• Mother Wants To Pay Son's Naval Debt, Seeks Pardon For Stripped Landsman

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    Offering a single page, 7 ¼ x 8, ALS, S.B. Hardin seeks debt information on Navy Landsman “stripped as such,” apparently seeking a pardon for the young man.


    “The Secy of the Navy has this day authorized Capt. Perry to discharge from the service Jacob F. Shaffer upon the settlement of his accts. The poor old Mother of Jacob, upon whose application the discharge has been authorized, is here and says that she will pay whatever it may be due on account of her son. He is a Landsman or rather stripped as such at Phila on the 18th of Apl last and his mother says he is now on board [USS] North Carolina.


    “Now my dear fellow the object of this is to ask you to let me know...how much Jacob is indebted to the U.S. and how the poor old woman can settle the amt to square off.  I can then let her know and it will save her the trouble and expense of writing...


    “In haste


    “Your friend


    “S.B. Hardin”


    Captain Matthew C. Perry (April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858) was an American naval officer who commanded ships in several wars, including the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. She was appointed commandant of the New York Navy Yard, 1840-1843.  Perry was interested in the education of naval officers and assisted in the development of an apprentice system that helped establish the curriculum at the United States Naval Academy. With the advent of the steam engine, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the U.S. Navy and came to be considered ‘The Father of the Steam Navy.’


    Light toning. Quite readable. A couple of edge tears, reinforced with archival tape.  No date on the letter but an unattached sheet states May 31, 1842.


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