This is a lot of three commissions for Pharmacist Maury D. Baker, who served as an assistant surgeon during WWI.
This lot of three U.S. Navy commissions belonged to Pharmacist Maury D. Baker. I have been unable to gather much information about him, so hope you can find a great deal about him.
Earliest of the three vellum documents is dated 20 April, 1880, signed by the Sec. of the Navy, V. H. Metcalf. What is interesting, according to Metcalf’s history, he was not Secretary of the Navy until appointed to that post by Theodore Roosevelt in1906. The appointment is making Baker a pharmacist. It is not presidentially signed so wondering if this was a replacement issued during TR’s presidency. The vellum shows a few stains and some small foxing, a chip out of the seal, overall in fine condition. Measures, 13 x 16 inches.
On 19 June, 1914, he is promoted to Chief Pharmacist (“to rank with, but after Ensign”) by Woodrow Wilson. The commission is also signed by Josephus Daniels as Secretary of the Navy. The document has the look of once being framed with light aging overall. fine condition. Measures, 16 x 19.5 inches. (Woodrow Wilson was the last president to sign military commissions for all commissioned officers).
The last commission came under Herbert Hoover’s administration. dated 15 June, 1931. The wording of the document indicates that this was a form used for retiring officers once they were placed on the retired list, with the commission issued upon full completion of military service. It reads in part, “Know Ye that Maury D. Baker who during the World War served in the grade of Assistant Surgeon with the rank of Lieutenant ……on 30 March, 1921 under the provisions of statutory law placed on the retired list of the United States Navy with the rank of Lieutenant…” Signed by the Secretary of the Navy, Charles F. Adams. In excellent condition. Measures 16 x 19.5 inches.
These commissions strongly hint of a career of at least 41 years active service in the Navy, and I am assuming Baker was approximately 24 year of age when first appointed.
A nice clean lot of 3, priced singularly for the Presidentially signed document.