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DEAR SIR; I have to acknowledge your favor of the 6th inst, with its inclosure, and regret to learn that the very warm weather, which we have experienced, has had an unfavorable effect on the health of Mrs. Monroe. We have this morning had a very agreeable change in the temperature of the weather. It is now cool and pleasant, which cannot fail to have a very beneficial effect on the system exhausted by the previous heat.
Mrs Calhoun and myself are much obliged to you for your kind suggestion and offer in relation to the springs near your residence in London. I have heard them very highly spoken of, but traveling, after my long confinement to business, would, 1 apprehend, be of more service to me than anything else, and if I can find leisure, I prefer to take an excursion as far as West Point, or perhaps as far as Niagara. It is however very doubtful whether I will be able to command the time, as the review of the Revolutionary pensions which throws much responsibility and discretionary power on this department, will I fear engross the whole of my time. I find that almost every pensioner under the first act will apply under the last, and that it is quite impossible to establish any general rule, as to the persons intended to be comprehended by Congress. Each case has to be decided under all of its circumstances. I have judged it proper to construe the act rigidly; although it is probable, that it will excite much complaint.
The examination at West Point is completed, and the board of visitors speak in the highest terms of the condition of the institution generally. I enclose for your consideration a report of the Academical Staff, which contains the names, acquirements and character of those cadets, who in their opinion are unworthy members of the institution. It is made in conformity to regulations. It probably would be the best course to give the whole of them an opportunity of resigning, and to order their dismission, only in the event of their not availing themselves of that indulgence.
I also enclose a letter from Mr. Noah, as the agent of the corporation of New York in relation to Castle Clinton, with an extract of the report of the board of fortification. You will see by the extract, that it does not enter into the General defence of the City. There is an act authorizing the sale of only military sites, and I would suggest, as the most advisable course, to make a sale to the corporation of the site, at a valuation to be fixed on by the Executive, or ascertained by disinterested persons mutually appointed, the work to be demolished whenever the contemplated work at New York is so far advanced as to authorize the step. The object of the corporation is to obtain the position as a gift, on the ground, that it was transferred to the general government, without any pecuniary consideration, but this I conceive can only be done by Congress, and in the mean time before the work would be ordered to be demolished, an application might be made to Congress by the Corporation to effect the object which they have in view.
I transmit the proceedings of the court martial in the case of private Farrell, for the crime of desertion. He has been ordered to be shot, but presuming that you would order a pardon, I have one drawn up for your signature, which is enclosed. I enclose for your perusal several letters from Col. Johnson. l His brother's transportation contract will probably about square with the advances, but his brother will fall greatly indebted to the government on his provision contracts for 1815, 'IT, '18. His present object is to obtain the transportation contract for West Point for his brother. I would be glad of your opinion in relation to it.
My present impression is that to avoid all censure, the contract ought to be made on publick proposals. Will you be good enough as to return his letters, when you are done with them.
General Jackson has agreed to act as a commissioner in the pending Chickasaw treaty. A commission has been made out and transmitted to him. I will write to Gov. Miller in relation to the appointment of Hagan as a Brigadier of Militia in the Arkansaw territory. My best respects to Mrs. Monroe and your family,
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.