LINCOLN, ABRAHAM Commission signed appointing ironclad commander Stephen Clegg Rowan Captain in the United States Navy.
Washington: 21 February 1863. Engraved vellum document with three large vignettes and an orange wafer seal accomplished in manuscript. The document appointing Stephen C. Rowan Captain in the U.S. Navy, signed in ink in full "Abraham Lincoln" as President, countersigned by Gideon Welles as Secretary of the Navy, and with the ink registration at lower right. 17 1/4 x 14 inches (43 x 36 cm); framed. The vellum under Rowan's name rubbed and slightly discolored, usual folds, lower edge lightly toned, the verso with remnant of old paper.
Irish born Stephen Clegg Rowan (1808-1890) was a long serving Navy officer, first appointed a midshipmen in 1826. He was an executive officer in the Mexican War and participated in the recapture of Los Angeles in 1847. In the Civil War, before this commission, Rowan attempted to relieve Fort Sumpter and assisted in the capture of the forts at Hatteras Inlet and of Roanoke Island. Here appointed Captain by Lincoln & Welles, Rowan commanded the broadside ironclad New Ironsides off Charleston and later assumed command of Federal forces in the North Carolina sounds.
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