George Washington Papers

Henry Knox to Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., 16 May 1794

Henry Knox to Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.

War department May 16. 1794.


Please to submit, the enclosed draft of a letter to the respective Governors relatively to the law for drafting the eighty thousand Militia, to the President.1 I am Sir Your humble Servant

H. Knox


1GW approved the draft on this date (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 303). The circular, which was dated 19 May when sent to the governors of Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, enclosed copies of "An act directing a detachment from the militia of the United States" of 9 May (Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends . 1:367-68) and directed each governor "to organize, arm, and equip according to law, and hold in readiness to march at a moment’s warning" his state’s quota. The governors were also authorized "to accept any independent corps . . . as part of the aforesaid detachment." After discussing terms of service, pay, and rations for the detachment, Knox continued, "It is the earnest desire of the President that your Excellency would immediately take the most effectual means that the whole of the militia . . . not comprised within the foregoing requisition, be armed and equipped according to law.

"The people of the United States encreasing rapidly in wealth, population, and importance among the nations, ought not to indulge the expectation of being exempt from those agitations and dangers, which seem inseparable from the human character. But it is our highest duty, that we should be in a perfect condition to preserve and defend ourselves, against every injury to which we may be liable as a nation" (to Samuel Huntington, MeAgMSA, Henry Sewall Papers; to Henry Lee, Vi: Governors’ Letters; to Thomas Sim Lee, MdAA; to Thomas Mifflin, PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790-99).

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