James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Elijah Mix, ca. 15 April 1813 (Abstract)

§ From Elijah Mix

Ca. 15 April 1813. “The inclosed plan Will be explained to you by the Secretary of the Navy.”

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC 1 p. Docketed by JM. Undated; conjectural date assigned based on the assumption that Mix sent this note sometime between 8 Apr. 1813, when he wrote JM requesting support for his torpedo project, and 7 May 1813, when William Jones ordered Capt. Charles Gordon to aid Mix’s endeavors (Dudley, Naval War of 1812, 2:355). The enclosure (1 p.) is a diagram entitled “plan to destroy With Torpedoes, the St Domingo 74 guns.” It depicts the San Domingo at anchor, torpedoes moving toward it from a torpedo boat approaching the anchor, and a line attaching the torpedo boat to a rowboat “anchored 200 fathom from” the British ship. All three vessels are arranged in a straight line determined by the anchor cable of the San Domingo. Mix’s note at the bottom of the sketch reads: “Improvment by secretary of the Navy.” The San Domingo, Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren’s flagship, was in the Chesapeake Bay from 22 Mar. through 17 May 1813 (ibid., 2:309–10, 339).

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