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    • Adams, John
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    • Stoddert, Benjamin

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Instructions to the Commanders of Armed Vessels belonging to the United States:—given at Philadelphia, the tenth day of July in the Year of our Lord one thousand, seven hundred and ninety eight, and in the Twenty third Year of our Independence In pursuance of the Acts of Congress passed the twenty eighth day of May, the twenty eighth day of June, and the ninth day of July. You are hereby,...
I received yesterday your letter of the third of this month.—The Commissions inclosed I return signed, and approve of the List of officers.—The Heat of the weather from the day I left Philadelphia, has been excessive, and continues so to this moment.— I am Sir / yr. mo. obt & hume. Servt, MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Mr. William Gray of Salem, a capital Merchant of that place called on me to request a Convoy, for an hundred sail of American vessels now at the Havanna, watched by twenty or thirty French Privateers. I desired him to write to you and to pray you to afford them a Convoy, if possible. Mr. Simmons of Charleston SC on a visit to me Yesterday informed me, that Dispatches & Petitions to Government...
Inclosed is a Letter from Mr Rutledge at Newport and recommendations from a great Number of respectable Inhabitants of Charleston in favour of George Cross to be a Captain in the Navy. To this Letter and these recommendations I pray you to pay a particular Attention. DNA : RG 45--Naval Records Collection.
Inclosed are letters from John Jones, Samuel Rankin, Thomas Laing & recommendations of the last which I transmit to you that they may appear on your records & files & receive your consideration. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Inclosed are Recommendations of John Cruft to be a Lieutenant in the Navy. He was mate of the ship, in which I returned from Europe in 1788 and he has Spent part of a Day with me here this month. From my own Knowledge of him I request your Attention to him in the first List of nominations. I am Sir with great regard / yours DNA : RG 45--Naval Records Collection.
Inclosed are letters From Judge Law of Connecticut & Capt Hinman recommending Capt Richard Law jun. to be a Capt in the navy & commander of the armed ship now building at Middleton or any other that shall be thought proper. You will of course put these letters on file & the name of the candidate on the list. I have / the honor to be Sir your most humble servant MHi : Adams Family Papers,...
I received last night the letter you did me the honor to write on the 25th. I had before received those of 30. 31 of July & 3d August & notwithstanding the heat of the weather my own ill health and the dangerous sickness of Mrs. Adams, I should not have failed to answer them, if I had perceived any thing in them to disapprove, or thought of any thing to improve your plans. I am equally well...
I have received your favor of the 27th of Aug. & return the commission for Captain George Cross signed, and I pray you to make out a commission for Capt. Patrick Fletcher, one day earlier. I am happy a convoy has been ordered for the trade of the Havanna. & am Sir / your most obedient &c. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Inclosed is a letter to me of 4 of Septr and another to you of the same date from cap Daniel McNeill of the Navy, which I recommend to your consideration.— Have the Honor to be &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received your favor of the 1st of this month and thank you for the paper No. 1 which exhibits a view of the ships in service those which are building and their commanders. I return you the blank commissions signed and approved of the appointment of Capt. Tingey and Capt. Chapman, as you propose, and leave it to your discretion to appoint the other officers in the list, if nothing should...
Inclosed is a Letter from Captain Patrick Fletcher recommending Captain John Cruft to be a Lieutenant in the Navy.—I have so good an opinion of this Captain Cruft from a personal Knowledge, that I desire you would place him on the List for Promotion among the first Lieutenants that Shall be appointed. Mr Breck of Philadelphia can probably give you Satisfactory Information concerning him. I...
Inclosed is a letter from Elijah Brewer petitioning for a first lieutenancy in the navy and recommendation from Col Wadsworth and two other respectable gentlemen. It is His experience in service appears to demand deserve attention. I am Sir your most obedient / Servant MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received your favors of the 20 21st & 24 of Sept. I am sorry that Capt. Barry has not fully answered your expectations—but I hope you will soon send him out again. The hurricanes are now passed and there is no longer danger from them. We must sweep the West India seas and get as many of the French seamen as they are called whether they are Italians, Spaniards, Germans or negroes as we...
I have received your favor of Sept. 27 & with pleasure agree to your plan of a visit to your family, whom I hope you will find in perfect health and remove to Philadelphia, when that city shall be healthy. I am assured glad that Mr Pickering can find time to do the business in your absence. The plan of naval opperations which you have suggested is quite agreeable to me. We must not suffer our...
I have received your favor of the 5 with its inclosures. I must leave the Niger to the justice & impartiality of our tribunals & the conduct of Capt. Nicholson to the judgment of the world; but I lament & deplore the misfortunes of his people. The orders you have given him are the most prudent & humane immaginable. Inclosed are letters from Gov. Fenner and old comodore Hopkins recommending...
I have signed and inclosed to Col Pickering the authority to act in your absence in the Navy office as you inclosed it to me in your favor of the 9th. Your letter of the 10th is of much importance & deserves consideration. I am &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received your favor of 28 ult. & have signed the commission to Lieut. Haswell, and sent it on with the letter to Mr. JC. Jones. I return you the copies of Capt. Truxtons correspondence with Gen. Desfourneaux, which is conducted on our part with dignity and propriety. Excepting perhaps that the respect to French property on board neutral vessels & to unarmed French vessels might as well...
I forgot in my letter of this day to acknowledge the receipt of yours of 27 Ult. The attention our vessels experience from the British officers is very agreeable. The sentiment of Beauvarlet, that it is incumbent on all Europe to unite for the purpose of checking the progress of the United States, no doubt he thought very profound. It is true, there is an European jealousy against America, but...
Inclosed is a letter from Chief justice Dana. I pray you to send him for his son a commission or warrant as a midshipman by the name of Edmund Trowbridge Dana, & to assure him that he shall be put under Capt. Sever on board his frigate. I am &c. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Capt. Samuel Parker yesterday brought me the inclosed letters from Gen. Knox and Mr. Daniel Davis. Capt. Parker is so genteel a man that I think you may send him a commission as lieutenant immediately provided there is room for him. I should be glad to know by return of post your determination. I am Sir your most obedient MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I received yesterday your favour of the 6th. and thank you for Captain Murray’s letters. I am also mortified to find that Barry has not given more attention to Curacoa. We must think of Surrinam and all the Dutch Possessions or we shall repent the Oversight. I am happy to learn that there is nothing to lead to an opinion that there will be any opposition in Northampton. I thank you for yours...
Inclosed is a letter from Dr. Thomas Ruston, which I pray you to consider, & send for Dr. Ruston & converse with him on the subject of the navy lands he offers. I have the honor to be Sir your very humble / servant. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I return you the correspondence, between Truxton & Desfourneaux, inclosed in yours of the 11th. which I received on the 20th. I wish all the other officers had as much zeal as Truxton. What has become of them? We hear nothing of any but Decatur, Truxton & Murray. If you correct Truxtons ardor a little, as you ought to do, I pray you to do it very gently and with great delicacy. I would not...
I have signed the commission for Lieutenant Parker which was inclosed in your favor of the 19th & sent it to him with your letter & its inclosures. Your other favor of 19th contains matter of more importance. I own that the Navy has not afforded to our commerce that compleat protection which might have been expected from it, considering the vast inferiority of all the French force, both of...
I enclose for your consideration, letters from Mr Reed member of congress, Doc Orr and Doc Dunbar recommending Mr Oliver Dunbar to be a surgeons mate. Their testimonials are respectable, and if you have no objection to the young gentlemen’s appointment there is none on the part of your humble servant MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have signed the commissions inclosed in your favor of the 24 & shall send them in your letter to Capt Tryon to Weathersfield by the post. A report was brought to me yesterday from Boston that some of McNeils convoy had arrived at Newport. We must send a naval superiority to Surrinam. I hope with you that Barry has sent other ships there. I have the honor to be yours &c. MHi : Adams Family...
The combination of a very few ideas has been sufficient to excite apprehensions that the West India islands would soon become a scene of pyracy. The dissolution of all principles, of morals, government & religion the formed repeal of the ten commandments by which it is become as lawful by which it is become as lawful to covet, steal, kill as it is to profane the sabbath or commit adultery—the...
I have signed the commissions for Lt Wild & Clift inclosed in yours of the 11th & sent your letter with its inclosures to Mr J. C Jones MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received your favor of the 10th & read Mr Sewals letter of 25 April & your answer. The reasoning in the latter is so satisfactory that I have determined to send it on to Mr Sewall tomorrow. Nevertheless I think with you that some of our fast sailing vessels might be employed to advantage in a cruise on the coasts of Spain & France during the hurricane season in the West Indias. Nor do I...
I thank you for your favor of the 13th & the copies of Murrays letters, with the perusal of which, I have been highly delighted. I pray you that every exertion may be made to get to sea not only the vessels in the Delleware, but the Constitution & the Merrimack which are arrived in Boston Harbor. It will be ruinous to the crews & the reputation of the officers to lie long in port. Those that...
I last night received yours of the 15th & have read your letter to Capt. Nicholson, inclosed in it which as I acquiesce in it I have sealed and shall send to him to day.—All things considered I think Talbot must be the Captain to succeed in the command of the constitution. Mr Crawleys letter mentioned in that of Gen. Smiths was not inclosed to me. The commerce with Guadeloupe will be opened by...
I should be obliged to you if you will give leave to Joseph Beale, a midshipman on board the Herald, to remove to the Boston frigate, & I will thank you for transmitting to him the enclosed letter. I am &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have signed the warrants inclosed in your letter of the 15th & sent them to J.C. Jones. His letter to you, I return & suppose you will comply with his request. I am &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I enclose you some papers from Mr. Bradford Marshall of this district & a letter from some French officers prisoners at Wiscassett. I pray your attention to the subject & I believe it will be adviseable to give them all leave to return to France upon Parol, not to serve against the United States by sea or land I am &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Inclosed is a letter from Lieut Cordis which I recommend to your consideration MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I return signed all the blank commissions sent me with your letter of the 25th and am content you should fill up as many of them as are necessary with the names of the gentlemen you mention I have the honor to be Sir your most obedt. / st. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received your other letter of the 25th and think with you that there are too many of our ships in our ports and that every exertion ought to be made to get them to sea as soon as possible. The Merrimack will sail on Sunday. I have ventured to permit him, in consequence of very respectable petitions to me to take under his convoy such merchant vessels as may be ready to sail on Sunday....
I return you the papers inclosed in your letter of the 24th. My knowledge of the Spanish language is not sufficient to give me much confidence that I understand the letters. We must wait for further information I am &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Inclosed is a recommendation from Col. Leonard, lately a member of congress of his nephew Charles Leonard to be an officer of marines. The family is among the most antient & respectable. The young gentleman appears promiseing & his education has been good & his fortune handsome. If there is a vacancy I believe he may be made a lieutenant I am &c MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I received last night yours of the 28th. On the 21st I wrote you approving of Talbot to command the Constitution, and shall think the days and hours long, till he arrives in Boston, where he will be liked. I depend much on him for the dispatch of the ship. McNeil will loose no time in obeying your orders. It has been difficult for Perry to get men nearer than Boston. With great regard MHi :...
Inclosed are recommendations of Joseph Williston & Habijah Savage, to be midshipman to whom I pray you to send warrants. If they can be admitted on board the Boston I shall be glad—if not they may be appointed to some other ship MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I thank you for the details in your favor of the 29th May Captain Truxton has deserved well of his country and will as he ought, have their thanks, as well as yours and mine. But I should have been much easier on account of the safety of our commerce, if he had remained longer in the West Indies. The Merrimack has been detained by contrary winds but I believe is now gone. Talbot has arrived...
I have just received your favors of 30th May & 3d of June. The commissions shall be bestowed as you propose. Mr.Williston and Mr Savage have been to see me & I am so pleased with them that I shall make them midshipman With great regard MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
The plan of operation in the naval service projected in your second favor of the third of June I like very well.—We must open the intercourse with St Domingo on the best terms we can provided the accounts from Steevens and Maitland will admit of it. I will not dissappoint those islandlers if I can help it. My greatest fears are that Maitland & Toussaint will not agree. The Constitution will...
Inclosed are recommendations of Henry Jackson Knox to be a lieutenant in the Navy & a petition for liberty to Capt. Brown to take some merchant vessels under convoy, which I granted—This petition you may file away. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Inclosed is a letter from Cotton Thayer, who is well recommended for a commission as lieutenant of marines on board the constitution. If you please you may send him a commission. I have the honor to be Sir your servant. MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
Inclosed are recommendations of Cotton Thayer to be a lieutenant of marines on board the constitution and of Dr. Prescott Barrow to be a surgeon MHi : Adams Family Papers, Letterbooks.
I have received your letters of 17 & 18th. Lieutenant Beale it is true is a young man of 26 or 27, but he has been fourteen years at sea. His conduct, since the ship arrived here, has been very attentive & faithful to his duty. If Talman and Dobell are appointed what are you to do with Hull & Hamilton. Do you give Talman & Dobell rank before them? Neither Hull nor Hamilton are older than Beale...
I have read with pleasure your favor of the 19th. I yesterday sent to the post office your letter to Capt Talman, of whose intelligence, activity, bravery & property I receive very handsome accounts. The letter to Capt Dobell I have not yet sent. In truth I have not yet heard a good character of him. On the contrary he is very unfavorably represented. I am in much anxiety about the...