History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Woodrow Wilson

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Beautiful framed presidential appointment

for a District of Columbia Juvenile Judge

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 1856–1924.  28th President of the United States, 1913–1921.  Framed presidential appointment, signed Woodrow Wilson, dated October 16, 1917Cosigned by Attorney General Thomas Watt Gregory, 1861–1933, T. W. Gregory.

This is an extremely nice appointment document in which Wilson appoints George C. Ankam as a judge of the District of Columbia Juvenile Court.  The document, which has never been folded, has been archivally framed.

Ankam, who was born in 1875, was a long-time member of the District of Columbia judiciary, whose members were appointed by the President.  He served as a Justice of the Peace during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt.  In a document that we are also offering, President Warren G. Harding later appointed him a judge of the District of Columbia Municipal Court in 1922.

Although a majority of the country was Republican, the Democrat Wilson won the presidency in 1912 when former President Theodore Roosevelt, running a third-party campaign as the Progressive Party candidate, split the Republican vote with President William Howard Taft.  Wilson was reelected in 1916 by a narrow margin over Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes, a former governor of New York.  World War I raged in Europe during the 1916 campaign, and the war naturally dominated the issues.  Wilson campaigned on a pledge of continued neutrality, and his campaign slogan, “He Kept Us Out of War,” was popular. He defeated Hughes 49%–46% in the popular vote and 277–254 in the electoral vote.  It thus fell to Wilson to lead America into World War I in April 1917, some six months before Wilson made this judicial appointment.

This approximately 15" x 18" document is evenly toned.  The orange embossed seal of the Department of Justice is intact.  Wilson and Attorney General Thomas W. Gregory have signed in black fountain pen, which has faded to dark brown.  There are a few small foxing spots, the largest of which is in the blank area to the lower right of the seal, well removed from both the text and signatures.  We have not examined the document outside of the frame, but we are well acquainted with the framer, who tells us that the document has not been mounted to a backing board.  Overall the document is in very fine condition.

The document has been archivally framed.  It is double matted in buff and dark gray and is framed in a black and mottled dark gray wood frame to an overall size of 25" x 28½".   


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Note that the images of the document and signatures are photographs taken through the glass,

not scans, and thus appear darker than the actual document



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