19 AUGUST 1905, Page 15


Sin,—I call your attention to the mistake in the name of the Secretary of the Navy in your note to Mr. H. Warren Smith's letter under the above heading in the Spectator of July 15th. I remember distinctly the same mistake years ago. It is a small one. But as you (justly) admire the splendid tradition of the dispatch, it is worth while knowing that its author was Isaac Toucey—not Joncey—a native of the State of Connecticut, 1796-1869, Attorney-General of the United States, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of the Navy Department appointed by President Buchanan, serving from March, 1857, to March, 1861, and so having the happy chance to write that model dispatch, which you do so well to praise, concerning an incident which has given to the language one of its greatest phrases, and which is cherished wherever the language is spoken as embodying a vital truth. Blood IS thicker than water,—at all events our blood.—I am, Sir, &c.,