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To James Madison from William Jones, [ca. 15 October 1814]

From William Jones

[ca. 15 October 1814]

With respect to money the Department is truly in the most untoward Situation.

I have now laying over the requisitions of the agents for the months of July august & Septr that is the balance due on those requisitions to the amt $800,000. and my requisitions on the Sec of the Treasury for more than a million are yet unsatisfied.

I am distitute of money in all quarters. Seamen remain unpaid and the recruiting Service is at a stand. I have none for the most urgent contingent purposes.

If the salvation of a city depended upon the prompt transportation of a body of our Seamen I have not a dollar. In some cases articles contracted for or purchased are withheld until funds appear to meet them.1

We are all apprised of the unpleasant cause but it is my duty to make known to you the consequence.


RC (DLC); letterbook copy (DNA: RG 45, Confidential Letters Sent). RC undated; dated 15 Oct. 1814 in the Index to the James Madison Papers; conjectural date supplied here based on the heading of the letterbook copy: “The following note was written on the envelope of Captain A Sinclair’s Letter of the 10th October submitted to the President on the 15th. October 1814.” Sinclair wrote four letters to Jones on 10 Oct. 1814: two (1 p. each) concerning courts-martial; one (2 pp.) discussing property captured and commandeered by U.S. forces during their 1814 Lake Huron campaign (for the expedition, see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 7:545 n. 2); and the one that Jones probably sent to JM (3 pp.), conveying information on the transport of U.S. troops and British prisoners of war, the situation of U.S. ships in the harbor at Erie, and the difficulties Sinclair faced owing to lack of navy funds (DNA: RG 45, Captains’ Letters).

1Jones’s correspondence with Alexander J. Dallas and various navy agents in September and early October 1814 reflects the circumstances described in the preceding paragraphs (Brant, Madison, description begins Irving Brant, James Madison (6 vols.; Indianapolis, 1941–61). description ends 6:329–30, 562; George Harrison to Jones, 12 Oct. 1814, PHi: William Jones Papers; DNA: RG 45, Letters to Commandants and Navy Agents).

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