Frederick Bates to Moses Austin, 05-30-1807

Summary: Concerning militia organization.

St Louis May 30, 1807.

To Messrs. Elisha Baker Moses Austin Darius Shaw and Joseph Whittlesey


When I had the pleasure of seeing you at St Louis, you presented me a Paper containing an association of 67 Individuals as a Military School; and desired, on their behalf an establishment of the said association, on the principles under which the society was first founded.— You also tender your services to the President of the U. States, under the law authorizing him to accept of volunteer companies.—

During our conversation it did not occur to me, that you had neglected to nominate your officers, and in a subsequent interview with Mr Austin, I remarked to him this omission.—

At that time, the law had not been officially communicated, and I had erroneously imagined that the President would make the appointments, in conformity with the Recommendations of the Company.— But the enclosed Proclan will inform you of the conditions under which he will accept your offers, and the Manner in which the commissions will issue.

If the terms are such as cannot be acceded to on your part, it is yet in your power to withhold yourselves from the service. But if you are still anxious to make a display of your patriotic dispositions in this way, I must beg you without unnecessary delay to transmit to me the names of those officers who would be acceptable to you.

As to volunteer companies generally, I am willing as an individual Public Agent, to express to you my most cordial approbation of them.—The Militia law is at this time under revision, and if my private wishes should not be overruled by legislative interposition, I hope shortly to see volunteer companies, for the defence of the territory merely, without being compelled to march out of it, both of Cavalry, Artillery and Riflemen.—

I enclose the Law as well as the Procln and hope you will do me the favor of making them both public

F. Bates.

You will also oblige me by putting up in conspicuous Places the enclosing advertisements on the subject of Land Claims.—

[Addressed:] Messrs Elisha Baker, Moses Austin, Darius Shaw and Jos Whittlesey Mine a Burton

[Endorsed:] Fred Bates Secy Territory Saint Louis May 30 1807