Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Smith, 30 September 1801

From Robert Smith

Navy Department Sep. 30th. 1801


The case of Doctor Barraud brought to your attention by Judge Tucker was acted upon before I came into Office. To enable you to give to Judge Tucker a view of the proceedings that lead to the removal of this Gentleman, I herewith send to you enclosed copies of the Letters upon the subject. The high pretensions of Doctor Barraud were probably not known to either Mr Gallatin or Genl Dearborne—

Be pleased to accept the assurances of my great Esteem & high Consideration

Rt Smith

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received from the Navy Department on 1 Oct. and “Barraud & Balfour” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Extract of Albert Gallatin to Henry Dearborn, 20 June 1801, reporting that navy surgeon George Balfour, who is still on full pay though not assigned to any vessel, has offered to attend the marine hospital at Norfolk without an assistant; accepting the offer would save the $1,400 spent for the current surgeon and assistant; if approved by Dearborn, Gallatin will “take Measures to have the present Surgeon discharged.” (2) Extract of Dearborn to Gallatin, 9 July 1801, agreeing that placing Balfour in charge of the marine hospital would be “very agreeable to this department” and that orders will be sent to Balfour as soon as Gallatin makes the arrangements. (3) George Balfour to Gallatin, 27 July 1801, requesting that a surgeon’s mate be sent to assist at the marine hospital, understanding that several of them are still on full pay and not attached to any ship. (4) Gallatin to Robert Smith, 18 Aug. 1801, requesting that Balfour be ordered to take charge of the marine hospital at Norfolk “after the 30th. Sept. next” and that similar orders be given to one of the surgeon’s mates still in service but not attached to any vessel. (5) Smith to Balfour, 19 Aug. 1801, directing Balfour to take charge of the marine hospital at Norfolk after 30 Sep. and authorizing him to offer the place of surgeon’s mate to “Doctor Starke late of the Navy, who is now at Norfolk”; if Starke declines, then Balfour may choose another and inform Smith so that he may be commissioned as a surgeon’s mate in the navy (Trs in DLC; in clerk’s hand).

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