James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Richard Rush, 6 July 1814

From Richard Rush

July 6. 1814

Respectfully enclosed for the eye of the President by R. Rush; who ventures to believe that, in times like these, the contributions of every patriotic and intelligent mind, will, when prudently obtained, be acceptable.1

RC and enclosure (PHi: Richard Rush Papers). Docketed by JM. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1Rush enclosed an extract of a 3 July 1814 letter to him from Alexander J. Dallas (7 pp.), in response to Rush’s to Dallas, 1 July 1814, asking for his ideas on national affairs. Dallas recommended that the administration confidentially urge state governors to cooperate in preparing defenses against British invasions, informing them that “proper advances” would be reimbursed; establish arms depots and telegraphic or other signal systems to warn of attack; and order the commanders of the military districts to identify place vulnerable to British attack, call for volunteers to reinforce the troops there, and instruct the residents to remove their livestock and other valuables. Dallas also suggested that the governors be encouraged to enlist the aid of local officials and citizens “in detecting and prosecuting all treasons, traiterous conspiracies, unlawful combinations, and seditious rejoicings for the victories of an enemy.” Assuming that New England governors would not be likely to cooperate with such a program, Dallas observed that failure to do so would put them “conspicuously and definitively in the wrong,” and that the administration would thereby learn the “real disposition” of these states before the crisis of a British invasion. Finally, Dallas urged that the administration prepare to take “ulterior measures” such as “a Levy en Masse, a call of congress &c.” if the negotiations at Ghent failed, the British invaded the United States “with a view to possess it,” and Americans were “again … compelled to fight for their independence.”

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