Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (ROBERT SMITH.) - The Works, vol. 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807)
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (ROBERT SMITH.) - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 10.
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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
Monticello Sept. 8, ’07.
—Mr. Madison, who is with me, suggests the expediency of immediately taking up the case of Capt. Porter, against whom you know Mr. Erskine lodged a very serious complaint, for an act of violence committed on a British seaman in the Mediterranean. While Mr. Erskine was reminded of the mass of complaints we had against his government for similar violences, he was assured that contending against such irregularities ourselves, and requiring satisfaction for them, we did not mean to follow the example, and that on Captain Porter’s return, it should be properly inquired into. The sooner this is done the better; because if Great Britain settles with us satisfactorily all our subsisting differences, & should require in return, (to have an appearance of reciprocity of wrong as well as redress,) a marked condemnation of Capt. Porter, it would be embarrassing were that the only obstacle to a peaceable settlement, and the more so as we cannot but disavow his act. On the contrary, if we immediately look into it, we shall be more at liberty to be moderate in the censure of it, on the very ground of British example; and the case being once passed upon, we can more easily avoid the passing on it a second time, as against a settled principle. It is therefore to put it in our power to let Capt. Porter off as easily as possible, as a valuable officer whom we all wish to favor, that I suggest to you the earliest attention to the inquiry, and the promptest settlement of it. I set out to-morrow on a journey of 100 miles, & shall be absent 8 or 9. days. I salute you affectionately.