To the Senate and the House of Representatives
Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives
I now lay before you
2. returns of muskets & bayonets fabricated at the armouries of the US. at Springfield & Harper’s ferry, and of the expenditures at those places: and
3. an estimate of expenditures which may be necessary for fortifications and barracks for the present year.
Besides the permanent magazines established at Springfield, Westpoint & Harper’s ferry, it is thought one should be established in some point convenient for the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. such a point will probably be found near the border of the Carolinas, and some small provision by the legislature, preparatory to the establishment, will be necessary for the present year.
We find the United States in possession of certain iron mines & works in the county of Berkeley and state of Virginia, purchased, as is presumeable, on the idea of establishing works for the fabrication of cannon and other military articles by the public. whether this method of supplying what may be wanted will be most adviseable, or that of purchasing at market, where competition brings every thing to it’s proper level of price and quality, is for the legislature to decide: and if the latter alternative be preferred, it will rest for their further consideration in what way the subjects of this purchase may be best employed or disposed of. the Attorney General’s opinion on the subject of the title accompanies this.
There are, in various parts of the US. small parcels of land which have been purchased at different times for cantonments & other military purposes. several of them are in situations not likely to be accomodated to future purposes. the loss of the records prevents a detailed statement of these, until they can be supplied by enquiry. in the mean time one of them, containing 88. acres, in the county of Essex in New Jersey, purchased in 1799. and sold the following year to Cornelius Vermule and Andrew Codmas, though it’s price has been1 recieved, cannot be conveyed without authority from the legislature.
I inclose herewith a letter from the Secretary at War on the subject of the islands in the lakes and rivers of our Northern boundary, and of certain lands in the neighborhood of some of our military posts, on which it may be expedient for the legislature to make some provisions.
Feb. 2. 1802.
RC (DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); entirely in TJ’s hand; endorsed by a clerk. PrC (DLC). RC (DNA: RG 46, LPPM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); in Meriwether Lewis’s hand, signed and dated by TJ; endorsed by a clerk. Recorded in SJL with notation “arms, mines, lands, islands.” Enclosures: (1) “Return of Ordnance, Arms &ca. the property of the United States,” listing quantities of brass and iron artillery pieces, gun carriages, artillery shot and shells, gunpowder, cartridge paper, rifles, muskets, pistols, swords, cutlasses, and other items (MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, undated, in a clerk’s hand, signed by Henry Dearborn, at foot of text: “The Arms in possession of the Army are not included in the foregoing return,” endorsed by a clerk; MS in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, in the same clerk’s hand, signed by Dearborn, endorsed by a clerk). (2) Return of muskets and bayonets fabricated at the armory at Springfield, Massachusetts, from 1795 to 28 Nov. 1801, dated War Department, 8 Dec. 1801, giving figures for each year for a total of 16,120 muskets and 12,968 bayonets (MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, in a clerk’s hand, endorsed by a clerk; MS in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, in a clerk’s hand, endorsed by a clerk). (3) Return of muskets and bayonets fabricated at the armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, 1 Jan. to 30 Sep. 1801, dated War Department, 8 Dec. 1801, showing 260 muskets and the same number of bayonets (MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, in a clerk’s hand, endorsed by a clerk; MS in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, in a clerk’s hand, endorsed by a clerk). (4) Statement of expenditures at the armories, 8 Dec. 1801, reporting $192,847.01 expended at Springfield from 10 July 1793 to 31 Dec. 1800, $37,404.22 expended there from 1 Jan. to 30 Sept. 1801, $61,725.12 expended at Harpers Ferry from 1 Oct. 1798 to 31 Dec. 1800, and $13,489.86 expended there from 1 Jan. to 30 June 1801 (MS in DLC, in a clerk’s hand, signed by William Simmons as accountant for the War Department, endorsed by TJ; MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, in a clerk’s hand, attested as a true copy by John Newman as chief clerk of the department, endorsed by a clerk; MS in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, in a clerk’s hand, attested by Newman, endorsed by a clerk). (5) “Estimate of Expenditures necessary for erecting and completing Fortifications and Barracks” in 1802; listing, for work at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, $1,000; Boston, $38,000; Newport, Rhode Island, $1,500; Philadelphia, $1,000; Norfolk, $12,000; Wilmington, North Carolina, $4,000; works in Georgia, $6,000; at Niagara, $3,000; and at Detroit, Michilimackinac, Chickasaw Bluffs, and Fort Massac, $4,000, making a total of $70,500 (MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, undated, in a clerk’s hand, endorsed by a clerk; MS in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, undated, in a clerk’s hand, endorsed by a clerk). (6) Levi Lincoln to Henry Dearborn, 25 Jan. 1802 (Tr in DNA: RG 233, PM, in a clerk’s hand, at head of text: “Copy,” endorsed by a clerk). (7) Dearborn to TJ, 5 Dec. 1801. Message and enclosures printed in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Military Affairs, 1:156–9.
At some unidentified time, TJ received another return of ordnance from the War Department. Although similar in format to the return submitted to Congress with the message above, the undated one was briefer, lacked some categories of materials, and reported quantities of saltpeter, “Brimstone” (sulfur), lead, and metal for casting brass cannons. With the exception of cutlasses, which numbered 454 in both statements, the quantities of items differed between the two returns, although some of that discrepancy could have been the result of different classifications of similar items (MS in DLC: TJ Papers, 119:20624; undated and unsigned; in the same clerk’s hand as both versions of Enclosure No. 1).
In his annual message TJ had anticipated sending information about military stores. The House of Representatives formed a committee in January to consider whether any addition to the stores was necessary, and on 2 Feb., after Meriwether Lewis delivered the message printed above and the accompanying documents, the House referred the portion of the message that related to military stores to that committee. The “residue” of the message was ordered to lie on the table. On 15 Mch. the committee submitted a report, which was tabled. Lewis also delivered the message and documents to the Senate on 2 Feb., where the message was read and it and the papers ordered to lie for consideration (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:23–4, 35, 80–1, 137; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820–21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:176).
In an act of 1 May 1802 for military appropriations, Congress approved $70,500 for the erection and completion of fortifications and barracks (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:183).
In March 1802, Congress passed an act allowing title to the land in Essex County, New Jersey, to be conveyed to Cornelius Vermule and Andrew Codmas. The United States had bought the property for a military cantonment in 1799 and sold it to Vermule and Codmas in 1800 (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 6:46).
An act approved on 3 Apr. 1802 appropriated up to $10,000 for expenses of negotiating and ascertaining the boundary between the United States and the British province of Upper Canada (same, 2:148).
1. TJ here canceled “paid.”