Thomas Jefferson Papers
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https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-41-02-0229

To Thomas Jefferson from Henry Dearborn, 31 August 1803

From Henry Dearborn

War Department August 31st, 1803

Sir

I herewith enclose the proceedings of a Genl. Court Martial which require your approbation, as relates to the sentence respecting Lt. Van Ransselear, and the pardon of Benja. Furgason so far as relates to corporal punishment.

I enclose a letter from Genl. Muhlengburg soliciting the remission of the corporal punishment which Lewis Rush is sentenced to receive—I can discover no reasonable objection to the sentence of the Court against Lt. Van Ransselear, and all circumstances considered it may be proper to remitt the corporal punishment of Benja. Furgason & Lewis Rush.

with sentiments of respect I am Sir Your Huml Sevt

H. Dearborn

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the War Department on 5 Sep. and “Lt. Van Renslaer. Rush. Ferguson” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found, but see below.

lt. van ransselear: at a court-martial held from 8 to 18 Aug. 1803 at Fort Jay, New York, Lieutenant Killian P. Van Rensselaer of the Regiment of Artillerists was tried on two charges exhibited against him by Lieutenant Robert W. Osborn. The first charge accused Van Rensselaer of disobedience of orders and neglect of duty for leaving his recruitment post in Connecticut and going to New York without leave. The second charge accused him of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for inserting a publication in the New York Mercantile Advertiser that “wantonly and maliciously abused” Osborn’s character. The court-martial found Van Rensselaer guilty of part of the first charge and the whole of the second and sentenced him to be cashiered. TJ approved the sentence on 7 Sep. (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:412; New York Morning Chronicle, 1 Oct. 1803; TJ to Dearborn, 7 Sep. 1803).

letter from genl. muhlengburg: a letter from J. P. G. Muhlenberg to Dearborn, dated Philadelphia, 24 Aug. 1803, requested that the punishment of Lewis Rush be remitted (recorded in DNA: RG 107, RLRMS as received by the War Department on 28 Aug. 1803, but not found). Rush and Benjamin Ferguson served in Captain James Bruff’s company of artillerists. TJ approved the remission of their respective corporal punishments on 7 Sep. (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:411; Dearborn to Thomas H. Cushing, 10 Sep. 1803, and Dearborn to James Bruff, 10 Sep. 1803, both in DNA: RG 107, LSMA; TJ to Dearborn, 7 Sep. 1803).

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