In the realm of signed political documents and Executive Branch pennings, this 1850 deed is among the most scarce and significant artifacts in the thread of American culture. Thrust into power upon the sudden passing of Zachary Taylor, former Vice President Millard Fillmore took over the Presidency and brought an abrupt change in his stand on crucial issues, not the least of which was slavery. Accepting the resignation of Taylor’s entire cabinet, Fillmore appointed his own staff, among them, Senator Daniel Webster. On only his 14th day in the Oval Office, Fillmore endorsed this Justice of the Peace appointment.
The thick stock sheet measures 15-1/2 x 10-1/4” and features printed text detailing the candidate’s duties in a Justice of the Peace capacity. Dated July 22, 1850, the crisp parchment is signed at the text’s conclusion by Fillmore. Executed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen, the regal signature projects (“9”) potency and resides opposite a Presidential seal adhered to the far left. Near the bottom, Secretary of State Webster has signed (“8” strength, also in black-ink fountain pen). Of note is the fact that Webster had begun to sign on the lower middle portion (his upper-case “D” has been penned over), but was likely told of the correct spot for his signature and complied. Americana examples of this ilk are fleeting, indeed. A vertical compacting fold does not affect either signature. Full photo LOA from JSA.