Imágenes de página

at War, the French excepted, you must not retake her. The Law of Nations forbids it, & we must respect that Law. It must be presumed that their Courts will render Justice.

It is hardly necessary in writing to a Brave man who loves his Country, & is employed in her Service, to Suggest the propriety of inculcating upon the Minds of those under his Command, the Same Respect which he himself feels for our Government, Chief Magistrate, Congress, & our Laws. It has been too much the fashion with many of our Civil officers both at home & abroad to indulge themselves in the licentiousness of Villifying the Government & those institutions & those virtuous Characters, which it has been the honor & the happiness of our Country to have produced. This disgraceful licentiousness, I hope will never be tolerated in our Navy. How can we expect to Command respect to our Government, from other Nations, if we do not ourselves, set the example? It is time we should establish a National Character. Let that Character be, love of Country, & Jealousy of its honor & in Seamen, also veneration for our Flag. This Idea comprehends everything that ought to be impressed, & no more than ought to be impressed upon the Mind of all our Citizens, but more especially, of those who are also Seamen & Soldiers.

Wishing you success & honor, I remain

Sir Yr most obed Serv't

Ben Stoddert

You will still call at the Cape, of Delaware, every 10 or 12 Days, to receive any communication necessary to send you. Capt. Richard Dale.

Enclosure in letter from Stoddert to Dale.
John Adams President of the United States.

Instructions to the Commanders of armed Vessels belonging to the United States, given at Philadelphia the twenty eighth day of May in the Year of our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and ninety eight and in the twenty second year of the Independence of the said States.

Whereas it is declared by an Act of Congress passed the twenty eighth day of May 1798 that armed vessels sailing under authority or pretence of authority from the Republic of France have committed depredations on the commerce of the United States and have recently captured the vessels and property of Citizens thereof, on and near the coasts, in violation of the law of Nations and treaties between the United States and the French Nation.

Therefore and in pursuance of the said Act you are instructed and directed to seize, take and bring into any port of the United States, to be proceeded against according to the laws of Nations, any armed vessels sailing under authority or pretence of authority from the Republic of France, which shall have committed or which shall be found hovering on the Coasts of the United States for the purpose of committing depredations on the vessels belonging to Citizens thereof and also to retake any ship or vessel of any Citizen or Citizens of the United States, which may have been captured by any such armed vessel.

By Command,
War ) James McHENRY.

Secy, of War.

[ocr errors]

[Endorsed:] Captain Richard Dale, Commander of the Ship Ganges. James McHenry, Secy, of War.

Benjamin Stoddert то Richard Dale.

Washt, 17 Feby 1801. Dr Sir:

I have sold to Capt—or rather Lt. Shaw of the Navy, five lots—he pays me looo Ds in money the residue about 1500 Ds. one half in 9—one half in 15 months. Now it does not suit my affairs to wait 15, 9 or even 3 months for any money which it is possible for me to get sooner. And therefore I calculate that you will take Shaws notes for the distant payments, & will give me the money, deducting at the rate of one p ct. p month—which is more than you can certainly make in any other way. Shaw you know, is very good, & that he will pay punctually. In order to prevent delay I shall request him to make the notes payable at once to you, but if you prefer to have my name as an endorser, you may have it so, & the notes can be made payable to me.

I have been able to attend so little to my own affairs for the last 30 months, that I shall find them on my retirement from office on the 4 March extremely embarrassed—With a great deal of property, I shall be puzzled to pay as soon as I ought to pay, a good many small Debts & some larger, merely because I cannot turn my resources to account as soon as I wish to do. This difficulty alone a[t] Près', has interfered with my arrangements & put back my sales. The Election of Jeff".—for I fear that will be the result—& probably this Day, will create a shock, which will not pass away for three or four weeks. It is therefore that I impose on you, this req1.—I suppose indeed there will be more People in Phil* who would wish to invest their money in good private, in preference to Public, paper—for they will fear the Funds will go to the Devil under Jefferson's admn.— but there is no danger of the funds, nor I believe of any thing else—& I am not without hopes that good will arise out of evil.

You have bo1, no lots in the City I believe—I wish you would buy 10,000 D*. worth from me, which in 18 months will be worth to you at least 20,000—but as you did not buy when you were on the spot I do not Suppose you will do it at a distance.

You have seen my report* to the Naval Committee—it will I believe be adopted —Mr Jeff" I understand is not adverse to it—Would you like to be one of the board of Navy officers; there is a bill before the House appointing 3 Captns but they must reside at Washington. Answer this question if you please. S. Smith will I have no doubt, succeed me, & will if he makes the arrangement pursue [the] one I shall suggest.—at least [I] believe so.

I am with great esteem Dr Sir yr most obed Serv.

Ben Stoddert. [Addressed:] Capt. Richd Dale, Philadelphia.

Thomas Truxton To Dale.

United States Ship President Hampton Road 22 May 1801. Dear Sir

taking it for granted that you will arrive at Hampton this Morning, I send the pinnace for you with an officer—and Shall be gratified by an early opportunity, of Congratulating you on your post—to the Command of the Squadron.

I have the honor to be Dear Sir Your very ob't Servant.

Thomas Truxton. [Addressed:] Richard Dale Esquire.


[Endorsed:] Thomas Truxton, on Giving up the Command of the US Ship President to Comdr. R. Dale.

Truxton To Dale.

Perth Amboy 8th June 1802 Dear Sir

I have just returned from New York and found on the table in my study your two favors of the 20th ult. and ith instant. Mr. Stoddert is now at Boston and is so intri[n]sically a good man in all respects that I feel deeply and anxiously interested for whatever concerns him, but particularly so in disposing of his city lots, as it would relieve his mind from pecuniary embarrassments, occasioned by his long absence from home attending and devoting his whole time at Philadelphia to the publick weal—for which the powers that be would give

* His report of 15 January, 1801, showing the condition of the navy and its expenses, and recommending the creation of a board of navy commissioners (Am. State Papers, Naval, v. 1, no. 21).

him a federalists reward (Ignonimy) had they it in their full Command so to do; for mean are the meritorious Statesman and Soldier by their side—alike stands the wise, alike the brave who with them will not aid, in the distruction of our happy Constitution.

This is what I believe of those in power, and without fear I speak what I believe of that Sect, and write it also. I feel No Necessity to Conceal their baseness or to use delicacy towards them, tho' no person alive is more cautious in this respect even of suspicious characters than I am, but whenever I discover a man, or set of men to be false whom I once knew & respected, I regret his or their depravity and with reluctance say be gone—I shall know you no more. Had Mr Stoddert been Secy, of the Navy when he wrote me at Norfolk last Year, to endeavour to dispose of his Washington lots, which I accomplished by interesting myself in a company—tho' I had at the time more of that sort of property than I wished: You may believe me when I say that I should have declined his agency: lest some jealous and impure wretch, destitute of mind, should have put an unfair and ungenerous construction on a benevolent act; but at that time this invaluable man could in no way serve me—he was not only out of office and opposed to Jefferson and his party, but was poor, as he is now, from not being able to dispose of any part of his fast Estate.

I heard of Your indisposition at New York, but from the manner it was mentioned supposed it no more than the effects of too generous living, common after a long absence to us all ; but from your letter I am sorry to find it otherwise, and wish you speedily and completely releived.

Having noticed the two points on which you touched in Your letter of the 2oth ult. (Mr Stoddert and your health) I now unfold and lay before me your favour of the ith current: In which you say you are at a loss to discover my motive in sending you Tingey's letter to read of the 3d of May. Could I for one moment Have believed you would have been at a loss to have conjectured or Rather not have seen my motive, some Trouble should have been saved to us both—first I should not have sent it, and secondly you would not have had the trouble of reading it. Especially as among those things I detest most, is to Conjecture; lest I should Conjecture wrong, and thereby injure even in my own mind the innocent, of either sex. You say however, that I will tell you my motive when we meet. I hope we shall meet soon, but lest not so soon as I wish I will tell you now, for I have no secrets of my own heart, and the only secrets of any moment that I ever had was when engaged in trade: now and then I had commercial secrets—or when in service I had a few state secrets.

Heaven and Earth has been witness to the ungentlemanly conduct, I have experienced from the present administration, and of their ingratitude to me as an officer, who throughout the war with France was constantly at sea and ever ready to lay down my life to revenge the wrongs of my country offered by that or any other nation, and as the greatest proof I can boast, I have the nations approbation—which will remain on record when Jefferson and his sect are sunk into obscurity. Yes my friend when they are no more, and not a bone or vestage of them is to be found under the Surface of the earth. These men of little minds and bad hearts "have felt power and forgot right." Their cruelty in my case is unknown among civilized nations—their measures created and adopted by the secret machinations of midnight caucus's at Washington to destroy me, for not yielding to them my political opinions, was worthy only of Barbarians in Authority, for altho I have always been a federalist and abhored Jacobinism and whatever could tend to disorder—yet not one of the administration ever doubted my obedience to Legitimate orders—tho' the rulers I knew from the first to be inimical to me, particular [l]y the family of the Secy of the Navy. It would be too tedious to go into a full detail of the conduct of the governing party here as it respects my dismissal. Suffice it to say, You have not from them heard the truth—they have not spoken the truth in their statement. I was very desirous to go on the service I had engaged in, and consequently did not attempt to enter on any new ground with the Secy of the Navy after I arrived at Norfolk, but on the contrary when I found the officers promised did not arrive at their posts, I respectfully contended for what Mr. Smith promised and had in his power to furnish, for if Captain Campbell was not in a condition to go on service in capacity of commander of the flag ship, as the Secy was pleased to call my ship, and there was no other captain that he could furnish, why did he not as I had in the autumn proposed knowing there was but nine captains retained, and two of these was never to go on service again—which reduced the number for employment to seven —Give a Lieutenant Commandant to command the Chesapeake. Either Lt Sterrett or Lt Hull would have answered the purpose and both were in port when it was known by Secy Smith that Captain Campbell from his crippled state could not go—and with either of those active young men I should have been most completely satisfied.

A Lieutenant Commandant I also mentioned very early in a Common letter of general communication to Mr Stoddert, and in another to Captain Tingey: and I wish you to write Tingey and see if he will not tell you that at my request he Showed it to Mr Secy Smith previous to My arrival at Washington in my way to Norfolk.

But what signifies this—It was evident to me on my arrival at Norfolk, that the object was to put me out of service—tho' they did not choose to do it in an off hand and manly manner, but to make the service disagreeable to me:

It is therefore to be judged from what I relate as follows, whether they did or did not make it disagreeable to me in any other Gentlemans mind, save my own. After I had received from the Secy of the Navy at Washington, a list of the officers officially made out and handed to me by him in Person, to viz—"A list of the officers of the U S Ship Chesapeake (Commodore Truxton) one of the Squadron &c

Hugh Campbell Captain.

Smith ist Lieut." The list then goes on to mention the names of three other Lieutenants & a number of midshipmen &c &c.

I Say after I had received this list of officers I proceeded down to Norfolk with all possible expedition, and on my Arrival there found the frigate, with no officer but Lieut. Smith a young man and in a backward state at the wharf at Gosport.

I proceeded however to fit out and to get her stores on board—and in three weeks Completed this Object and at the same time had progressed considerably

« AnteriorContinuar »