From Tench Coxe1
Treasury Department, Revenue Office, June 30, 1794. “It is necessary that I receive some indication of the points to which you wish the attention of Col: Alexander White2 to be drawn when he shall set out from Winchester to examine the capacities of Mr. Zanes Estate to supply the remainder of the Iron Cannon.”3
LC, RG 75, Letters of Tench Coxe, Commissioner of the Revenue, Relating to the Procurement of Military, Naval, and Indian Supplies, National Archives.
2. White, a resident of Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, had been a Federalist member of the House of Representatives from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1793.
3. Issac Zane, owned and operated ironworks at Marlboro on Cedar Creek near Winchester. He also operated a mill and owned an estate of approximately nine thousand acres.
On June 27, 1794, Coxe wrote to White: “… It has been represented from every respectable quarter that the Iron Ore belonging to Mr Zanes within 12 miles of Winchester is of an extray. degree of toughness, and consequently suitable for casting cannon ordnance at once light & strong.… It is understood that Mr. Zane is willing to afford to the U. S. any use of his buildings, Ore, coal, etc. but that he is averse to taking the trouble & risque of making the cannon upon himself—his workmen being dispersed and he being deeply engaged in agriculture. The object of the present letter is to request that you will make an early visit to Mr. Zane, and an inspection of his Estate …” (LC, RG 75, Letters of Tench Coxe, Commissioner of the Revenue, Relating to the Procurement of Military, Naval, and Indian Supplies, National Archives).