James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William Jones, 27 August 1813

From William Jones

Navy Department Augt. 27. 1813

Dear Sir

A friend in London has forwarded to me the latest maps of the Canadas, that of the upper province published in Jany last upon a large scale and from official authority.

It is certainly the best I have seen.

I send it by this days mail for your inspection and when you may find it convenient to return it I shall forward it to the secretary of War on the frontiers where it may be useful.1 We have nothing new from either Lake and wait in anxious suspense for the issue of both expeditions.

I am really under some apprehension that the nature of the cooperation which Gen Harrison may require of Capt Perry may delay or defeat the main object—the capture or destruction of the enemys Squadron.

If it is any thing short of an instantaneous movement of our Squadron with a sufficient body of troops onboard and in Batteaux to attack Malden and the British fleets I fear it will have the effect I deprecate.

Chauncey on the 17th. was in close pursuit of his foe at the head of the Lake.

My hopes still predominate.

The enemys squadron in the Chesapeake have fallen down about 10 or 12 miles below Annapolis. A 74 & 4 frigates have gone down to Lynnhaven roads.

Col Monroe and Gen Bloomfield apprehend an attempt to land at Herring Bay and push for this place before a force can be collected here, accomplish its destruction and then by forced marches to Port Tobacco where transports may be collected to receive them. Having less military knowledge than those worthy and intelligent gentlemen, I am obliged to look at the project through the plain medium of probabilities and difficulties.

I cannot believe the attempt will be made. Our force at and near Annapolis could certainly reach this place before the enemys unless we presume that the enemy may debark and take up his march unnoticed by our forces or by the Country. Moreover his forces and his means must be considerably diminished since he first entered the potomac, when if he had rapidly advanced by water and by land our means of resistance was certainly much less, and the temptation to him much greater during the sitting of the Legislature than at present. I have however ordered Captain Morris with his Seamen and marines to return. I think the enemy will confine his efforts to the splendid operations of stealing Beef to satisfy his natural and national appetite for that commodity, and negroes for the W India market, as none but freemen can touch the soil of Britain.*

I am pleased to learn that your health is recruiting and hope that it may be soon perfectly reestablished. I am very Sincerely & respectfully your Obt Servt

W Jones

Have the Goodness to present my best respects to Mrs. Madison and to Mr Jefferson.

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). Enclosure not found, but see n. 1.

1When Jones sent the map to John Armstrong on 3 Sept. 1813, he stated that its scale was “1/13 of an inch to a mile” (DNA: RG 107, LRUS, J-1813). This suggests that it may have been A Map of the Located Districts in the Province of Upper Canada, drawn on a scale of twelve and a half miles to an inch by William Chewett and published by William Faden in London in 1813. Chewett was a former employee of David William Smyth, the first surveyor general of Upper Canada (Barbara Farrell and Aileen Desbarats, eds., Explorations in the History of Canadian Mapping: A Collection of Essays [Ottawa, 1988], 151, 155, 161 n. 6).

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

* Adml Warren is reported to have said that the negroes onboard having thrown themselves upon the protection of British Law he cannot return them to Slavery.

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