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To James Madison from George Graham, 20 September 1815

From George Graham

September 20. 1815.

Dear sir,

I enclose a communication from General Macomb respecting the allowance of double rations to the Officer commanding in the harbor of New York.1

I send you also, an extract from the law, and the several orders that have been issued from this Department on the subject of an allowance of double rations to the Commanding officers of Posts,2 and submit to your decision the propriety of renewing, at present, the order of the 9th. of June 1810, so far as it respects the following posts:

Harbor of Portland, Maine.

ditto Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

ditto Boston, Massachusetts.

ditto Newport, Rhode Island. Fort Trumbull, Connecticut. Harbor of New York. Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Forts McHenry & Washington, Maryland. Harbor of Norfolk, Virginia. Harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Savannah, Georgia. Mobile, Mississippi Territory. Fort Plaquemine and New Orleans; Natchitoches, Forts St. John, St. Charles and Petit Coquille, Louisiana; Detroit & Michilimackinac, Michigan Territory. Niagara & Sacket’s harbor New York. All which is respectfully submitted.

Geo: Graham

RC (DLC); letterbook copy (DNA: RG 107, LSP). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Graham. For enclosures, see nn.

1Graham enclosed Brig. Gen. Alexander Macomb’s 9 Sept. 1815 letter to William Harris Crawford (2 pp.; DNA: RG 107, LRUS, M-1815), recommending that Lt. Col. James House be allowed double rations to cover the extra expenses he incurred as commander of the post on Governor’s Island, owing to its status as a “saluting port” that drew “the attention of all strangers” and received officers from other countries.

2The enclosures have not been found, but they evidently included an extract from the fifth section of “An Act fixing the military peace establishment of the United States,” 16 Mar. 1802, which authorized an allowance “to the commanding officers of each separate post, such additional number of rations as the President of the United States shall, from time to time, direct, having respect to the special circumstances of each post” (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:132, 134). The general orders that Graham enclosed were evidently those of 9 June 1810, 25 Aug. 1812, and 23 Feb. 1814. The first listed the posts and stations at which commanding officers were entitled to double rations and noted that the commander at New Orleans was allowed triple rations; appended was a list of six posts subsequently added and a 25 Aug. 1812 statement that “Generals commanding separate armies” were also entitled to double rations. The second general order promulgated the rule regarding commanders of separate armies, and the third directed that “general or other officers commanding districts shall, while so doing, receive double rations; which will supersede all other grants of double rations at posts within the district” (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1832–61). description ends , Military Affairs, 4:374).

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