LEWIS CASS TO WORTHINGTON
In Camp Urbana June 13th 1812
You will perceive I am fast [illeg.] for not writing you when sick. But I feel so anxious, that every publick engagement should be literally and scrupulously ful- filled, that I again trouble you upon the same subject.
Your volunteer law was radically wrong. In a law passed for the purpose of raising men, not the least doubt or uncertainty ought to exist respecting their com- pensation. Those who expect to be appointed or elected officers in their anxiety to recruit, are too prone to promise greater inducements than is held out by the law. When the men discover that their officers have deceived or imposed upon them they be- come jealous, suspicious, discontented. And all this can most readily be prevented by rendering your laws plain and clear, leaving no door for construction, no room for imposition. In promising to volunteer the amount, when called into service of the clothing of a soldier, you leave an uncertain compensation, which is magnified by the anxiety of the officers, the hopes and credulity of the men. In another respect your law was wrong. Almost all our men are riflemen, educated with an habitual aversion to a musket. At the termination of their tour of duty, you have promised them their muskets together with all their personal equipments. These will be sacrificed for nothing. I would suggest to you whether an arrangement could not be made by the Govt to purchase of them their equipments at a fair valuation. In this way and in this alone, may they realize something from the promise held out by the law. And let it not be supposed that these muskets will be distributed among the community, to answer any valuable purpose of national defence. Not one in twenty will ever reach the state. The men do not think them worth the trouble of transportation. I pray you, to use your exertions in order to effect this arrangement. Confident I am it will conduce to the great objects of public justice and individual satisfaction.
I must again trouble you respecting the pay for the clothing. The more I reflect upon this subject, the more astonished I am at the remissness of the Government. With ability enough to pay, that claims system of procrastination, which infects Congress. and which has almost prostated the vital interest and honour of the nation, appears to have seized the Govt. Our men have been in service two months and still no arrange- ments to pay to them that money, which was promised them when called into service. If any thing were eventually saved, either to the nation or to individuals, some excuse might be found for the neglect. But the men must be paid and therefore as it is due to them, the sooner the better. I must again urge you to direct your attention to this subject and to see that Justice is done to your fellow citizens. I feel more than I should do, if possible, in consequence of pledging my word that Govt. would be just. Did the Secy at War read the law? Or did he think $16 would purchase a man for a year. In consequence of the men who live well and comfortably at home are compelled may of them to take the wilderness without a shoe to their foot. Their money they have ex- pended for uniform in the daily expectation, indulged both by men and officers of re- ceiving more. If this publick spirited petition should be sacrificed by illiberal [illeg.] or an ill timed parsimony farewell to any future display of Ohio patriotism. Give us only justice and we will adhere to the national Govt while a plank of the pub- lick vessel remaines to float upon. Congress spends more in resolving and reresolving upon that war which the public voice has long since declared necessary, than would be requisite to grant us not only justice but liberality.
I have written much but not more than the occasion demands or than circumstances will Justify
With every confidence in yr exertions I am
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