Raphael Semmes, Printed Document, signed in type.
Just 20 days before resigning from the U.S. Navy to join the seceding Southern states, Semmes, as Secretary of the Light-house board, passes on urgent news from the port of Charleston, SC:
“Information has been received at this office that the light-vessel at Rattlesnake Schoals has been withdrawn; that the lights on Morris Island, and at the entrance into the port of Charleston, S.S., have been discontinued; the buoys removed and the main ship channel so obstructed as to be unsafe for navigation. By Order: R. Semmes, Secretary.”
The state of South Carolina had seceded from the Union five weeks before, on 20 December 1860. Five states had seceded by this document’s date–the very day Louisiana left the Union.
Excellent; light folds and very light toning only.
Raphael Semmes.Printed Document, signed in type “R. Semmes, Secretary.” NOTICE TO MARINERS. (No. 106.) “Treasury Department, Office Light-House Board” (letterhead) Washington, D.C.: 26 January 1861. 7-3/4 x 10 in.