MVB, Report on militia pay, 24 February 1815
Mr. Van Buren, from the select committee to whom was committed the bill, entitled "an act authorising the comptroller to loan to the general government a sum of money sufficient to pay off the militia of this state, who have been ordered into the service of the United States," reported as follows, to wit:
THAT from the best information the committee have been able to obtain, and which they think may be substantially relied on, the amount due to the militia of this state, for services rendered to, and by order of the United States, does not vary much from the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars:
That in the payment of the said monies, considerable delay has already taken place on the part of the general government, which delay is, in the opinion of the committee, attributable solely to the embarrassments which have for some time past existed in the fiscal concerns of the nation, and not to any disinclination to discharge the just demands of our militia—that notwithstanding the committee are fully satisfied that the said monies will be ultimately paid by the United States without particular aid from this state, and although the committee entertain a lively hope that the wants of the national treasury will in good time be supplied by the benefits and blessings of peace, still it is obvious to the committee, and they trust will be to the Senate, that that relief cannot be instantaneous, and that, therefore, the payment of the said monies will for some considerable time longer be withheld, unless the contemplated provisions of the bill in question are adopted.
The committee further respectfully suggest, that the services proposed to be rewarded, have been rendered by persons who, generally speaking, are in immediate want of the sums respectively due to them, and to whom further delay would be injurious and distressing—that in the opinion of the committee, their claims to the friendly aid of this state, are not confined to their wants, but are infinitely enhanced by the virtues and patriotism of the objects of that aid—that the monies proposed to be loaned, are principally due to the militia of the northern and western parts of this state, and such as were ordered there from other sections of the state,—to the brave men who met, and successfully resisted the veterans of the enemy on the banks of the Saranac,—to those who performed tedious and laborious services at Sackets's-Harbor, and at various other posts on the Western frontier,—and to that distinguished band of volunteers, who under the gallant Porter, stamped indelible record of American valor on the shores of the Niagara.
From the accompanying correspondence with the comptroller, the Senate will perceive, that the amount required may be raised without prejudice to the state. The committee are persuaded that the loan contemplated by the comptroller, can be effected without difficulty, and being obtained on the faith of this state, they cannot question the safety of reloaning it on that of the United States.
The committee therefore recommend the passage of the amended bill, now reported by them, as a measure which, while it makes a beneficial provision for a numerous and highly meritorious portion of our fellow citizens, without detriment to the state, will, at the same time, in no inconsiderable degree, conduce to the general good, by a decisive expression of our confidence in the credit of the nation; and will moreover furnish additional evidence of that devotion to the interests of the union, which it has been the ambition of this state to evince, whereby she has acquired a rank among her sister states, to which her exertions in the late contest richly entitle her, and which it should be the pride and the glory of her sons to maintain.