Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Smith, 16 April 1802

From Robert Smith

Nav Dep 16th Apl 1802


Mr Charles Ludlow for whom the accompanying nomination is intended, has been mentioned to me in terms of very high Approbation, by many respectable Nautical gentlemen—He is intended for the Adams.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, your mo: ob: st:

Rt Smith

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Smith; at foot of text: “President United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Navy Department on 16 Apr. and “Nominations” and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DNA: RG 45, LSP). Enclosure: undated draft of message to the Senate, nominating Charles Ludlow to be a lieutenant in the navy (MS in DLC; in same clerk’s hand).

CHARLES LUDLOW was a nephew of Daniel Ludlow, the navy agent at New York City. He served as a midshipman on the frigate United States during the Quasi-War. Aaron Burr recommended him to Samuel Smith in May 1801, stating that Ludlow was “well spoken of by the officers of Navy of whom I have enquired” (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, 32; Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:577–8).

On 20 Apr., Smith wrote TJ again regarding Ludlow, urging the rapid approval of his nomination. Smith informed the president that the frigate Adams, for which Ludlow was intended, would depart within five or six days. “Her sailing orders will be prepared this day,” wrote Smith, “& if agreeable to you, I wish to send Mr. Ludlow’s Commission with them” (RC in DLC, in a clerk’s hand, signed by Smith, at foot of text: “President U: States,” endorsed by TJ as received from the Navy Department on 20 Apr. and “Ludlow” and so recorded in SJL; FC in Lb in DNA: RG 45, LSP).

TJ submitted Ludlow’s nomination to the Senate on 21 Apr., which approved it the following day (RC in DNA: RG 46, EPEN, 7th Cong., 1st sess., endorsed by a Senate clerk; PrC in DLC; recorded in SJL with notation “nomn Ludlow military”; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:421).

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