George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Henry Knox, 26 January 1792

To Henry Knox

United States [Philadelphia], January 26th: 1792.

Sir,

You will receive herewith a copy of a Resolution of the House of Representatives, that has been just now delivered to me by a Committee; and I desire you will prepare and lay before the House the statement therein requested.1

As communications of a similar nature have taken place between the Executive of the General Government and the Governor of Virginia, it may be proper to lay these also before the House of Representatives, and I request you will have them prepared & communicated accordingly as soon as the business of your departmt will admit of it.2

Go: Washington

DfS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA: RG 233, First Congress, 1789–1791, Records of the Office of the Clerk, Records of Reports from Executive Departments.

For the background to this letter and correspondence relating to the defense of the Pennsylvania frontier, see GW to Thomas Mifflin, 23 Dec. 1791, Mifflin to GW, 29 Dec. 1791, and Henry Knox to GW, 1 Jan. 1792.

1The enclosed copy of the resolution has not been found. On 25 Jan. 1792 the House of Representatives resolved “That the President of the United States be requested to cause to be laid before this House copies of the official communications which have taken place between the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania and the Secretary of War, with respect to the raising of troops within, and under the direction of the said State” (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 337). Tobias Lear this day transmitted the resolution to Knox at GW’s direction, explaining that the president promised to comply with the request and instructing the secretary of war to prepare a suitable statement (DLC:GW). Knox replied to GW on 27 Jan.: “In obedience to your orders; I have the honor to submit, the communications which have passed between the executive of the United States, and the governor of Pennsylvania, upon the defensive protection of the western frontiers of the said State. As a similar protection has been authorized for Virginia I respectfully submit the idea, that the entire communications upon this subject, be laid before the house of representatives” (DLC:GW). On 30 Jan. Speaker Jonathan Trumbull laid before the House Knox’s letter “transmitting, pursuant to the directions of the President of the United States, copies of the official communications which have passed between the Executive of the United States and the Governor of Pennsylvania, upon the subject of the temporary defensive protection of the frontiers of the Said state.” The papers were read and ordered to lie on the table (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 354).

2For communications between the executive branch and the governor of Virginia respecting the protection of the state’s exposed frontiers, see Knox to GW, 5 Dec. 1791. On 8 Feb. 1792 Speaker Trumbull laid before the House a letter from the secretary of war “accompanying certain communications with the Executive of Virginia relative to the existing temporary defensive protection of the exposed frontiers of that State, pursuant to the orders of the President of the United States.” The papers were read and also tabled (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 1st sess., 397).

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