Thomas Jefferson Papers
Note: this document has content that may require expanded/print view for best results (icons above right)

Estimate of Navy Appropriations for 1803

Estimate of Navy Appropriations for 1803


Estimate of the Secretary of the Navy

Specific appropriations Objects Amount of specific
Vessels in
commission six
frigates & a schooner
Vessels in
ordinary seven
Half pay to
General contingencies
Store rent commissions,
freight travelling expenses
Pay of officers
& seamen
and subsistence
of officers
246,669.—. 23,188.—.  14,136.—. 283,993  
Provisions 143,855.86  13,534.34.1 157,360.20
Medical & hospital 7,350.—. 350.—.  7,700.—
Contingencies 79,000.—. 63,000.—.           40,000.—. 182,000.—
476,874.86  100,042.34.  14,136.   40,000   
Seventy four gun ships 114,425.—
Navy yards 48,741.37
Marine corps
(subdivided under
several distinct heads)
  900,000. 2
deficiencies of 1802   181,849.09

The above estimate is calculated on the supposition that 6 frigates shall be kept in actual service the whole year; but it is understood that a part of the appropriations is to be made conditionally and not to take place unless with the consent of the President, and in case war should break out with some other Barbary powers. It is also intended that an appropriation should be made for purchasing some small vessels, and finally that the whole expenditure must not, under any circumstances, exceed, (exclusively of the deficiencies of 1802) the sum of 900,000 dollars.

The President
2 frigates should be
kept in commission
for 4
estimated at 75,000
drs. per annum
2 do for 6 do.  do do 75,000
1 do for 12 do.  do do 75,000
1 schooner (Enterprize)  "  12 do.  do 22,000 22,000
3 small vessels  "  [. . .] do.  do 30,000  60,000
making for the vessels in commission 282,000

which sum is 4000 dollars less than the three fifths of the estimate sum of 476,874.86 for the same object and leaves the other two fifths applicable to the case of war with any other Barbary power. As to the sum of 72,000 dollars wanted for the purchase of vessels, it may be taken out of those two fifths, or out of the appropriation for seventy-fours, which last is preferable, because that appropriation will be rich enough when the deficiencies of 1802 shall have been made up, & because it will leave us a greater fund in case of war with Morocco &a.

Modifications proposed on the preceding plan

Vessels in commission Vessels in ordinary Half pay to officers General contingencies Total
Pay of officers & seamen & subsistence of officers 148,001.40  23,188.—. 14,136 — 185,325.40
Provisions  86,313.52  13,534.343  99,847.86
Medical & hospital   4,410.—.    350.—   4,760. 
Contingencies  47,400.—  63,000  10,000—(a) 120,400.—
286,124.92 100,042.34
For such expences as may with the approbation of the President be incurred for the maintenance of the navy in case of war4 with any other powers than Tripoli 190,749.94 30,000 (c) 220,749.94
Seventy four gun ships &
 purchase of small vessels
(b) 114,425.—.
Navy-yards (b)  48,741.37
Marine corps (d)  90,780.43


a it is proposed to reduce this item from 40 to 10 thd. dollars & to throw the other 30 thd. in the contingent appropriation in case of war with any other Barbary powers

b—If either of these appropriations is supposed not large enough, the increase will be deducted from the appropriation (c) so as to leave the whole sum the same

d—This may be diminished, if Congress shall amend the law respecting marines—

MS (DLC); undated; in Gallatin’s hand, with emendation by TJ (see note 4 below).

In the 1803 navy appropriations act, the sum of $90,780.43 for the marine corps was subdivided into $64,095.60 for pay and subsistence, “including provisions for those on shore, and forage for the staff”; $16,223.83 for clothing and military stores; $1,000 for medicines and other expenses for care of the sick; and $9,461 for “quartermaster’s and barrackmaster’s stores,” traveling expenses, and other contingencies (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States…1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855-56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:208–9). above estimate: the total for the sums listed by Gallatin for specific appropriations is $885,000, not $900,000. In the estimate enclosed with his letter to TJ of 18 Jan., Gallatin included $15,000 for ordnance and other military and naval stores. The addition of this sum brings the total to $900,000.

For the appropriation for small vessels, see Robert Smith to TJ, 19 Jan.

president proposes: see Notes on Navy Appropriations for 1803 printed at 18 Jan. In that proposal, TJ estimated $30,000 in expenses for the Enterprize for one year. TJ also included $72,000 for building three vessels, bringing his total to $362,000, compared to the total here of $282,000.

1For totals, this figure should be 13,504.34.

2The sum is actually $885,000.

3Gallatin again means 13,504.34 (see note 1), but here the sum as written gives a total of “99,847.46” as in MS.

4TJ emended the remainder of this sentence to read “or imminent danger of war with any of the Barbary powers other than Tripoli.”

5That is, 885,030 (see notes 2 and 3).

Index Entries