History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Warren G. Harding

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Beautiful framed presidential appointment

for a District of Columbia Municipal Judge

Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865–1923.  29th President of the United States.  Framed presidential appointment, signed Warren G. Harding, dated September 12, 1922 Cosigned by Attorney General Harry Micajah Daugherty, 1860–1941, H. M. Daugherty.

This is an extremely nice appointment document in which Harding appoints George C. Ankam as a judge of the District of Columbia Municipal 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 Woodrow Wilson appointed him a judge of the District of Columbia Juvenile Court in 1917.

Harding, an Ohio Republican, was a newspaper publisher turned politician.  He served in the Ohio Senate and later as Ohio's Lieutenant Governor.  He was elected to the United States Senate in 1914.  Six years later, when the Republican convention deadlocked, party leaders meeting at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago picked the dark horse Harding.  His pledge of a "Return to Normalcy" appealed to Americans tired of the preoccupation with World War I and its aftermath.  Harding, who like William McKinley waged the campaign from the front porch of his Ohio home, rode into the White House on a landslide victory.  Harding and Calvin Coolidge defeated their Democratic opponents, Ohio Governor James M. Cox and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, by margins of 60%-34% in the popular vote and 404-127 in the electoral vote.  Harding did not, however, survive his elected term.  He died in San Francisco after becoming ill on a West Coast trip, and Coolidge succeeded him.

This approximately 15" x 18" document is evenly toned.  The orange embossed seal of the Department of Justice is intact.  Harding and Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty have signed in black fountain pen, which has faded to dark brown.  There is a small foxing spot in the lower left corner, well removed from both the text and signatures, and a bit of bleeding where the pen stroke crosses the "t" in Daughertyʼs signature.  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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