George Washington Papers

Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., to Henry Knox, 30 March 1794

Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., to Henry Knox

[Philadelphia] 30th March 1794

By the President’s order Bw Dandridge has the honor to transmit to the Secretary of War the Letter herewith enclosed from the Govr. of Pennsylvania—dated the 28 instant—together with its enclosures, numbered from 1 to 7.1 The President requests the Secretary to take into consideration the Act No. 1—for raising four defence companies—and if he should entertain any doubt with respect to the constitutionality thereof, to take the opinion of the Atty Genl upon it—and report the result to the President.2


1For the numbered items, see the notes for Thomas Mifflin to GW, 28 March, and JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 294.

2Item 1 was a copy of “An ACT for more effectually securing the trade, peace and safety of the port of Philadelphia, and defending the Western Frontiers of the commonwealth,” 28 Feb. 1794. This act provided: “That the Governor shall raise, by voluntary enlistments from the militia of this commonwealth, three infantry companies of active and experienced rifle-men, and one company of artillery, to serve, under his orders and instructions, for a term of eight months . . . but if the state of war in Europe, and on the frontiers of this commonwealth, shall be such as, in the judgment of the Governor, to require the continuance of the said companies in the service of the said commonwealth, after the expiration of the said term of eight months, it shall be lawful for him to continue the same accordingly” (Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, passed at a session, which was begun and held at the city of Philadelphia on Tuesday, the third day of December, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three [Philadelphia, 1794], 463–65).

Knox wrote Attorney General William Bradford on 31 March, enclosing a copy of the act and expressing concern “whether this measure of Pennsylvania is not incompatible with the constitution of the United States” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d. ser., 6:684). For Bradford’s reply, see n.1 of Knox to GW, 7 April (second letter).

Index Entries