receipt of Henderson’s letter and that he is “not aware of having complained of any injustice having been done me in detailing me for sea duty—Indeed I positively assert that no such complaint has ever been made, as there was…no ground until now, for complaint.” Docketed and with forwarding annotations; 3) Pamphlet, “Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, transmitting…A Report of the Strength of the Marine Corps at Head Quarters….February 12, 1821.” Washington, DC: Gales & Seaton, 1821. Quarto, 10 pp. with folding tables; and 4) Pamphlet, “Instructions For Navy Yards.” Washington: William A. Harris, Printer, 1859. Quarto with blue wraps. 32 pp. CONDITION: 1) folds; 2) folds and small stain on right margin edge, not affecting text; 3) light toning; and 4) partial separation at dog-ear fold in lower right-hand corner of front cover; small stain on pp. 20-32, not affecting text readability. JLK

Item Dimensions: 21 x 19"
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,080.00
Estimate: $1,000 - $3,000
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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