Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 21 April 1802

To Henry Dearborn

Apr. 21. 1802.

Th:J. to Genl. Dearborne

The guarding our arms at New London & Manchester stands on totally different ground. the former was at my request, delivered verbally to Governor Monroe about the 15th. of April 1801. certainly not a week sooner or later. the latter was in the time of the insurrection of their slaves and no more chargeable to the Union than the other expences of their militia on that occasion. I should have concieved the former as needing no appropriation, but paiable out of the contingent fund of the time, as the hire of persons to repair the arms, or the house or any thing else occasionally.1 is it possible there could be no existing fund chargeable with the preservation of the public arms, exposed to destruction under my own eye?

RC (DLC); on verso of the cover of an unidentified letter addressed to TJ as president; addressed: “The Secretary at War”; on verso in Dearborn’s hand: “make a Statement of what the whole amount of the within claim is distinguishing, the expence at Manchester, the expence at New London prior to the 15th. of April, and what was subsequent to the 15th. of April.”

In June 1801, James Monroe confirmed that he and TJ had previously had a conversation about guarding U.S. arms and gunpowder at NEW LONDON, Virginia. Monroe also stated that he would have a statement submitted to the War Department for a “like expence” incurred in the protection of federal arms stored at MANCHESTER, Virginia. Concerned about the prospect of “insurgent negroes,” TJ in November 1800 had urged Monroe to ask the U.S. government to protect the arms at New London (Vol. 32:248; Vol. 34:347, 614).

1TJ originally ended the letter here, before adding the final sentence.

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