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2020-03-26 00:45:10
Stoddert, Benjamin (1744-1813)
THE "FATHER OF THE AMERICAN NAVY" ADVISES JOHN TEMPLEMAN TO BEGIN PURCHASING TIMBERLANDS NEAR THE FEDERAL CITY FOR USE IN BUILDING UNITED STATES NAVY SHIPS, IN A MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED, AND DATED GEORGE TOWN [DC], NOV. 9, 1798
1798. A six page letter, approx. 900 words, apparently in a secretarial hand, signed by Stoddert, and directed to John Templeman, a Georgetown shipping merchant. Docketed "Mr. Stoddert's directions about timber." United States Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert's three years as the first Secretary of the Navy led to his being considered by many "the father of the American Navy." Stoddert composed this letter, to the best of our knowledge unpublished, six months after taking office in May 1798, and four months after the beginning of the "Quasi Naval War with France." During his three-year tenure which ended on March 31, 1801, Stoddert proposed plans for a robust expansion of the Navy, which, through no fault of his, were only partially achieved. He oversaw the successful establishment of six U.S. Navy yards needed to build the additional war vessels authorized by Congress. When he took office, Congress had already approved a considerable program to build new vessels. Stoddert persuaded Congress to authorize the construction of six additional large ships; at the same time he obtained approval to build the navy yards. Stoddert's ambitious program faltered with the ending of the "war" with France, in Sept. 1800, and with an incoming republican administration as hostile to the expansion of the Navy as it was to the idea of large government in general. This letter was likely written in anticipation of Stoddert's proposals, made in early 1799, for enlarging the fleet and building a system of navy yards. The letter consists of detailed instructions to Templeman to acquire timb … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Bartlebys Books [United States]
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