Adam J. Slemmer

Adam J. Slemmer, hero of Fort Pickens, signature 2 months after Union relief, with outstanding provenance

Adam J. Slemmer, hero of Fort Pickens, signature 2 months after Union relief, with outstanding provenance

1p scrapbook album page signed by Union officer Adam J. Slemmer (1828-1868) as "Yours truly A.J. Slemmer, 1st Lieut. 1st Arty., U.S. Army" and by his wife Caroline Lane nee Reynolds as "Caroline Lane Slemmer" at top. Outstanding provenance includes a lengthy summary of Slemmer's actions at Fort Pickens, and an account of his autograph signing in June 1861. In near fine condition with expected light overall toning. The album page measures 6" x 8.875."

First Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer and wife Caroline signed these autographs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 6, 1861. According to the handwritten provenance, "The autographs were written as Lieut. And Mrs. Slemmer passed through Philadelphia immediately after their return north from Fort Pickens."

In a lengthy footnote, the autograph collector recounts how Slemmer was forced to abandon Fort Barrancas, relocate to Fort Pickens, and there resist Confederate attack for 3 months until the arrival of Union relief:

"Lieut. Slemmer was in charge of Fort Barrancas at Pensacola, Fla., at the outbreak of the Rebellion. 'Finding he could not defend his post, nor Fort McRee, also at the mainland, he, with a loyal courage which will ever render his name illustrious, repeated the strategy of Anderson, and moved his slender command, augment by thirty ordinary seamen from the navy yard, on the morning of January 10th, to Fort Pickens, a large and more defensible work standing at the harbor entrance on the western side of Santa Rosa island. The Government hurriedly sent a few ships of war to assist him, while the rebels began gathering an army to assault the fort.' [Campaigns of the Civil War. Vol. I. p. 38 During the first days of occupation of Fort Pickens, the rebels sent word that they would seize the personal property of Mrs Slemmer (of some value) which had been left behind in the haste of removal from Ft. Barrancas, unless the gallant officer surrendered. Her reply was prompt; they might do what they liked with her property, and she would assist in firing the first gun."

Brigadier General Slemmer died of complications of typhoid fever 7 years after his stand at Ford Pickens, while stationed at Fort Laramie in Wyoming Territory. His widow Caroline later moved to England and married Greek classicist Richard Claverhouse Jebb (1840-1905). The Jebbs had a wide intellectual and social circle that included politicians, writers, and scientists like Benjamin Disraeli, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, William Makepeace Thackeray, George Elliot, and Charles Darwin.


Item: 64011

Price: $350.00
Adam J. SlemmerAdam J. SlemmerAdam J. Slemmer
Adam J. Slemmer
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