James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Hezekiah Huntington, 29 August 1812

From Hezekiah Huntington

New Haven 29. Augt 1812


The bill, organizing a volunteer force underwent some slight Alteration—& passed, in the Senate—it will appear on Monday in the Herald printed in this City.

Since the Mail closed this day a resolution has passed both Houses—taking stronger Ground—it provides for raising two Regts of Infantry—4 Companies of Horse & 4 Do. Artillery.1

The necessary appropriations are now made—but further details refered to the October session—this force will be raised from the Militia, the Company Field & general Officers to be appointed & Commissiond by the Governor—& the force remain under his immediate Command to be under pay as soon as put in Motion—but Cannot be Marched out of this State—this Sketch is as I have heard it from Members—I sent to the Secretary [to]day for a Copy but Could not obtain it—the Hurry at the Close of the Session it is presumed prevented.

It is obvious, this will operate to extend & increase so far Exempts from duty in the Militia of this State, & the Right of the State to extend it to the whole Militia, was asserted in debate by leading Members.

Inclosed is the report of Committee Mentioned yesterday & also a Declaration of the Gen. Assembly2—so far as I have heard am inclined to believe the debate on the declaration was designed for the use & instruction, of the Good People of this State—the Printed Declaration to Send abroad—I have before hinted at Permission to Organise Volunteer Companies for the Service of the UStates—to be employed in this State, & Presume the Administration will hear further on that Subject Shortly*—& with great Respect Have the Honor to be your Excellencys Obdt Servant

Hez Huntington

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The resolution stipulated that these companies be raised “to hold themselves in readiness for the defence of the state, to enforce the laws of the Union, to suppress insurrections and repel invasions, during the present war, subject only to the order of the Commander in Chief, of this state and to be under pay only when called into the actual service of the State—and that the organization of the same be referred to the General Assembly to be holden in October next” (“Legislative Papers of a Special Session of the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut … August 1812,” Records of the States of the United States of America [DLC microfilm ed., Conn. A.6, reel 14], 30).

2For the committee’s published report, which included the declaration Huntington referred to, see Huntington to JM, 28 Aug. 1812, n. 1.

3Thomas Tisdale visited Dearborn to urge that a large group of Connecticut volunteers who were sympathetic to the administration be accepted into federal service and supplied with arms by exempts in order to protect the seaboard of Connecticut and neighboring states. Connecticut Republicans desired this measure because they believed that the volunteer act recently passed by the special session of the state’s General Assembly was a ploy to put arms and ammunition into the hands of those contemplating a forcible separation of the Union (Dearborn to Eustis, 3 Sept. 1812 [DNA: RG 107, LRRS, D-144:6]).

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

* A Gent from Hartford has waited on Gen Dearborn at his Head Quarters.3

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