WASHINGTON, George. Partly printed document signed (''G:o Washington'') as President, countersigned and endorsed by Secretary of War Henry Knox (''HKnox, Secretary for the department of War''), New York, 29 September 1789.
WASHINGTON, George. Partly printed document signed ("G:o Washington") as President, countersigned and endorsed by Secretary of War Henry Knox ("HKnox, Secretary for the department of War"), New York, 29 September 1789.
1 page, oblong folio (12 3/8 x 15 3/8 in). neatly accomplished in manuscript in a fine italic hand, papered Great Seal of the U.S. at top left-hand corner, bold printed heading "George Washington, President of the United States," a tiny hole at fold intersection, otherwise in extremely fine condition.
ONE OF THE EARLIEST MILITARY COMMISSIONS SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. Washington's momentous first term had begun in late April. The first bill to pass Congress--regarding an oath of office--passed on June. On August 7, Washington signed legislation creating the War Department, and on September 2, the bill establishing the Treasury. Knox was named Secretary of War (as he here proudly notes) on 12 September, just two weeks before this appointment was made. Jefferson's appointment as Secretary of State pre-dates this by only three days. The large format appointment certifies that "Reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Patriotism, Valour, Fidelity and Abilities of Thomas Doyle," he is appointed a Lieutenant of infantry. "This Commission to continue in Force during the Pleasure of the President...for the Time being."
The officer in question here, Thomas Doyle, was a Pennsylvanian. He had served in Pennsylvania regiments from his enlistment in 1779. After promotion to Captain in 1798 and Major in 1792, he was discharged, and died in 1805.