Adams Papers

To John Adams from William Stephens Smith, 5 June 1800

To The President

Union Brigade June 5th. 1800


Inclosed I have the Honor of Submitting two General Orders, that of the 22d. will shew, that I have fully discharged the duties of my military Station, and I once more retire from Service with applause—The other of the 31st. orders me to remain and continue to make and carry into effect such ulterior arrangements as may be necessary untill further orders. It appears to me, it would have the appearance of Impropriety on my part, to conclude this order was ment to extend beyond the 14th. Of course unless I have the sanction of your Authority, I shall conceive it highly decorus to retire from this station on the Morning of the 15th. having previously arranged the public Stores, with pointed attention to the public Interest, leaving them under care of the Agent of the Deputy Quarter Master General—Candour obliges me to say, that I conclude the reasons why General Hamilton issued that order, were that he might not appear to have any ajencey in leaving Major Tousard as the eldest officer in our service, Commanding The forces of the United States of America on the Atlantic from st. Mary’s to the St. Croix, Is it intended by our Government that the Military Character of our Country shall be thus tarnished, that an exotic, a foreigner, a Frenchman shall be Commander of our military force, on the Atlantic even for an hour—

Excidet ilia dies aevo,

nec postera credant Secula.

The President has now most assuredly a fair opportunity, of placing me in that station which my past Military Services and a perfect Knowledge of the duties of my profession, fully entitle me—Give me this Command, appoint me a Brigadier General, commanding on the atlantic Coast, untill the pleasure of the senate can be known. It can be done with more propriety now, than ever I am entitled to it from my Services and Rank, I have done the Duty of a Brigadier for ten months, & have formed a Brigade, instructing both officers and men, more promptly & better than any Brigade that ever was in the Service of our Country—And I hold that the President will not hesitate on the score of my Military Abilities, for I present myself to him as an Officer perfectly master of his profession—

And not doubting but it would be proper to impress the mind of the minister of War, of foreign affairs, and of the navy, The Presidents constitutional Council to whom I have not the honor of being personally known, of the grounds on which my present pretensions are founded. I enclose some original Papers, which if The President should think proper, may be submitted to their perusal—I should wish that they may be carefully preserved and returned to me, When I leave this place I shall go to Newark, where Mrs. Smith is with my Mother, and where any communications will find me untill the 20th. after which, I shall proceed to the Chenang River, build a House for my family, & retire, with a tranquil mind conscious to its-self of right.

I have the Honor to be with / the most perfect respect—Sir, / Your most Obedt. / Humble Servt.

W. S. Smith

MHi: Adams Papers.

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