Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on a Cabinet Meeting, 22 October 1801

Notes on a Cabinet Meeting

Oct. 22. prest. 4. Secretaries. Captains of Navy reduced from 15.1 to 9. by a vote on each man struck off. those struck off are Mc.Niel of Boston, Decatur of Pensva., Rogers of Maryld. Tingey of Columbia, *S. Barron of Virga, *Campbell from S. Cara. but a Northern man. the retained are Nicholson & Preble of Mass. Morris & Bainbridge of N.Y. Truxton of Jersey, Barry, Dale & Murray of Pensva. Jas Barron of Virga.
a state of the gallies to be called for and be ready for sale at meeting of Congress unless contrary determn.
Spain to be addressed in a firm but friendly tone on the depredns at Algesiras. not to order convoys for our vessels agt Spain

* on the resignation of Truxton S: Barron is retained, & on that of Preble, Campbell is retained. he is a S. Carolinian by birth2

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 112:19297); entirely in TJ’s hand; follows, on same sheet, Notes on a Cabinet Meeting of 13 June; TJ added the note, and the asterisks keying it to the text, in 1802 (see note 2 below).

Secretaries: Madison, Gallatin, Dearborn, and Robert Smith.

Probably in association with this meeting, TJ made a list of the 15 naval captains on a small slip of paper, grouping the officers by state. He struck off the names of Daniel McNeill, Stephen Decatur, John Rodgers, Thomas Tingey, Samuel Barron, and Hugh George Campbell. He placed checkmarks next to Edward Preble’s, William Bainbridge’s, Thomas Truxtun’s, and John Barry’s names (MS in DLC: TJ Papers, 119:20566; entirely in TJ’s hand; undated).

State of the Gallies: in May 1798, Congress appropriated $80,000 for the acquisition and outfitting of up to ten small vessels to be used as galleys. At least seven were built in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, where they were used for coastal defense. By early 1802, all seven had been either sold or transferred to the revenue cutter service (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:556; NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. (cited by years) description ends , Aug. 1799-Dec. 1799, 484; Dec. 1800-Dec. 1801, 126, 364–5, 367–8, 371, 459–60).

According to Madison’s letter of 25 Oct. to Charles Pinckney about the seizure of American ships for alleged blockade violations, TJ had “the strongest hopes” that spain had already taken steps on its own to make redress for the captures and put a stop to the practice. If Pinckney found otherwise, he was to make “fair and frank representations” to the Spanish government (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 2:202).

1Figure altered by TJ from “16.”

2TJ added this note on the same sheet, below his notes on cabinet meetings of 11 Nov. 1801 and 18 Jan. 1802 but preceding his notes on a meeting of 21 Oct. 1802. Robert Smith accepted Thomas Truxtun’s resignation on 13 Mch. 1802. In April 1802, Smith granted Edward Preble a furlough for health reasons (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 , 2:76, 83, 123, 133).

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