War of 1812: Politicians keep in touch

I’m now working on transcribing some miscellaneous correspondence from the papers of Connecticut Governor John Cotton Smith.  Most of this is letters to the governor, including this one from Congressional Representative John Tallmadge, dated December 24, 1812:

Since I came to the House this morning, I have rec’d your Letter of the 16th instant.

When I offered the resolution to which you refer, I had specially in view to obtain a knowledge of the Distribution of the Arms to the several States & Territories.  I knew it would be an unpleasant Subject to the Troops of the Palace, as it proved to be; but the Call was so reasonable, that we carried the Resolution by a handsome Majority.  The report from the Secretary at War, has just been delivered in, & we have ordered it to be printed.

It will be found to be a pretty important report, especially to those States which have rec’d no part of the Arms which the Executive was bound to apportion to the States & Territories, according to their Militia Returns.  I intend to direct a few Spare Copies to be struck off, & be assured that one shall be enclosed to you.

I have already conversed with some of the Gentlemen of our Delegation, on the Subject of geting our proportion of the Arms procured for the Militia.  The Subject will now be before us in a more official form.  I intend to converse more fully with our Senators & Representatives on this Subject, & will not fail to communicate to you the Result.

Yesterday we passed the Bill authorising the President to build 4 Ships of 74 Guns, & 6 Ships of 44 Guns each.  Ays – 70   Noes 56

Also the Bill to relieve the Merchants from their penal Bonds  Ays 64  Noes 61

Mrs. Tallmadge desires me to thank you for your kind remembrance of her, & unites with me in very respectful regards to you.

At least on some topics, Governor Smith did not have to rely on the newspapers for his information!

And I’ve got to get my hands on a copy of that report on the distribution of arms, so I can have my students map it.

ETA: Got it!  It has info on contractors and contracts to produce arms, too.  Awesome.

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