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From James Madison to Albert Gallatin, [ca. 26 August] 1812

To Albert Gallatin

[ca. 26 August 1812]

The Command of the Lakes is obviously of the greatest importance & has always so appeared. I am glad to find it not too late to have that of Ontario. There must have been some mistake as to the effort to obtain it. It does not appear that any application, such as is intimated has been made to the Navy Dept. Mr. Hamilton has much confidence in Lt. Wolsey,1 and says that he shall be furnished with what he wants and on orders which will be issued. Affecte respects.

J. M.

We set off tomorrow morning early: the probability of high waters stopped us today

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers). Written at the foot of Gallatin to JM, ca. 26 Aug. 1812. Undated; date assigned here on the basis of JM’s 27 Aug. departure for Virginia.

1Melancthon Taylor Woolsey (1780–1838) was the ranking officer on the Great Lakes until he was placed second in command to Isaac Chauncey in September 1812. Under Chauncey, Woolsey participated in a number of engagements with the British, including the attack on York in 1813. He was promoted to the rank of master commandant on 24 July 1813 and received a captain’s commission on 23 Apr. 1816, at which time he was reassigned to the West Indies (Dudley, Naval War of 1812, 1:273, 304–5, 2:495–97, 587; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:396, 3:44, 47).

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