Washington, D.C. June 15, 1813. p. partially-printed document completed in manuscript. Paper seal of the United States affixed to upper left corner. Old folds. Light tanning, mild surface wear, a few ink blotches, one small area of ink burn (not affecting text). Overall very good. Matted, framed and glazed. Item #WRCAM54812
A War of 1812-era presidential appointment signed in ink by President James Madison and by Secretary of War John Armstrong. Here, Madison appoints Maryland attorney James Sewall Morsell to the position of Judge Advocate of the Militia of the District of Columbia. In addition, Morsell has fully endorsed and docketed the document on the verso, pledging to "carefully & diligently perform the duties of a Judge Advocate...to the best of my Skill & Judgement and that I will support the Constitution of the United States." Morsell would serve as a Judge Advocate for almost two years. From January 15, 1815 until March 3, 1863, he would serve as a circuit court judge in the District of Columbia. Earlier in his career and during his years in private practice, Morsell represented numerous African-American families who petitioned for freedom in the nation's capital. Judge Morsell passed away in Maryland in 1870.