Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert Smith, 26 October 1801

From Robert Smith

Navy Dept. Oct. 26. 1801


Before I make the proposed communication to Brown & Pearson I consider it proper to submit to your examination the enclosed Note. You will be pleased to make such alterations as to you may appear necessary.

Very respectfully Your Obed Sevt

Rt Smith

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President”; endorsed by TJ as received 26 Oct. and “Marine barracks” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found, but see below.

Writing on 26 Oct., Smith instructed Marine Corps commandant William Ward Burrows to inform contractors Robert Brown and Lawrence Pearson “that the president is of opinion that the Marine Barracks ought not to be received from them but on the following terms”: that the south wing and center house be made good either by repairs or demolition; that the north wing be taken down, the “well burnt” bricks set apart, and the remaining bricks and bats “disposed of as they please”; that the walls and stone foundation be rebuilt, using the recently constructed navy arsenal as a model; that the price for bricks used in the north wing be the same as that paid for the navy arsenal (FC in Lb in DNA: RG 45, MLS).

Writing in Smith’s absence on 4 Nov., Abishai Thomas sent TJ a letter from Burrows enclosing “the form of an Obligation” to be entered into by Brown and Pearson to repair the barracks and requesting that TJ “signify whether it meets your approbation” (FC in Lb in DNA: RG 45, LSP). Writing later that day to Captain Thomas Tingey, Thomas informed him that TJ approved the proposed obligation as follows: “Mr. Smith being absent, and the season pressing, I will take the liberty of approving the within proposition for Mr. Smith, refering to Captn. Tingey, who made the agreement for the Marine Arsenal to fill up the Blank for the price thousand Bricks which was allowed in that instance, and also for the stone work proposed.” Thomas closed by asking that Tingey fill in the blanks as requested by the president and conclude the remaining arrangements needed to execute the agreement (FC in Lb in DNA: RG 45, MLS).

On 2 Nov., Thomas sent TJ a letter covering an abstract of Treasury warrants drawn by the Navy Department and the balance on hand for the week ending 31 Oct. (RC in DLC, at foot of text: “The President,” endorsed by TJ as received from the Navy Department on 2 Nov. and “Warrants” and so recorded in SJL; FC in Lb in DNA: RG 45, LSP).

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