M 0074

 Note:  Only those rolls covering periods when CONSTITUTION was in squadron service have been researched.

As Revenue Commissioner in the Washington Administration, Tench Coxe oversaw the letting and administration of contracts for the Government.  Until the creation of a Navy Department in 1798, he dealt with the War Department on naval matters.

Circular to iron masters for cannon bids, 26 May 1794, sent to:

H. Wilson & J. Potts, Alexandria, VA
Thomas Johnson, Frederick County, MD
Samuel Hughes [Cecil Iron Works], Havre de Grace, MD
William Richards, Bickley's Wharf
J. Jacob Leach & Co., Barstow, NJ
Brown & Francis [Furnace Hope], Providence, RI
Weiner Potts & Rutter, Rebecca Furnace
Salisbury [CT] Iron Works
Samuel & Edward Sharp, Sussex County, NJ
Stocker & Rutter, Philadelphia, PA
Levi Hollingsworth, Philadelphia, PA
Samuel Howel [sic], Jr., Philadelphia, PA
Royal Flint [?], New York, NY
John Greenleaf, Philadelphia, PA
William Nelson, New York, NY

 To SecWar, 7 Jun 1794:

          Requests pattern for iron ballast.

 To Samuel Hughes, Cecil Iron Works, MD, 16 Jun 1794:

          Expect a contract for 1/3 of total order.

 To Brown & Francis, Furnace Hope, RI, 20 Jun 1794:

          What is your estimated production rate for cannon?

 To SecTreas, 25 Jun 1794:

          Proposes that the U. S. Minister to London be used as agent to purchase copper sheathing and other naval stores for new frigates.

 Circular to iron masters, Navy Agents, etc., for anchor bids, 30 Jun 1794:

          (Addressed to 26 people, including Henry Jackson and Nathaniel Gorham in Boston.)

 Circular to Navy Agents, 5 Jul 1794:

          Copper and the composition bolts, etc., the bunting, and the hearths for cooking have been ordered from Europe.

 To Robert Coleman, Lancaster County, PA, 11 Jul 1794:

          Kentledge is to have a hole in either end "for hooking."

 To Monsieur De Rancy, 22 Jul 1794:

          Go to Cecil Iron Works and show them how to bore cannon.

 To Samuel Hughes, Cecil Iron Works, MD, 18 Aug 1794:

          Plans for 3 kinds of cannon being delivered in a box 50" long.

 To Elijah Phelps, Norfolk, 21 Aug 1794:

          No anchor contracts let yet.

 To Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 5 Sep 1794:

          8‑inch howitzer pattern forwarded herewith.

 To John Chester, 25 Sep 1794:

          Elijah Phelps to get a contract for 2/3 of anchors of "2 largest sizes" [50 cwt for 44s and 44 cwt for 36s]

 To Nathaniel Cushing, Pembroke, MA, 25 Sep 1794:

          Contract for anchors: 2 each 15 cwt and 10 cwt, 1 each of 14 cwt and 9 cwt, and 3 each of 7 cwt and 3 1/2 cwt; 12 total [1/2 of requirement].  [Later, 24 Dec 1794, 3 50 cwt and 2 44 cwt were added for Boston delivery.]  Hodijah Ballies of Dighton got the contract for the remainder of the small anchors.

 To SecWar, 12 Nov 1794:

          Each frigate to have a fire engine and 24 leather buckets.

 To John Blagge, New York, NY, 24 Dec 1794:

          Contract with Solomon Townsend for 3 50 cwt and 2 44 cwt anchors, to be delivered at New York.

 To SecWar, 30 Dec 1794:

          The Boston Manufacturing Company (Samuel Breck) has 1200 pieces of sail cloth ready for delivery.  Recommend sending 1/6 to each building yard now.

 Circular to Navy Agents, 31 Dec 1794:

          Canvas necessary for each frigate for 1 complete suit of sails, awnings, wind scoops, etc., consists of:

#1      100 bolts #5       82 1/2 bolts
#2      5 bolts #6       20 bolts
#3      7 1/2 bolts #7       10 bolts
#4      32 1/2 bolts  


To Tench Francis, Agent for Military Purchases, Philadelphia, PA, 2 Jan 1795:

          As you now have responsibility for frigate matters as of yesterday, in a new office called "Purveyor of Public Supplies," these are matters still pending:


I Procurement of fire engines.
II Inspection and acceptance of sail cloth.
III Purchase of foreign sail cloth for a second suit for each frigate.
IV Completion of anchor contracts with Cushing, Baillies, and Townsend
V Get timber returns from Navy Agents for end of 1794.
VI Procure hemp or cordage.
VII Keep the live oakers supplied.
VIII Determine if Mr. Blagge will provide treenails for more than one frigate.
IX Complete the kentledge contract.
X Determine if "Sec'y" has ordered "the anchor" from Europe.
XI Is someone to be sent to Georgia?
XII Should Morgan be told to send 20 cutters to Ossabaw?
XIII Determine availability of freighting vessels in New England.
XIV Provide for payment of freighting vessels at other than Philadelphia.
XV Provide clothing, provisions, etc., for frigate outfitting
XVI Let contract for remaining 1/6 of cannon.
XVII Let contract for remaining shot.


To S. & J. Sterret, Baltimore, MD, 17 Jan 1795:

           Materials ordered in Europe "are daily expected to arrive."

 To Gardiner & Oldden, Philadelphia, PA, 3 Feb 1795:

           Contract for 100 tons of kentledge forwarded.

The Captain's Clerk
1989, TGM