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McHenry, James (1753-1816) [Report on Department of War to the successor of James McHenry]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05230 Author/Creator: McHenry, James (1753-1816) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Letter signed Date: 29 May 1800 Pagination: 21 p. : docket ; 24.9 x 20.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Written shortly after McHenry's resignation as Secretary of War on 13 May 1800. McHenry wrote this report to his successor. He offered his resignation to President John Adams after an angry Adams accused him of working behind the scenes with Alexander Hamilton. Adams eventually selected Massachusetts Senator Samuel Dexter to the post. Report details instructions for the Provisional Army, created in the face of French aggression in 1798. McHenry, attempting to facilitate a smooth transition, touches upon many subjects important to the War Department. These include: logistics of clothing and other supplies, Indian affairs, weapons contracts, enlisted men's and officers' pay, the purchase of ore for cannons, the establishment of an armory at Harper's Ferry, the establishment of a military laboratory and magazine near Philadelphia, wasteful expenditure for supplies, and problems at the Springfield, Massachusetts armory. Also includes a 5 May 1800 letter from Adams to McHenry on the purchase of ore for cannons, copied by McHenry for these instructions.

Background Information: Samuel Dexter served as Secretary of War until December 1800, when he was named as Secretary of the Treasury. He served in that capacity until Thomas Jefferson's inauguration in March 1801.

Signer ...of the U.S. Constitution.See More

People: McHenry, James, 1753-1816
Adams, John, 1735-1826

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Military HistoryQuasi-warFranceGovernment and CivicsUniformsWeaponryContractSoldier's PayArtilleryAmmunitionFinanceMiningMilitary SuppliesPresidentVice President

Sub Era:

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