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From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 28 July 1801

To Henry Dearborn

Washington July 28. 1801.

Th: Jefferson to Genl. Dearborn

I am just making the last arrangements for my departure. the inclosed proposition of Monsr. Dupont for the purification of our Saltpetre being of some magnitude I have thought it best to forward his letter to you, that you may decide on it yourself, and give him an answer.   we have nothing material from Europe except the communication from his Britannic Majesty that understanding we were sending a squadron into the Mediterranean he had given orders for their free reception at the ports of Gibraltar, Mahon & Malta, & that the stores there should be open to us. mr Madison sets out to day; myself the day after tomorrow. mr Smith entered into office yesterday. accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and high consideration & respect.

RC (PWacD: Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP). PrC (DLC). Enclosure: Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours to TJ, 23 July.

Mr Smith entered into office: TJ wrote Dearborn on 15 July to say that although he had “at length” found a secretary of the navy to “relieve” Dearborn, Robert Smith wanted “a delay which is probably incompatible with your calls for [departure].” TJ suggested that if Dearborn would call on him they could “confer on the best [means] of relieving that difficulty.” TJ also enclosed an application, “to be disposed of as you think best” (PrC in DLC; very faint; at foot of text: “Genl. Dearborn”; enclosure: possibly William Smyth to TJ, 14 July 1801, not found, but recorded in SJL as received 15 July with notation “W”). On 27 July, TJ informed Smith that Dearborn needed to be “absent for some time to come” and that, under the act of Congress allowing the president to authorize an acting secretary, he was requesting Smith “to perform the duties of Secretary [at War] during the absence of General Dearborn” (PrC in DLC; faint; at foot of text: “Robert Smith esquire Secretary of the Navy”). For the 1795 act of Congress, see John Marshall to TJ, 2 Mch. 1801.

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