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Report on National Defense

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionMassachusetts Historical Society: John Adams Papers view image
CollectionLibrary of Congress: MMC, McHenry, James view image
MicrofilmJames McHenry Papers (no image)
Document Information
Date October 22, 1797
Author Name James McHenry (primary) Location: Downing's Town
Recipient Name John Adams (primary)
Summary Reports on salient issues of national defense, that the president may include them in his upcoming State of the Union address to Congress. Advises that the president call for an increase in the U.S. armed forces, regardless of the optimism regarding negotiations with France, Britain, and the belligerent powers of Europe, as it would be unwise to depend on a favorable outcome. Notes that French privateers continue to plague American shipping. Reports briefly on the Indian boundary line project, not yet completed, and then at more length about the efforts of foreign powers to "excite [the Indians] to actual warfare" against the U.S. Also comments on the slowness of the Spanish to respond to the articles of Pinckney's Treaty (1795). Also responds to Adams' question about whether Congress should convene elsewhere, given the sickness in Philadelphia -- believes that measure to be unnecessary, since the sickness rates are dropping and Congress will not yet convene for some time.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes Multiple copies of the document exist; these listed under separate collections below.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups John Adams; James McHenry; Indians; Congress;
Related Places Downing's Town; Europe; ;
Keywords State of the Union; Pickney's Treaty; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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