Dix’s Autograph Order IF ANYONE ATTEMPTS TO HAUL DOWN THE AMERICAN FLAG SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOT January 29 1861. Matthew Brady’s Carte-de-Visite Photograph (Albumen Print) of John A. Dix’s Telegram January 29, 1861. New York: Matthew Brady, 1862. President Lincoln’s election in 1860 drove the Southern States to secession. Then United States Secretary of the Treasury, John A. Dix, was anxious that one of his revenue cutters would accomplish the scheduled gold pick-ups prior to mutiny or secession, as the crews were from various States with varying loyalties. The text Matthew Brady photographed reads as follows:
“Treasury Department January 29, 1861
Tele[gram] Lieut[enant] Caldwell
To arrest Capt. Breshwood assume command
of the cutter and obey the order I gave
through You. If Capt. Breshwood
after arrest undertakes to interfere
with the command of the cutter. Tell
Lieut Caldwell to consider him
a mutineer treat him accordingly.
If anyone attempts to haul
Down the American Flag Shoot
Him on the spot —
John A. Dix
Secretary of Treasury.”
A rare Brady image of a very famous original document that is believed lost. Secretary Dix’s phrase, “… if anyone attempts to haul down the American Flag shoot him on the spot” is remembered as one of the most famous American cris de guerre from the American Civil War. Condition fine.