No. 98. [2d Session.
GOLD MEDAL PRESENTED TO CAPTAIN PREBLE.
COMMUNICATED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DECEMBER 23, 1812.
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I transmit to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of the Navy, complying with their resolution of the 16th instant.
December 23, 1812.
Navy Department, December 21, 1813. Sir:
On the subject of the resolution of the honorable the House of Representatives, of the 16th instant, I have the honor to state:
That, in pursuance of the resolution of Congress of the 3d of March, 1805, a gold medal, emblematical of the attacks on the town, batteries, and naval force, of Tripoli, by the squadron under Commodore Preble's command, was presented to Commodore Preble, in the manner stated in the enclosed letter, dated May 17, 1806.
That one month's pay was allowed, "exclusively of the common allowance, to all the petty officers, seamen, and marines, of the squadron, who so gloriously supported the honor of the American flag, under the orders of their gallant commander, in the several attacks."
That no sword has been presented to either of the commission officers, or midshipmen, who distinguished themselves in the several attacks.
And that it is not known to this Department that there ever was made by Congress a specific appropriation of twenty thousand dollars, for the purpose of carrying into effect the resolution referred to.
With respect to that part of the resolution which "requests the President to cause a sword to be presented to each of the commissioned officers and midshipmen who distinguished themselves," it is presumed that the President saw what to his mind appeared difficulties of great delicacy, from the peculiar language of the resolution. By the resolution he was requested to present swords to such only as had distinguished themselves; and all having been represented to him as having acted gloriously, he could not, in justice, draw with precision a line of discrimination. He felt, it is to be presumed, a repugnance to the making of a selection which, by implication, would necessarily have cast an unmerited reproach upon all not therein included. A degradation of that kind might have greatly injured the service, and could not possibly have been grateful to the honorable feelings of the favored officers.* I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, sir, your most obedient servant,
Navy Department, May 17, 1806.
In pursuance of the resolution of Congress, of the 3d of March, 1805, requesting the President of the United States to cause a gold medal to be struck, emblematical of the attacks on the town, batteries, and naval force, of Tripoli, by the squadron under your command, and to present it to you in such manner as, in his opinion, would be most honorable to you, the medal which will herewith be delivered to you by Lieutenant Jones has been struck. You will receive it, sir, as a testimony of your country's estimation of the important and honorable services rendered by you; and you will be pleased to accept an assurance of the great pleasure I have in the honor of presenting it to you.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient servant,
To Commodore Edward Preble.
From the records of the Navy Department. PAUL HAMILTON.
*See No. 105.