Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Smith, 4 December 1803

From Robert Smith

[4 Dec. 1803]

*The temperate and Correct1 Course pursued by our Consul Mr Simpson, the promptitude of Commodore Preble, the effecacious Co-Operation of Commodore Rodgers of the returning Squadron, the judicious conduct of Capt Bainbridge and the general zeal of the other Officers and Men are


It is proper to state to you that Rodgers being the Oldest Officer was the person that formed the plan of attack and had established the Code of Signals for the same—His feelings are to be Consulted—I will do myself the honor of calling upon you before I go to my Office in the morng—

RS

RC (DLC); undated, but entered in SJL as a letter of 4 Dec.; endorsed by TJ as received from the Navy Department on 4 Dec. and “Marocco message” and so recorded in SJL.

temperate and correct course: in the first paragraph, Smith suggested alterations for TJ’s 5 Dec. message to Congress on Morocco.

On 22 June, as senior officer of the squadron blockading the coast of Tripoli, John rodgers and the frigate John Adams led the successful attack that destroyed a 22-gun Tripolitan warship, which Rodgers asserted was “the Bashaw of Tripoli’s largest cruiser” (NDBW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers, Washington, D.C., 1939-44, 6 vols. and Register of Officer Personnel and Ships’ Data, 1801-1807, Washington, D.C., 1945 description ends , 2:459-60, 465-6; National Intelligencer, 7 Dec.).

1Smith here canceled “Conduct.”

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