Circular September 13, 1839

Navy Department,
Washington, September 13, 1839.

[Blacks, Proportion Allowed - Slaves Not to Be Entered]

Frequent complaints having been made of the number of blacks and other colored persons entered at some of the recruiting stations, and the consequent under-proportion of white persons transferred to sea-going vessels, it is deemed proper to call your attention to the subject, and to request that you will direct the recruiting officer at the station under your command, in future, not to enter a greater proportion of colored persons than 5 per cent. of the whole number of white persons entered by him weekly or monthly: and in no instance and under no circumstances whatever to enter a slave.

I. Chauncey,
Acting Secretary of the Navy.