TYLER, JOHN

President Tyler ALS - Unable to Secure a Naval Appointment Due to Congressional Limits on New Recruits

Item #19902


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TYLER, JOHN - President Tyler ALS - Unable to Secure a Naval Appointment Due to  Congressional Limits on New Recruits
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TYLER, JOHN - President Tyler ALS - Unable to Secure a Naval Appointment Due to  Congressional Limits on New Recruits

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TYLER, JOHN.(1790-1862). Governor of Virginia, senator and 10th president of the United States, succeeding William H. Harrison upon his death in 1841. ALS. (“John Tyler”). 1p. 4to. Washington, December 30, 1842. To J.C. Stickney, Esq.

 

Your letter of the 22 asking an appointment in the Navy for the son of Major Nevill[e] late of Cincinati [sic] reached me yesterday, and I can only express my regret that it is not in my power to comply with your request and the wishes of Mrs. Neville. Congress at its last session ordered a reduction of the corps of midshipmen to what it was on the 1. Jan. 1841 – This reduction is to be made in the course of natural causes and unless the law be modified or repeald [sic] no new appointment can be made for several years – This unfortunate measure will have the effect of excluding from the naval service many who would be shining ornaments to that service of whom, I doubt not, young Mr. Neville would be one. Accept assurances of my respect…”

 

Tyler resigned his Senate seat in 1836 rather than reverse his vote to censure President Jackson for removing public funds. He was subsequently elected to the House of Representatives and made speaker. A year after leaving the House and losing another Senate race, Tyler joined William Henry Harrison’s presidential ticket. The victorious campaign, became memorable by the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” with Harrison’s presidency becoming equally well-known for its month-long administration. Harrison’s untimely death on April 4,1841, due to complications from a cold contracted during his inaugural address (at 8,445 words the longest inaugural address on record), led to Tyler’s assumption of the presidency. Tyler, who had always been an advocate of states’ rights, remained loyal to Virginia when it seceded from the Union and was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives, though he died before serving.

 

The year 1842 was transformative for the United States Navy. The August 9 signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty led to the cooperation between the navies of the United States and Great Britain to enforce the Atlantic slave trade blockade. But August also witnessed the end of the Second Seminole War, with the Navy’s involvement undergoing severe criticism. On August 31, 1842, an Act of Congress established the Bureau System, by which five specialized bureaus replaced the existing Naval Commissioners. And, shortly before our letter was written, during a November 1842 voyage to the West Indies, a planned mutiny aboard the USS Somerswas discovered and the conspirators executed at sea. The ship returned to New York on December 14 where a naval court of inquiry investigated the mutiny and executions. The Somers Affair, the only mutiny in U.S. Navy history to end with executions, led to the establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy.

 

Our letter references legislation that stipulated “that, till otherwise ordered by Congress, the officers of the navy shall not be increased beyond the number in the respective grades that were in the service on the first day of January, eighteen hundred and forty-two, nor shall there be any further appointment of midshipmen until the number in the service be reduced to the number that were in service on the first day of January, eighteen hundred and forty-one, beyond which they shall not be increased until the further order of Congress,” (A General Register of the Navy and Marine Corps of the United States, 1848).

 

Folded with normal wear and in excellent condition.


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