President William McKinley's Appointment of the Antisemitic Selah Merrill as Consul at Jerusalem

January 22, 1898

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President William McKinley's Appointment of the Antisemitic Selah Merrill as Consul at Jerusalem
Document Signed
1 page | SMC 1879

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      Background

      Selah Merrill, having held the post of U.S. Consul at Jerusalem for almost three decades – appointed by three Republican presidents – is here installed in that position for the last time by President McKinley. Added to Merrill’s record of longevity, is this dubious distinction: he is generally considered the greatest reviler of the Jews to ever occupy the post of consul at Jerusalem.


      Document Signed, as President, partially-printed and accomplished in manuscript, being the appointment of Selah Merrill as the U.S. Consul at Jerusalem and Syria; 1 page, oblong folio, Washington, January 22, 1898. Co-signed by Secretary of State John Sherman.
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      The President of the United States of America,

      To all who shall see these presents greeting :

      Know ye That reposing special trust and confidence in the abilities and integrity of Selah Merrill, of Massachusetts, 
      I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint him
      Consul of the United States of
      America at Jerusalem, Syria, and such other parts as shall be nearer thereto than to the residence of any other Consul
      or Vice-Consul, of the United States, within the same allegiance; and do authorize and empower him  To have and to hold the said office and to exercise and enjoy all the rights, preeminences,
      privileges and authorities to the same of right appertaining, subject to the conditions prescribed by law: The said
      Selah Merrill demanding and receiving no fees or
      perquisites of office whatever, which shall not be expressly established by some law of the said United States.  And I do hereby enjoin all Captains, Masters and Commanders of ships and
      other vessels armed or unarmed, sailing under the flag of the said States, as well as all other of their citizens to acknowledge and consider him the said
      Selah Merrill
      accordingly.  And I do hereby pray and request His Imperial Majesty, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, His
      Governors and Officers to permit the said Selah Merrill fully and peaceably to enjoy and exercise
      the said office, without giving, or suffering to be given unto him, any molestation or trouble, but on the contrary, to afford him all proper countenance & assistance, I offering to do the same for
      all those who shall in like manner be recommended to me by
      His said Imperial Majesty.


      In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

      Given in my hand, at the City of Washington, the 22nd day of January
      in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
      ninety-eight and of the Independence of the
      United States of America the
      one hundred and twenty-second.

      By the President,
      WILLIAM McKINLEY

      JOHN SHERMAN
      Secretary of State.