Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on a Cabinet Meeting, 21 October 1802

Notes on a Cabinet Meeting


Oct. 21.  present the 4. Secretaries. 1. What force shall be left through the winter in the Mediterranean?

2. what negociations, what presents shall be proposed to Marocco?

Answ. 1. the two largest frigates, President & Chesapeake, the time of whose men is out in December, ought to be called home immediately.

the two last frigates, the N. York, and John Adams, which are smallest also, & the men engaged till Aug. next to remain through the winter, even if peace be made with Tripoli.

the Adams, whose times are up in April, to remain thro’ the winter, or come away accdg to appearances with Marocco.

Answ. 2. forbid Simpson to stipulate any presents or paimts. at fixed periods. but allow him to go as far as 20,000 D. to obtain a firm establmt of the state of peace with Marocco.


Shall the expences of transporting our abandoned seamen home, by the Consul Lee, be paid by us, and out of what fund?

unanimously that it must be paid, & out of the contingent fund of 20,000. D.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 112:19297); entirely in TJ’s hand; follows, on same sheet, Notes on a Cabinet Meeting of 18 Jan. 1802.

PRESIDENT & CHESAPEAKE: that is, the Constellation and the Chesapeake. The President had returned to the United States in the spring of 1802 under the command of Richard Dale. “I have it in charge from the President,” Robert Smith wrote to Richard V. Morris on 23 Oct., to order the Constellation and Chesapeake back to the United States “without delay.” The enlistments of the crew of the schooner Enterprize were to expire on 15 Feb., but Smith hoped that enough officers and crew would elect to extend their service to allow Morris to keep that vessel in the Mediterranean (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 , 2:115, 306–7).

ACCDG TO APPEARANCES WITH MAROCCO: Smith instructed Morris to send the Adams home if “our differences with Morocco” were resolved (same, 306).

Madison wrote to James SIMPSON on 21 Oct., authorizing the consul to draw funds from Morris. Simpson was not to expend more than $20,000, “nor to go as far as that sum, unless it shall produce a firm peace and an express or tacit relinquishment” of Morocco’s demand for “presents at stated periods,” which Madison called “another name only, for tribute.” Simpson was to be “as sparing of expense” as possible, “both from a regard to œconomy, and to the policy of keeping down the hopes and pretensions of these mercenary powers” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , 4:38).

Regarding ABANDONED SEAMEN at Bordeaux, see Gallatin to TJ, 17 Aug.

CONTINGENT FUND: the 1802 appropriations act, passed on 1 May, allocated $20,000 for “defraying the contingent expenses of government” (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 , 2:188).

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