President William McKinley Commissions a Second Lieutenant

December 26, 1899

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President William McKinley Commissions a Second Lieutenant
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1 page | SMC 1179

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      McKinley genuinely enjoyed the presidency, with one exception: he hated signing military commissions. “Something ought to be done about this,” he used to fret, “somebody else ought to be able to sign these.” Here, however, McKinley does his duty, by commissioning one Earnest M. Reeve to do his.
      Presidents routinely signed military commissions until Wilson ended the practice.
      Document Signed, as president, partially printed and accomplished in manuscript; 1 page, elephant folio, Washington, December 26, 1899. Being the appointment of Earnest M. Reeve as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. Co-signed by Secretary of War Elihu Root and replete with blue wafer seal.
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      OF THE

      To all who shall see these presents greeting:

      Know Ye, That reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of Earnest M. Reeve, I have nominated and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate do appoint him Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the service of the United States: to rank as such from the fifth day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine. He is therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of Second Lieutenant by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging.

      And I do  strictly charge and require all Officers and Soldiers under his command to be to be obedient to his orders as Second Lieutenant. And he is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as he shall receive from me or the future President of the United States of America or the General or other superior Officers set over him according to the rules and  discipline of War. 

      This Commission to continue in force during the pleasure of the President of the United States for the time being. 
      Given under my hand at the City of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine and in the one hundred and twenty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States.

      By the President:  WILLIAM McKINLEY

      Secretary of War.