From William Eustis
Tuesday 2. Septr. 
In forming an answer to Govr. Strong I find some objections which induce me to enclose the papers for a second consideration.1 It appears that 3 of the 5 companies required for passamaquodda2 (which implies a greater extent of country than Eastport) have been ordered by the Govr for Eastport. The requisition of G. Dearborn is substantially complied with at this post. As it is a frontier post and known to be more exposed than any other, and as it further appears that in the order (published) calling out this detachment reference is had to the requisition of the President,3 (not having the order before me I am not able to state the precise terms of it) it may be worth considering whether under all the circumstances it is prudent to give the proposed answer, untill the volunteers are raised. In great haste & respect—
Mr Munroe advises submitting the papers for consideration.
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. For enclosures, see n. 1.
1. Eustis enclosed a three-page letter he had received from Caleb Strong, dated 5 Aug. 1812, which in turn covered a six-page opinion written by Justices Theophilus Parsons, Samuel Sewall, and Isaac Parker of the Massachusetts Supreme Court (PHi: Daniel Parker Papers; printed in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Military Affairs, 1:323, 324). Strong’s letter took issue with the assumption that Massachusetts was in danger of invasion and justified the governor’s decision to reject the requests made by Eustis and Dearborn that he provide detached militia for the seacoast. Strong and his advisers had also referred the matter to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and the three responding justices declared that the power to call out the state militia was vested in the governor and not in the president of the U.S. or any subordinate federal officer.
2. On 22 June 1812 Dearborn had requested that Strong provide one company of artillery and four companies of infantry for the defense of Passamaquoddy. Strong ordered out the troops, not because he feared an invasion by “an authorized British force,” but because he had been informed by a messenger from the region that the inhabitants there believed “there were many lawless people on the borders from whom they were in danger of predatory incursions” and against whom they needed protection (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Military Affairs, 1:322–23).
3. Strong’s 5 Aug. 1812 general order, published in the Boston Columbian Centinel on 8 Aug., directed Massachusetts militia companies to rendezvous at Eastport to form a battalion for the defense of the frontier under the terms of a 25 Apr. 1812 War Department requisition calling for the detachment of state militia companies in compliance with the act of 10 Apr. 1812 (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (5 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 4:541 n. 1).