James Madison Papers

To James Madison from the Citizens of Clark County, Indiana Territory, 13 April 1813 (Abstract)

§ From the Citizens of
Clark County, Indiana Territory

13 April 1813. “Whereas our Deligate to Congress have informed us by Circular letter1 that Congress by a late act,2 has authorised the Raiseing of four additional Companys of Rangers for the better Protection and Safety of the frontiers of our Territory and that so soon as the respective Companies were filld. and their Officers Elected that a Tender of their Services should be made to your Excellency through the Executive authority of this Territory In Persuance of the above, a full Company of able Bodied Respectable Citizens of this County Enroled themselves Elected their officers And Tendered their Services to Gnl. John Gibson the Preasent Acting Governor by The Officers Elected at a time when three Companies only were filld. and Organised in persuance of a promise made to a Gentleman of Kentucky who is at this time makeing an attempt to raise a Company and when it will, if ever be Completed Is unknown to us the Company from our County though Complete were rejected in Consequence of the said promise by Gnl: John Gibson.

“We therefore pray that your Excellency would take into Consideration the Serious Evil that will be produced by leaveing our frontiers at this Season of the year, unprotected as also the disadvantages that will arise as many of the Company have Exhausted their Capitol by Equiping themselves to Serve their Country and also the advantages that will arise from haveing persons placed on Our frontirs who have an Interest in Defending the same.”3

RC (ICU). 5 pp. Signed by Joseph Bartholomew and 83 others. A statement signed by Clark County justice of the peace James Mansfield follows the signatures, certifying that “the above is a true Coppy of the petitioners Subscribed to an Original Petition being Deformed.” Filed with the petition is a deposition by James Bigger, taken by Clark County justice of the peace James M. Campbell, stating that Bigger was captain of a “Complete Company of Rangers Consisting of One hundred and Eleven in Number,” that Gibson had rejected his offer of the company’s services “in Consequence of a Promise made to a Gentleman of Kentucky Whose Company was not yet Raised,” and that Bigger’s was “the fourth Company Raised.”

1The petitioners referred to Jonathan Jennings’s letter to the citizens of Indiana of 27 Feb. 1813, which stated that he had been authorized by the U.S. government to inform them that “four additional Companies of Rangers may be raised” in Indiana Territory (Esarey, Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, Indiana Historical Collections, 2:376–77).

2“An Act to raise ten additional companies of Rangers,” 25 Feb. 1813 (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:804).

3On 18 June 1813, JM submitted to the Senate nominations for three companies of Rangers from Indiana Territory. The list included Bigger as a captain, with three lieutenants and an ensign presumably of his company to take rank from 30 Apr. 1813. The Senate approved the nominations on 1 July (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:370, 380).

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