Father-to-son Christmas gift an Admiral Farragut 1800s letter

  • Farragut resident Adam Joachim, left, with his wife, Heather, daughter, Emma, and father, antiques dealer and collector Martin, who gave his son an authenticated letter written by Admiral Farragut for Christmas. - Photo submitted

  • A photo of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut that accompanied his 19th century letter, which Martin Joachim bought and gave to his son, Town resident Adam Joachim, as a Christmas present. - Photo submitted

Adam Joachim received quite an appropriate Christmas gift from his father, antiques collector Martin Joachim.

Knowing his son lived in the Town named for Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, having been born nearby in 1801, Martin Joachim discovered a letter handwritten by the Admiral at a Florida estate sale and bought the document as a gift.

“My dad is an incredible antiques broker and dealer,” Adam said. “He found the Farragut letter among quite a collection of artifacts and got it just for me, knowing how much I would appreciate it.

“I love that we live in the Town named after Admiral Farragut, who had such a storied military career,” he added. “And I love that my dad knew what a great gift this would be.”

The letter — accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and verification along with a portrait of the Admiral —was given to Adam during the family’s Christmas holiday, spent with his wife, Heather, their daughter, Emma, the elder Joachim and other family members in Port Orange, Florida.

Adam said his father “is literally a walking encyclopedia and has been collecting antiques and artifacts from the time he was very young. There is no turn-of-the-century artifact from any time in American history where Martin lacks basic knowledge.

“He has the wet signatures of the 48 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and when he picked up this letter he knew immediately its significance,” his son said.

Dated Aug. 25, 1864, aboard the U.S. Flag Ship Hartford in the Gulf of Mexico off Mobile, Alabama, it is addressed to acting commander, Lt. J.W. Smith of the U.S.S. Bermuda, in Mobile Bay, and reads:

“Sir: Proceed to New Orleans via Ship Island. Load what stores you have for the former place. Take in whatever sick and discharged men there may be waiting transportation. Then return to this place and report to me for further orders.

“Very respectfully, your servant D.G. Farragut

Rear Admiral”

“It is very exciting,” Adam said of the gift. “I grew up in a house filled with antiques and artifacts, dating back to before the Civil War.

“It is so cool to see this piece of history, which has lasted for so long,” he added, “and it’s cool to think, as a person holding this letter today, that it was written by the Admiral, in his own hand, at his desk with a quill pen in hand.

“It is certainly a looking glass into the past.”