I have the honor of enclosing to you a Statement of the Naval force on Lake Erie -- and I hope that you will take the manner in which they are manned into consideration and send me a proportion of Seamen to in- corporate with them from the appearance of the Men I think that they would be a valuable addition to any men you could send up, but are of themselves very useless indeed -
The Detroit cannot be ready to launch in a Month at the least, the builder states that he is much in want of Iron to finish her - and there are neither Anchors nor Guns fit for her even when finished. There is a sufficient portion of Stores to equip her for immediate service, but will completely drain the Arsenal. There is no rope for the standing rigging made yet but there is a sufficient quantity of hemp for that purpose and a very good rope maker.
The shipwrights have been troublesome of late in consequence of arrears of wages. I have rectified that in some degree by desiring the Commissary to remit the Amount to their families at Quebec -- which is exactly what they wish as they appear to be anxious only on their account. I hope that they will commence their work with Cheerfulness and Vigor. The Queen Charlotte is a fine Vessel of her class & well manned would be a very effective Ship - she is very much smaller than I had an idea of. She is like the vessels on Lake Ontario. more fitted as a packet than a man of war. The Schooners are I have found on trial just possessed of the qualities I represented to you from Long Point. The Hunter has been sent to Lake Huron to bring down two American Vessels from Machinack that were taken last Autumn. She is so very small that I have appointed Lieut. Buchan to the Lady Prevost and as the Gun boats have no men I have appointed Lt. Stokoe to the Queen Charlotte for the present. I have endeavoured to make the Queen Charlotte as effective as possible in point of Officers that they may make up for the want of men in the event of being engaged on our looking into Presque isle. For by the capture of Fort Erie that passage is left open and they had a Merchant brig and two schooners well armed and manned laying at Black Rock, only waiting for that circumstance. It is more than probable that they have by this time got along shore to Presque isle. Had I found the Queen Charlotte at long point, I would not have left the lower end of the lake until I had destroyed them but with the Schooners only did not choose to risk it.
If with any additional Seamen you may please to send a party of the Newfoundland, could also accompany them as Marines I should be very glad. All that Regt. are embarked, and they are the most valuable men on the Lake.
The Arsenal is small but with some regulations it may be made a very superior one to that at Kingston - I shall transmit to you from time to time what I think will be for the good of the Service, & also what I do myself from that conviction.
I have the honor to be Sir Your Most Obedient & Humble Servant
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