James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert Cutchins and Others, 15 August 1812 (Abstract)

§ From Robert Cutchins and Others

15 August 1812, St. Marys, Georgia. “Sundry Officers of the United States Navy” inform JM that “Batram [sic] G. Hipkins,1 hath for upwards of five Years last past, been a Sailing Master, in the Navy of the United States, and that he hath lately been remov’d therefrom, upon sundry charges, without havaing [sic] had an opportunity, of confronting, or refuting the same.” Request that the charges against Hipkins be investigated, that he be allowed to defend himself, and that he be “restor’d to the favour of his Country.”

RC (DNA: RG 45, Misc. Letters Received, filed at 2 Apr. 1816). 1 p.; signed by Cutchins and three others. Delivered to the Navy Department by William Smoot in February 1813 (Hipkins to William Jones, 12 Feb. 1813 [ibid.]).

1Batran G. Hipkins was appointed sailing master on 4 Aug. 1807. He was dismissed on 28 July 1812 after several officers complained that he had been making rash statements and cruelly punishing the crew of gunboat no. 63 (Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy description begins Edward W. Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900 (New York, 1900). description ends , 267; Samuel Elbert and others to Commodore Hugh G. Campbell, 6 July 1812 [DNA: RG 45, Misc. Letters Received, filed at 2 Apr. 1816]). Hipkins pressured Hamilton and his successors in the Navy Department for redress (see Hipkins to William Jones, 12 Feb. 1813 [ibid.]), but Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield noted on the cover of a 2 Apr. 1816 supporting letter from Monroe that Hipkins had “regularly be⟨en⟩ dismissed from office,” that “no new warrant can be grant⟨ed⟩,” and that it was not “proper to grant a court martial” (ibid.).

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