George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 14 July 1794

From Henry Knox

July 14. 1794.


I have the honor to submit to you Capt. Hills sketch of the Powtomac above the falls, and his opinion of Little Lime stone Spring as the most proper place to establish the Arsenal.1 The law seems to make the purchase of the ground with the consent of the Legislature an indispensible preliminary.2 I have the honor to be sir most respectfully your humble Servant

H. Knox


1Neither the sketch by John Hills nor his report has been identified. According to Timothy Pickering’s report to Congress of 12 Dec. 1795, the 1794 report was "in favor of a situation about twenty-five miles below the blue ridge" (ASP, Military Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:109-10).

2Section 1 of "An Act to provide for the erecting and repairing of Arsenals and Magazines, and for other purposes," 2 April 1794, provided "that none of the said arsenals be erected, until purchases of the land necessary for their accommodation be made with the consent of the legislature of the state, in which the same is intended to be erected" (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 . 1:352). On 10 Nov., Knox wrote to Virginia lieutenant governor James Wood, acting in the absence of Henry Lee during the Whiskey Rebellion campaign, requesting that he obtain legislative consent for the purchase of land (Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 7:367); and on 28 Nov. the Virginia legislature passed "An ACT to empower the president of the United States to purchase a tract of land within this state, for the purpose of erecting a public arsenal thereon" (Va. Statutes [Shepherd], 1:306-7).

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