Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Smith, 17 February 1802

From Robert Smith

Nav Dep 17 Feb 1802


Mr. Wm. S Butler, the son of Genl Butler, is desirous of entering the Navy as Midpn.—There are now vacancies, & I think his appointment would be a good one.

If you concur, your Signature will be necessary to the enclosed warrant.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Sir, your most obt. Servt.

Rt Smith

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Smith; at foot of text: “Prest. U States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Navy Department on 17 Feb. and “Butler Midshipman” and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DNA: RG 45, LSP). Enclosure not found.

William S. Butler was the son of General Richard Butler of Pennsylvania, who was killed at the defeat of Arthur St. Clair’s army by western Indians in 1791. He was promoted to lieutenant in the navy in 1808 and died in West Florida the following year (NDBW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers, Washington, D.C., 1939–44, 6 vols. and Register of Officer Personnel and Ships’ Data, 1801–1807, Washington, D.C., 1945 description ends , Register, 8; Edward W. Callahan, ed., List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900 [New York, 1901], 94; PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877– description ends , 7 [1883], 3; New York Evening Post, 15 Sep. 1809; Vol. 22:304n).

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