Uriah P Levy Defence Stewart To Crane

The reply of Commodore Stewart to this letter, was as follows:
U.S. Ship Franklin, Syracuse, Feby. 5, 1818.
Sir
Your letter of yesterday's date has been received and duly considered. I should regret exceedingly that a practice should grow up in our naval service, or be countenanced in any manner by me, so highly prejudicial to the order and discipline of so important a branch of it as is entrusted to my command…, to preserve … the order, subordination and discipline of my command, for the benefit of the service, the honor of the flag, and the immediate reputation of the general officers attached to the squadron, as well as my own. It would not well comport with these important, objects, or with the character of a commander-in-chief, were he only to consult the wishes, the convenience, and the private partialities or dislikes of the officers under his command
on all occasions. The commander-in-chief, at the same time admits, that occasion may occur wherein it may be proper to consult and accommodate the wishes of officers; but of the propriety of those occasions, he reserves to himself to be the proper judge. The present, occasion he does not consider as such….
The preservation of harmony among the officers of the squadron, as well as between
the others in their respective ships, is of primary importance, and can only be effected, by the strictest discipline ; and should any officer's conduct, be such as to destroy the harmony prevailing, every means in my power will be readily afforded to punish and correct him. Imaginary objections having no solid existence, or growing out of malicious report, against any officer having the commission of the President of the United States, as also his confidence, ought not and never can divert, the commander in-chief from what he considers his duty…. As all legal orders are obligatory, it is expected they will be executed with promptitude, and not considered as oppressive or forced, a term, if not personally disrespectful to the commander-in-chief, which may be at least considered so towards the service. Should you be possessed of a knowledge of any conduct, on the part of Lieut. Levy, which would render him unworthy of the commission he holds, I would, at, the request of any commander, represent it to the Government; or if his conduct, has been such to make employment of Lieut. Levy in this squadron improper and, prejudicial to the service, on your representing it to me officially, I would order him home to the United States. As your letter contains no specific notice of his misconduct, I can find nothing therein whereon to found a reason for contermanding the order, or for changing his destination.
I am, &c., &c. your obd't serv't,
Chas. Stewart
To Capt. Wm Crane, U.S.S. United States

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