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To James Madison from John Gavino (Abstract), 22 June 1805

§ From John Gavino

22 June 1805, Gibraltar. No. 10. “I have not been honourd with any of yours, since my last adresses No 9: under 9h—Int. On the 14th: Inst: proceeded to join the squadron Gun Boats No: 2, 8, & 9.1

“On the 16h. Inst: arrived the frigate John Adams Capn: Shaw,2 as did that & the following day Gun Boats No. 3, 5, 6 & 10—they all proceeded the 18. Curt: with the John adams for Malta & the squadron.

“This day arrived Gun Boat No. 4 Liut: Henly,3 is actually in the Dock making use of the Shear Hulk4 to Mount his Guns, & how soon fills his water & gets some Stores will proceed imediately for the Squadron. Commissinnr Otway5 made an equal tender of His Majys: Shear Hulk to all the Commrs: of the other Gunn Boats, but none made use of it except Liut: Henley.

“Gun Boat No: 3 Liut: Maxwell6 was taken to Alguesiras by the Spanish Gunn Boats, but was imediately released & alowd to proceed. No. 5 Liut: Harrison7 was brought too by them in the Gutt & made to follow them off Tariffa, & then alowed to proceed; there were about 50 Gunn Boats, & 2 a[ ... ]ds at Alguesiras but some Divisions of them seem to have quited the Station.

“Sir Jas. Craig has this day received Dispatches from Engd: regarding the proceeding of the Expedition under his Command, but the Contents are kept a Secret.

“Admiral Collingwood8 with five Sail the Line has reasumed [sic] the Blocade of Cadiz & St: Lucar, it is also sayd Cartagena is declared under same State, & that adl. Lord Kieth9 is coming to the Mediterranean.

“An Imperial Brig of Warr lately arrived from Malta, she with another are now at Anchor in Alguesiras Bay.”

Adds in a 25 June postscript: “Adl: Sir Richd. Bickerton arrived Yesterday wth: 4 ships the Line & proceeded wth: the Expedition to the East supposed for Malta. A Report prevails of the Dey of Algiers having Died.10 Gun Boat No. 4 proceeded yesterday.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Gibraltar, vol. 3). 2 pp.

1For the U.S. gunboats in the Mediterranean, see JM to Tobias Lear, 20 Apr. 1805.

2Irish native John Shaw took a leave from the navy in 1803 and 1804 for a commercial voyage to Canton but returned in 1805. In 1806 he was ordered to New Orleans to construct gunboats. He was a witness at Aaron Burr’s trial and served in the War of 1812, after which he was sent to the Mediterranean to fight the Algerians. He died at Philadelphia on his way to his command post at the Charleston naval station (PJM-SS, description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends 5:428 n. 2; New York Morning Chronicle, 25 Feb. 1803; Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 3 Sept. 1804; Times, and Hartford Advertiser, 23 Sept. 1823).

3John Dandridge Henley (1781–1835) was named a U.S. Navy lieutenant in 1807, promoted to commander in 1813, and to captain in 1817. Henley, who died on board his flagship in Havana harbor, was Tobias Lear’s brother-in-law (James L. Mooney, ed., Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships [8 vols.; Washington, 1959–81], 3:527; Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy, 260; Richmond Enquirer, 12 June 1835; Brighton, The Checkered Career of Tobias Lear, 311–12).

4Sheer-hulk: “The hulk or body of an old disused ship fitted with shears, etc., for hoisting purposes” (OED Online).

5British naval captain William Albany Otway (1756–1815) was commissioner of the royal dockyard at Gibraltar from May 1803 to July 1805. He was named rear admiral in 1807 (Clowes, Royal Navy, 5:4–5, 40).

6Lt. Joseph J. Maxwell died of a ruptured blood vessel on 11 Feb. 1806 at Syracuse, Sicily (Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars, description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1939–44). description ends 6:371, 652).

7Sailing master Alexander C. Harrison was promoted to lieutenant in 1807 and was discharged from the navy in 1809 (Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy, 249; Knox, Register of Officer Personnel, 23).

8Cuthbert Collingwood, first baron Collingwood (1748–1810) joined the Royal Navy at the age of twelve and was promoted to rear admiral in 1799. He assumed the post of commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet after Nelson’s death at Trafalgar in October 1805 and was created Baron Collingwood in November of that year.

9George Keith Elphinstone, viscount Keith (1746–1823) joined the navy at fifteen. He served during the American Revolution, retired on half-pay in 1782, and sat in Parliament from 1781 to 1790. He returned to the navy at the outbreak of war in 1793 and was promoted to rear admiral the following year. In 1795 he was promoted to vice admiral, during which time he captured Cape Town, and in 1799 he was named commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet, where he coordinated the British fight against Napoleon’s forces in Egypt. He returned to England where he was named commander in chief in the North Sea after the renewal of war in 1803. He again retired in May 1807 but in 1812 was named commander in chief of the Channel fleet. In 1814 he was created viscount after having previously received several baronetcies.

10For the assassination attempt on Mustafa Dey, see Timothy Mountford to JM, 25 Mar. 1805, and n. 7. Mustafa was not killed until 30 Aug. 1805; he was succeeded by Ahmad Dey, who had been his private secretary (Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars, description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1939–44). description ends 6:287, 298, 331–32).

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