Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/231

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220
Ch. 8.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

his business. Next, the place was pressed upon John Langdon of New Hampshire, although New England already supplied two members of the Cabinet. Langdon refusing, the President wrote to William Jones of Philadelphia, a member of the next Congress, who declined. Meanwhile Benjamin Stoddert became weary of waiting, and Samuel Smith consented to perform the duties in order to give the President time for further search. At the end of March, Jefferson left Washington to pass the month of April at Monticello, and on his return, May 1, the Navy Department was still unfilled. Not until July did General Smith succeed in escaping the burden of his temporary duties. Then the President abandoned the attempt to place a man of public importance in the position, and allowed Samuel Smith to substitute in his place his brother Robert, a Baltimore lawyer, whose fitness for naval duties was supposed to consist chiefly in the advice and aid which Samuel would supply.

The appointment of Robert Smith, July 15, completed the Cabinet. Of its five members, only two—Madison and Gallatin—were much known beyond their States. Neither Dearborn nor Lincoln was so strong, either in political or social connections or in force of character, as greatly to affect the course of the Cabinet, and both were too honest to thwart it.

"General Dearborn is a man of strong sense, great practical information on all the subjects connected with