Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Smith, 22 May 1802

From Robert Smith

Nav Dep 22nd May 1802


I do myself the honor to enclose you Warrants for Mr J Downes & Mr. L. Alexis, which will require your signature should you approve their appointment—also a Commission for Doct Smith

The two first mentioned of these gentlemen have been serving in the capacity of acting Midshipmen for several years—They are mentioned in very handsome terms by their Commanding officers.

Doct. Smith was out in the Prest. but never recd his Commn.— He is mentioned to me by his Commg. officers as being entitled to notice.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect & esteem, Sir, your mo ob St.

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 31 May and “commissions &c” and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DNA: RG 45, LSP).

John DOWNES and Louis ALEXIS both served on the frigate Constitution during the Quasi-War. William C. SMITH previously served as an acting surgeon’s mate on the frigate President in the Mediterranean. All three men received commissions dated 1 June 1802 (NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. (cited by years) description ends , Dec. 1800–Dec. 1801, 315, 326; 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, 1, 16, 51).

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