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He signs this manuscript letter, written in 1818 to U. S. Representative from Connecticut Ebenezer Huntington, as Secretary of War. In it, he discussed the distribution of weapons to state militias and problems with the data used to make that distribution. Calhoun held seats in both chambers of Congress and cabinet posts under two presidents as well as serving as Vice President.
Manuscript letter signed: "J. C. Calhoun". Pencil notations on verso in unknown hand. 2 pages, 7½x9¾, 1 sheet folded, front and verso, docketed on verso. War Department, April 11, 1818. Addressed to the Honorable Ebenezer Huntington, Member of Congress for Connecticut. In full: "Sir, Inclosed, you will find a copy of the estimates and calculations on which the distribution of arms under the act of Congress of the 23d of April, 1808, for arming the whole body of the militia was made, with a letter from the ordnance department ,& a statement of the transfers from the appropriation. The distribution was, as you will perceive, made on the last returns of the militia from each state, a principle certainly not so correct as if it had been made and each year, on the returns of the preceding one . As that, how-ever, was not done, I do not know how a more correct principle could have been adopted , than the one on which it was made. The militia returns are so defective, that no average from the passage of the act 'till the distribution can be struck by which it could be made. I therefore, thin, that the principle adopted, cannot be changed for a better, a one that will be more satisfactory to a majority of the state. As an additional reason for not changing it, several of the states have closed their accounts under it , which would have again to be opened , if any change was not to take place. In future, the distribution will be annually made, and onthe [sic] returns of the preceding year, provided the return of the militia be made in time, to permit it to be done. I have the honor to be, you most Ob.Servt." EBENEZER HUNTINGTON (1754-1834) was a lieutenant colonel during the American Revolutionary War before serving as a U. S. Representative from Connecticut (2nd District 1810-1811, at-large 1817-1819. South Carolinian JOHN C. CALHOUN (1782-1850) entered Congress in 1811 as an ardent nationalist, but his defense of slavery and southern regional interests eventually led him to enunciate the doctrines "nullification" (by states of federal laws they deemed unconstitutional) and "concurrent majority" (whereby no national laws could be enacted without the support of all the country's regions). Until the end of his life, however, Calhoun always hoped to preserve the Union. Calhoun served as President James Monroe's Secretary of War (1817-1825) and Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson (1825-1832), resigning in 1832 to serve as U. S. Senator from South Carolina (1832-1843, 1845-1850). He was also was President John Tyler's Secretary of State (1844-1845). Lightly toned, stained and creased. Show-through touches signature and body of letter. Ink transference and random ink stains. Lightly discolored along spine. Folded once vertically and twice horizontally. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: March 18, 1782 in Abbeville, South Carolina
Died: March 31, 1850 in Washington, District of Columbia

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