7.28.2014

Letter re: Maryland's defenses vs. expections of govenrment from Maryland Gazette

July 28, 1814


MARYLAND GAZETTE AND POLITICAL INTELLIGENCER

“A writer in a late National Intelligencer, who signs himself “Veritas” in attempting to show that the executives of Maryland have in some recent instances been neglectful of their duty, has disclosed his ignorance….Little attention is due to the effusions of a mind thus trammeled by ignorance and stupidity but lest the assertions that Veritas has made in his communication should gain ground among…our citizens…we have thought proper to refute them…When the general government has so often refused that aid to the individual states which they were justified by the constitution of the union in demanding, it could hardly be expected that governor Winder or any other governor of a sovereign and independent state, would assemble the military force under his command and march to the district of Columbia, as a body guard to the president, when he has been authorized by congress to make a requisition of one hundred thousand militia and raise an army of sixty five thousand  men.  Yet he (Veritas) seems to think that if the enemy should cut his way through the country to the seat of government, Winder would be responsible for the consequences; and that neither president Madison nor his prime minister of war, Armstrong, could be possibly brought in for a share of the blame. In estimating the physical strength of the three lower counties of this state, St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert, ….he has run up their numbers….
Because the general government has refused to Maryland that protection which she had a right to demand, curses are to be heaped on the head of our commander in chief (meaning governor of Maryland) who has done far more than duty ever required of him in making arrangements for our defense. ….this writer pretend(ed) to show that one half of the effective militia of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s ….. might have checked the depredatory incursions of the British had they been properly organized by …Winder….Whatever force could be collected in these counties has been embodied; besides they have received assistance…yet the enemy, possessing the means of moving with so much greater facility than our own troops, it is impossible that they should be met in time to prevent the ravage and depredations they are disposed to make….. Had the president of the United States shown an equal readiness to comply with the duties imposed on him by the constitution and laws of this great commonwealth, so many families would not now have to deplore the ruin of their fortunes, and the afflictions which they now suffer.
               
“Nothing can be more idle,” says he (Veritas), “than that Barney’s flotilla invited the aggressions of the adversary” because when it was not in existence, he committed depredations at Havre de Grace, Fredericktown and Kent, but it is as evident to every one as that two and two make four, that this flotilla was the cause of all the sufferings which our fellow-citizens in the above mentioned counties have been made to feel. The want of arms has never yet been made a complaint against the executive….and the military of Maryland at this time are perhaps as well furnished in that respect as most states in the union….When the enemy were destroying the property of individuals along the banks of the Patuxent, several companies of militia from Anne Arundel were sent to their assistance…..impressed on the public mind a belief, that they are “in a great degree superfluous” and that every state must look out for the means of its own defense that wishes to maintain its independence and sovereignty, without trusting to the national resources for relief.”

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