To Henry Knox
[Philadelphia, 16 April 1794]
I have considered your report of the 15th instt relatively to the Frigates which are to be built; and as soon as the important points on which the master builders have differed, is settled by the expedient you have had recourse to; and you can obtain the means for carrying the law into effect, it is my desire that the work ⟨may be entered upon⟩ without delay; in the manner, and at the places which you have suggested; with this alteration however—that if Baltimore does not possess advantages which Norfolk has not, that the 44 gun ship shall be built at the latter, & the one of 36 guns at the former. The wealth, and populousness of the two states will not only warrant, but require this change if there is an equality in other respects.1
Given at Philadelphia this 16th day of April 1794.
P.S. At nine o clock tomorrow, I shall want to converse with you on your other report of the 10th instt.
ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.
1. In a report to the U.S. House of Representatives of 27 Dec. 1794, Knox identified Baltimore, Md., as a site for the construction of a 36-gun frigate and either Norfolk or Portsmouth, Va., for a 44-gun frigate (ASP, Naval Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:6).