James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Constant Taber and Others, 7 July 1812 (Abstract)

§ From Constant Taber and Others

7 July 1812, Newport. The Newport Guards, a company “commanded by capt James Perry,1 and composed of the republican citizens of this town, are desirious to obtain of Government the Loan of One hundred and fifty stands of arms and also, beg permission to have the new Fort erecting in this town, confided to their defense.” Support an application “this day made to the Honble: Wm: Eustis for those purposes.”2 Inform JM that the General Assembly has voted to receive from Eustis “all the arms belonging to the United States deposited in this town.”3 Request that the Newport Guards “may be armed either from those already here, or others that may soon arrive.”

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, N-37:6). 1 p. Signed by Constant Taber and three others.

1James Perry was officially commissioned captain of the Newport volunteers on 18 Aug. 1812 and was appointed captain in the Fortieth Infantry Regiment on 29 July 1813 (Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; Washington, 1903). description ends , 1:785).

2See Benjamin B. Mumford to Eustis, 7 July 1812, and enclosures (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, N-37:6). Eustis wrote to Captain Perry on 16 July, granting the Newport Guards “one hundred & fifty Stands of Arms and Equipments,” and again on 18 Aug. 1812, ordering them to report to the commanding officer at Newport “& perform such duty as he may require of you consistent with military usage, on the Island of Newport—provided the Officers & men shall not be entitled to pay, Rations or other Emoluments, except when called out by order of the proper Officer in the United States Service” (DNA: RG 107, LSMA).

3In a special session of the Rhode Island General Assembly held on 7 July, a committee reported that the governor should “be particularly requested to make immediate application to the President of the U. States, for such quantity, as is requisite for the use of the militia of this State, of the arms which have been purchased in consequence of the appropriations from time to time made by Congress for that purpose. And also for such ordinance and ammunition as the situation of the State may require” (Newport Rhode Island Republican, 15 July 1812).

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