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MAJOR GENERAL HENRY DEARBORN - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 10/20/1804 - HFSID 292765

 

HENRY DEARBORN
As Secretary of War, he signs a detailed manuscript letter to Tench Coxe, Purveyor of Public Supplies, giving instructions for purchase, use and sale of military clothing. It's difficult to conceive a modern Secretary of Defense making decisions on the disposition of surplus uniforms.
Manuscript Letter signed: "H. Dearborn", 2 pages (front and verso), 8x9¾. War Department, 1804 October 20. To Tench Coxe, in full: "Your letter of the 15th instant, with its enclosures, was duly received. We have not at present any money in Bank on account of the factories of course no warrant can be  drawn on that fund until further deposits are made. On the subject of Mr. Hoy's contract I agree in opinion with you, that he ought to complete several of the fasteners and have them inspected and proved before he receives any further advance of money. I will thank you to inform him accordingly. What method can be devised for proving them, short of their being fixed to one of the carriages for which they are intended, I must leave to your decision. I cannot conceive why there should be such a quantity of spare clothing on hand. I am of opinion that all the articles mentioned as being in the store, made up or not, are unsuitable for uniform clothing, except the narrow linen [?], and the muslin shirts should be sold without delay. The muslin shirts ought to be ruffled and sent here for Indians, and charged to the general Indian account. Pray what would such a quantity of jersey have been intended for? I presume that it can only be suitable for watch coats. A sufficient quantity for that use should be retained, say 2,000 yards. (The overalls made up of Stebbins' linen may be made up as substitutes for the overalls which go with the frocks, and may be applied accordingly.) Such clothing, as has been made up or not, and which is susceptible of such alterations, as the present make of the uniforms requires, may answer for next year's frocks and clothing, and if so they should not be sold. In answer to your letter of the 10th Inst. relative to the order for Indian goods, I have to remark, that no arm bands can be spared from this place. You will receive a remittance of $2500 which may be applied to the payment of any existing demand for purchases heretofore made. Respectfully your humble servant". HENRY DEARBORN (1751-1829) served in the Revolutionary War and was a colonel on General George Washington's staff at Yorktown (1781). A member of Congress from 1793-1797, Dearborn was Jefferson's Secretary of War (1801-1809). He was appointed by President Madison to replace Benjamin Lincoln as the second Collector of the Port of Boston in 1809, serving in that position until leaving to fight as a Major General in the War of 1812. Madison sought to re-appoint him as Secretary of War, but the Senate rejected the nomination. He became US Minister to Portugal instead (1822-1824). Tench Coxe, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Washington administration, supplied many of the statistics used in Alexander Hamilton's historic Report on Manufactures (1792). Defecting from the Federalists to the Democratic-Republicans, Coxe was rewarded by President Jefferson with appointment as Purveyor of Public Supplies. Toned and creased. Multiple mailing folds. Corners worn and chipped. Adhesive residue on front and verso (not effecting signature). Multiple notches at edges. Otherwise, fine condition. Previously authenticated by PSA/DNA.

 



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MAJOR GENERAL HENRY DEARBORN  


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MAJOR GENERAL HENRY DEARBORN
Born: February 23, 1751 in North Hampton, New Hampshire
Died: June 6, 1829 in Roxbury, Massachusetts





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