Washington Feb. 17. 1809.
The resolutions entered into at a meeting of the Officers of the legionary brigade of the first division of Mass: Militia on the 31st. ult. which you have been pleased to forward to me, breathe that spirit of fidelity to our common country, which must ever be peculiarly the spirit of it’s militia, & which renders that the safest and last reliance of a republican nation. The perils with which we have been for some time environed have been such as ought to have induced every faithful citizen to unite in support of the rights of his Country, laying aside little differences political or personal, till they might be indulged without hazarding the safety of our country. assailed in our essential rights by two of the most powerful nations on the Globe, we have remonstrated, negociated, & at length retired to the last stand in the hope of peaceably preserving our rights. In this extremity I have entire confidence that no part of the people in any section of the Union, will desert the banners of their country and cooperate with the enemies who are threatening it’s existence. The subscribing Officers of the legionary Brigade have furnished an honorable example of declaring their attachment to the constitution, the laws & the union of the States. that they will at the call of the law rally around the standard of their country, and protect it’s constitution, laws, rights & liberties against all foes. I thank them in the name of their Country for these patriotic resolutions. the pledge of support they tender will lead to no more than the honor of a soldier and fidelity of a citizen would of itself require. I salute yourself and the subscribing Officers with esteem and respect.