James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Benjamin W. Crowninshield, 27 May 1815


Montpelier. May 27th. 1815.

Dear Sir,

I have received your two letters of the 23. & 24. instant inclosing the correspondence with the Navy Board. This institution being without a precedent in our political system, and the definitions of the Act of Congress not being as precise and as full, as under other circumstances, they might have been made, some difference in the construction of particular passages might well happen. But I had not anticipated one of so radical a character as that which has taken place. It may be hoped that by recurring to the principles on which the Executive Branch of the Govt. rests, and to the policy of the Institution in question, a greater harmony of opinion may be attained. As no business however appears to press, and I expect to be in Washington very near the time to which the Navy Board has adjourned, I postpone the decision which is wished, until I can avail myself of the all the means for a sound and satisfactory one, and which I can best do on the spot. Affece. respects.

James Madison

Is there in the Navy Depmt. or elsewhere in the City any account of the Establishment in G.B. corresponding with that Dept. and the Board newly created here? A knowledge of the practical relations at least of the one to the other there, might not be without use

DNA: RG 45--Miscellaneous Letters Received by the Secretary of the Navy.

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