Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Weedon, 14 April 1781

To George Weedon

Richmond April 14th. 1781


Immediately on receipt of your Letter of the 9th. by Captn. Travis informing me of the loss of the Boat Patriot, We engaged Captain Travis to go over to Appamattox, where he procured another Boat (the Washington) said to be a better sailor than the Patriot; Being ready manned and equipped for sailing she receives orders today to fall down and take your Commands. I am &c,

T. J.

FC (Vi).

Weedon’s letter of the 9th: has not been found, but it must have been similar to the one Weedon wrote Steuben the same day on the same subject, in which he reported that the Patriot, under Captain Chandler, was captured and that Chandler had been “directed to cruse from Warrasqueak bay as low down as Newport News keeping the best lookout, and upon the appearance of any Vessells coming up the river he was to fire three signal guns which was to [have] been answered from the Galley at Mulberry Island, from whence my Pickets were to communicate it. After giving notice of a hostile approach they were both ordered to move up the river alarming the shores and Craft as they went, and for fear of a surprise at night by any of the Privateers, they [were] ordered to shift their stations frequently and in general terms to act totally on the defensive, instead of which the great Sea officer Mr. Chandler has disobeyed my orders in every respect … [and] lost his vessel and crew” (Weedon to Steuben, 9 Apr. 1781, NHi; the capture was reported to Weedon by Capt. Davenport on 8 Apr. and Weedon replied the same day: “I am not more concerned for the loss than I am to find my Orders not Obeyed. Captain Chandler was positively directed not to risque an Action on any Account. More than thrice did I strictly forbid it. Yet he has contrary to all discipline done what no officer having respect to Orders would do, and the Consequence is Obvious for which he must answer”; Weedon to Chandler, 8 Apr. 1781, PPAP).

Index Entries