George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 10 August 1789

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

New York August 10th 1789

I have directed a statement of the troops in the service of the United States to be laid before you for your information.1 These troops were raised by virtue of the Resolves of Congress of the 20th of October 1786, and the 3d of October 1787, in order to protect the frontiers from the depredations of the hostile Indians; to prevent all intrusions on the public Lands; and to facilitate the surveying and selling of the same, for the purpose of reducing the public debt.2

As these important objects continue to require the aid of the troops, it is necessary that the establishment thereof should, in all respects, be conformed, by law, to the Constitution of the United States.

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, President’s Messages—Transmitting Reports from the Secretary of War; Copy, DNA: RG 233, First Congress, Journals; LB, DLC:GW.

This message was delivered to the Senate and the House by Henry Knox (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972–. description ends 1:115, 3:142).

1See enclosure.

2See JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 31:891–93, 33:602–4.

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