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Title:[Letter] [18]28 Dec. 23, Nashville, [TN] [to] John Cocke, Washington, [D.C.] / [illegible] : a machine readable transcription of an image

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: December 23, 1828
Extent: 4p
Summary:This is a letter to John Cocke dated December 23, 1828. The writer is in favor of the US developing a permanent navy. The writer's opinion is that the people in a republican country (as far as keeping their personal freedoms) are safer because of their navy than they would be from an army. He is also concerned about protecting valuable ports from blockade.
Collection:John Cocke Papers V-J-3

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Nashville Dcr [December] 23d -'28

The presidents message has come to hand & is a State paper of a high order of respectability. I See nothing in it however, but Such information as it was the duty of the president to communicate to Congress except the recomendation [recommendation] of appropriation for the increase of the Navy; and on which Subject I would have been equally well Satisfied had his wishes been expressed even in Stronger terms. I have been raised a Navy man. My old Father was the Steady and constant friend and Supporter of old John Adams , because, ( & for this reason only, ) what he was boldly infavour [in favor] of a Navy, and a strong military power, in times of war [added: peace] — I mean a regular force — the latter I have ever Consedered [Considered] as dangerous to republican institutions; but in a Navy it matters not how strong, Can never be dangerous to the liberties of this Republick [Republic]; and I humbly concieve [conceive] that the [unclear: west ] — the people of the Vally of [Mississippi]Messesseppi [Valley] are as much interested therein as the people of Boston or New York : — Suppose at the commencement of the last war, ( Jany [January] 1812, ) the enemy had lost a fleet of forty sail in the mouth of the Messpi. [Mississippi] and entirely bockaded [blockaded] the Same, and by being relieved, & Sustaned [Sustained] continued to do so for ten years; — Continually threatening Norleans [New Orleans] , and by this [unclear: theory ] Kept the upper Country in continual allarm [alarm], and a large standing [unclear: lace ] quartered there

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winter and Summer — Will you Calculate [the the] consequences? The Key of terrors appeared in meletary [military] form, at [unclear: Durodins ] & waterloo — Hence too odiously — but let a half a dozen melitia [militia] armies perish at N. [New] Orleans with yellow fever, and where can troops be had to supply thier [their] place? Not on the upper Mississippi — aside from this consideration: a ten years blockade, would ruin the country & produce a revolt to our own Govt [Government] , unless [added: if] I am [added: not] greatly mistaken — unless Some great [unclear: anxiety ] Cause, existed to prevent it. No people on the South for an equal extent of teretory [territory] , are So delicately situated, Geographically. in times of war with an Enemy commanding a large Naval force, as those of the valley of the Mississippi . [unclear: Whos often ] been said to me by the, "Gun [unclear: Boat ]" now that no fleet Could during the summer blockade the mouth of the river — Suppose the Island of Cuba , and port of the Havana at the disposal of such enemy; with the power of employing Sailors from the west Indies ? will every man say the blockade could not be sustained ? without Naval opposition? I have so well persuaded myself that this is the most assailable point indirectly [added: in the U.S.] in terms of war with a Naval enemy, that I think us expense Should deter a western man from Garding [Guarding] against it — and there is only one Security — a Naval power Sufficently [Sufficiently] strong to beat the enemy from [added: our shores] the coast, : — And hence, I deem a gradual increase of the Navy the undoubted policy of the Western people. I pray your Sir, to take this as it is [unclear: meant a more ] scheming upon one of my hobbies — the other is the encouragement of domestick [domestic] manufacturing I had greatly rather See a direct tax , than see the country clothed from England , France , & the East Indies — and were I in congress I would

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vote for an increase of tax upon fine cloths and coarse cotton fabricks [fabrics] [added: imported] Our wool is equal to the Spanish; and our cottons above the [unclear] must find a market at home, if they find any that will Justify growing them. I have some experience in the latter branch of business, and think the common saying, that the South is taxed for the benefit of the North, is mere cant — unnerving cant, for which I never have heard any good reason offered.

Last night at 12 oclok [o'clock] departed this life our friend Judge Staywood , after a fiew [few] days illness. I think he was 66 He submitted to his fate with great fortitude — [unclear: rest ] that Solemn resignation which every man should feel, when biding a dieu [bidding adieu] to this world .

we have abundant crops [unclear: here and any ] example within any day.

In the way of Genl [General] matters, we have nothing — literally nothing.

with great respect, accept my best wishes
[added: Gnl. Jn [General John] Cocke ]

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[added: Free]

Hon. [Honorable] John Cocke. Washington .

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