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Henry Knox to President of United States George Washington: recommendations on locations of arsenals and magazines, development of a national arms industry, and return of ordnance, arms and military stores in possession of United States

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Source Name Image(s)
CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: 3d Cong, House, Sec War Confidential Rep, RG233 view image
CollectionPrinted Version only (no image)
Document Information
Date December 16, 1793
Author Name Henry Knox (primary) Location: War Department
Recipient Name George Washington (primary) Location: Philadelphia
Summary Included in this return are some recommendations regarding strategic location of magazines and arsenals across the United States and the importance of developing an arms industry in the United States. The state of returns he owes to the casual circumstances of the War for Independence. Principal locations: New London Virginia, Philadelphia, West Point on Hudson River and Springfield on Connecticut River in Massachusetts. Describes the important circumstances for location as security from external and domestic enemies, and easy access by water, including the sea. New London is a poor location; perhaps James River with access to sea would be better. Population centers can be dangerous; hence ammunition will be move up the Delaware River. West Point is not a good choice because of easy [enemy] access from the sea. Hence a plan to move to Albany. Land transportation costs make Carlisle Pennsylvania an unattractive location. Recommends that the country have three permanent magazines located in east, middle and southern parts of the country, with subdivisions. United States should possess100,000 arms in its arsenals, with battering and field artillery and ammunition in ample proportion. Discusses the importance of a national arms industry. Higher costs outweighed by skills developed and security provided. Returns of ordnance and stores and shot and shells are provided for the following: Springfield Massachusetts, West Point New York, Fort Rensselaer Albany New York, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Carlisle Pennsylvania, Mount Hope Forge New Jersey, Rockaway Forge New Jersey. Balsto Furnace New Jersey. In Pennsylvania: Durham, Oley, Berkshire, Cornwall, and Mary Ann Furnace, Pittsburg, Fort Franklin. In Maryland: Johnston's Ferry, Baltimore, Elkton, Turner's Creek, Georgetown In Virginia: New London, Manchester. Western Territory [Ohio]: Fort Washington, Fort Hamilton, Fort St. Clair, Fort Jefferson Principle articles delivered since the last general return dated 7 October 1789. Items forwarded include muskets, powder, musket balls, and pig lead to the following: to the army, to the states of Georgia and South Carolina, to the Southwestern Territory, to the Minister of France for the use of the French Colonies
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Related Persons/Groups George Washington; Henry Knox; Secretary of War; President of United States; ;
Related Places War Department; New London Virginia; Philadelphia; West Point on Hudson River; Springfield on Connecticut River in Massachusetts; New London Virginia; James River Virginia; Delaware River; Albany New York; Carlisle Pennsylvania; Fort St. Clair; Fort Hamilton; Fort Jefferson; Fort Franklin; Western Territory; Ohio; Fort Washington; Maryland; Johnston's Ferry, Baltimore, Elkton, Turner's Creek; Pennsylvania; Durham; Oley; Berkshire, Cornwall; Mary Ann Furnace; Pittsburgh; ;
Keywords brass ordnance; howitzers; traveling carriages; iron beds; mortars; ammunition; shot; cannisters; grapeshot; iron shot; shells; powder; power horns; musket cartridges; lead; flints cylinders; caps; paper cartridges; muskets; swords; carbines; pistols; ammunition boxes; handspikes; oil; gun worms; bayonets; hand saws; bullet pouches; carbine rods; gun rods; scales and weights; rammerheads; lint stocks; port fire stocks; sheep skins; laboratory chests; ladles; rope; copper hoops; salt petre; fuzes; copper ladles; emory; tin lanthorns; buckles for pouches; clasps; wheels for four pounders; fronts for pouches; wheels for four pounders; wagon wheels; traveling forges; wagon boxes; slow matches; grind stones; chests for iron gun mounting; casks; empty cases for 6 pounders; copper laboratory kettles; large screws; large screw plates; brass gun mounting; port fires; gun locks; iron hooks and thimbles; iron chains; gun slings; drum sticks; fifes; iron stoves; iron pots; spokes; blacksmith bellows; beck iron; boring mill; auger; amourers tools; bench vises; damaged stores; jockey caps; camp kettles; coal house; backs for traveling forge; implements; military stores; drum; iron chest; brass mortars; round shot; strapt shot; flannel cartridges; paper cartridges; garrison carriages; caps; cylinders; stands of arms; French muskets; English muskets; ramrods; ; sponges; spunges; bayonets; scabbards; limbers; oil cloths; sulphur; white lead; spanish brown; thread; flints; waist belts; frogs; powder measures; funnels; screw bits; haversacks; lead aprons; drudge boxes; tubes; fuze sets; shell hooks; kit ladle; common spikes; slings; keys linch pins; bridge barrels; cap square keys; tackle block; springs; wooden wads; packsaddle; horsemen's swords; fire balls; smith's vise; hair pouches; stands of colors; sets of mounting; common searchers; sword blades; straps for tompions; hand grenade shells; musket formers; toggles for drag ropes; wooden marlin spikes; copper ladles; brass belt buckles; park stakes; tins for strap shot; coffins for false fires; boxes loose grape; woods for case shot; woods for strap shot; common spikes; copper pans; seale beams; sets weights; rope; washers; iron gin blocks; blacksmith bellows; wooden wads; crucible; powder trays; copper hook for magazine; mallets; trumbels; carcasses; bayonet scabbards; hammers; size board for cannon shot; truck carriages; flannel cartridges; musket cartridges; iron ordnance mounted; brass mounted; ladles; priming wires; rawhides; gunners belts; bridge barrel; chizzel; mallet; guards; bar shot; cannon balls; cartouche boxes; sergeant's sword; bridles; camp kettles; eye wedges; adzes; bayonet blades, frogs, sockets; brushes; book cases; brass pistol barrels; britch wenches; bullet nippers; buttons; belt buckles; sand bags; braces; buff belts; blocks for horseman's caps; bridle bits; bellows pipes; ball patterns; blind bridles; buckles for halters; drawers; drawing knives; desks; drills; cannon wads; barrel scrapers; box handles; breast plates; cannon drifts; copper pump; espontoons; frows; grenadier match pipes; hatchets; hinge for spears; hoe; horse chains; hand vise; hay rake; ivory mouth piece; wrought iron; desk furniture; black lead; cocks with pins; triggers; needles; nose caps; oil stone; pistol locks; stirrup; fire tongs; andirons; ox shoes; handcuffs; pincers; rivets; regulation books; rifle sights; star shot; sand blocks; smith's hammers; spindle for laithe; standard cases; shell hooks; silk division colours; scale dishes; stoves; horsemen's spears; watering pot; tinman shears; New French gun locks; new Dutch gun locks; tomahawks with handles; hogshead; back chains; chain links; iron pestle and mortar; pump iron; stove plates; fire buckets; horse shoes; pine table; iron weights; damaged stores; polishing wheels; anvils; polishing wheels; handbill hooks; shoemaker's hammers; shovels; brickmaker's flasks; shoemaker's lasts; lastmaker's tools; plaisterers tools; handsaws; shoemaker and saddler benches; branding irons; spatulas shod with copper; stone mason tools; garrison carriage; traveling carriage; cannonade; rockets; kitt brush; stove match; fuze engines; copper hoops; turner's tools; felling axe; twine; earthen jug; harnessmaker's bench; paint; writing desk; grooving plane; square; bevel; double irons; brand U.S.; center bits; bow saw; ordnance carriage; light infantry cartridge boxes; cooper's cross; nail tool; buttress; cold chisel; smith's tongs; smith's punch; caulking iron; bugle; rasp; drawing knife; scalping knives and scabbards; buck shot moulds; flannel; sweet oil; limbers six pounders; tarpaulins; garrison flag; blunderbusses; ;
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