ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. (1882-1945), President, and WILSON, Woodrow (1856-1924). Printed Naval Commission signed by Wilson as President ("Woodrow Wilson") and by Roosevelt ("Franklin D. Roosevelt") as Acting Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C., 25 January 1916. 1 page, folio, old parchment, 19½ x 15¾ inches, elaborately engraved with American Eagle at top center, standing astride a harpoon. A large blue seal at bottom, along with a large vignette of Poseidon and other nautical imagery.
A NAVAL COMMISSION FOR DOUGLAS MACARTHUR'S OLDER BROTHER, SIGNED BY WILSON AND FDR
The text of the commission reads, in part: "Know ye, that reposing special Trust and Confidence in the Patriotism, Valor, Fidelity and Abilities of Arthur MacArthur, I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint him a Commander in the Navy from the 17th day of August 1915, in the service of the United States." Promotion came fast throughout the career of Arthur MacArthur (1876-1923). One of the youngest midshipmen ever to enter the Naval Academy, he graduated near the top of his class in 1896, and served on the gunboat USS Vixen in the Battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War. He also saw action in the Philippines and the Boxer Rebellion in China. In 1902 he became captain of a newly commissioned submarine, the USS Grumpus, and also skippered a destroyer, the McCall, in 1911. After gaining this promotion to commander, his duties took him to the Pacific, where he captained a mine sweeper and an armored cruiser. With U.S. entry into the Great War, MacArthur moved to the Atlantic theatre, where he commanded the light cruiser Chattanooga, and won the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service medal, and a promotion to Captain. In 1923 he was serving in Washington, when he was struck with appendicitis and died on 2 December 1923, not yet 50 years old. "I loved my brother dearly," General Douglas MacArthur wrote in his memoirs, "and his premature death left a gap in my life which has yet to be filled."