James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Charles W. Goldsborough, 2 May 1809

From Charles W. Goldsborough

Navy Department. 2 May 1809

In the instructions to the several commanding Officers to lay up the gun boats, they were required to report to this Department, their respective opinions of the qualifications of the sailing masters recently appointed to command gun boats, and we are now receiving their reports accordingly.1 With your approbation I will proceed to dismiss all those of whom unfavorable reports have thus been made. With great respect.

Ch W Goldsborough.2

Letterbook copy (DNA: RG 45, Letters to the President).

1As part of an experimental defense program, Congress authorized construction of several hundred gunboats during 1807. By 9 Feb. 1809 the navy had 171 gunboats fit for service, but some congressmen began to question the soundness of a coastal defense based on small vessels (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Naval Affairs, 1:192; Malone, Jefferson and His Time, 5:501).

2Charles W. Goldsborough (1779–1843) was chief clerk in the Navy Department.

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