From Benjamin Stoddert1
25. Septr. 1800
I have directed Capt Dale2 to repair to New Port, to act as President of a Court of enquiry on the conduct of Capt Perry3 as well in relation to the Danish Schooner, captured through his means, as some other matters.
Had it been practicable to have Spared a sufficient number of officers to have formed a Court Martial, this course would have been pursued in preference.
Perhaps some of the persons interested in the Danish Vessel may wish to attend the enquiry—it is on that account that I trouble you with this letter.
I have seen Capt Perry, & have heard his relation of the affair with the Danish Schooner. I rather believe it will appear that he recd the Coffee from Genl Toussant,4 for the use of his Crew for the services rendered by the General Greene in the War with Regaud,5 & not for aiding in the capture of the Danish Schooner. But I am afraid his conduct towards that Vessel cannot be Justified.
I have the honor to be With great respect & esteem sir Yr. Most obed servt.
General Hamilton. New York
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; LC, RG 45, Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library, Miscellaneous Letters Sent by the Secretary of the Navy, Bound Volumes, National Archives.
2. Richard Dale of Pennsylvania was one of six captains appointed by George Washington to the newly organized Navy on June 4, 1794. Dale obtained a furlough from the Navy in 1795 and entered the merchant service as commander of the Ganges. On May 10, 1798, he was appointed a captain in the Navy and was ordered to patrol the coastal waters of the United States from Long Island to the Virginia Capes.
3. Christopher Raymond Perry.
4. François Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture.
5. Benoit Joseph Rigaud.