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JQA Diary, volume 37 21 June 1828
JQA Emily Wieder Recreation Internal Improvements

21. IV. Saturday— Sun rose 4:42. Ride to Rock-Creek

Jones— Roger Hamilton A. W. Conner. Benjamin Porter— Peter B. Clay— Henry Rush— Richard

Coll. Jones the Adjutant General brought me a copy, printed and Manuscript, of all the General Regulations of the army, adopted since the commencement of the present Administration— He also brought a Copy of his argument in 1826. to establish his claim to double rations; which was successful; and he has now addressed a Letter to me requesting the re-examination of the principles of that argument; to establish his claim to the right of communicating on various subjects of official duty, directly with the Secretary of War; which 582he apprehends may be contested by the present Major General MacombMajor Hamilton came to apply for an appointment as purser in one of our public ships— I told him there was a difficulty in appointing to a purser’s office any person not belonging to the Navy. He said Mr Rush had taken an interest in his favour; and I said some opportunity might occur for giving him employment, of which he should have the advantage— Captain Conner also renewed his importunities for an appointment; but Mr Southard thinks he can be of no service— General Porter brought me the Report of the Visitors at the West-Point Academy, and informed me that he had this day taken the Oath of Office as Secretary of War, and entered upon the discharge of its duties. He said he felt some diffidence of his competency for discharging them, but I told him I had no doubt they would soon become familiar and easy to him— I recommended to him to give his early attention to the accountability of all the various branches of service in the Department— I observed there had been some irregularities which had crept into practice from the illegal controul over the expenditures first assumed by Mr Calhoun, and which Governor Barbour finding established, had not entirely rectified. I mentioned particularly the abuses in the Indian Department, and the difficulty with regard to the Settlement of Mr M’Kenney’s account, which I believed was not yet removed— I also mentioned the appropriations for Surveys, and works of Internal Improvement, under the Act of    April 1824. and subsequent acts in furtherance of it— I said it was necessary to specify the head of Department under whose direction each Survey or purposed work should be placed which I proposed to do by giving written authorities— That distinct accounts should be opened at the Treasury for each separate work, and that nothing should be charged to those accounts, paid to the Officers of the Army employed upon the surveys, except the extra allowance to them, for being employed on that service— Their pay and other allowances as Officers being of course charged to the Army Accounts. Mr Clay called to take leave; intending to take his departure upon his Summer excursion to-morrow— He said he hoped to be back here in August. Mr Rush called with two large bundles of papers, which he said were the Letters received yesterday, and this day relating to the Execution of the Law for the Relief of the Revolutionary Officers and Soldiers— He spoke of the Election yesterday of the President and Directors of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; which was satisfactorily accomplished— Mr Rush said that his Engagements of duty here, would not permit him to be absent from the City this Summer. He recurred again to the Construction of the Act for the Relief of the Revolutionary Warriors, and urged the allowance of the highest Captain’s pay, to Officers of Infantry above that rank; to which I finally assented. We rode this morning by the Race-ground to Rock Creek; before which I read Evelyn, and visited the Garden— After dinner I walked round the Nursery— In the Garden I cut down a stem of Althea, and set it in the Corner of my Seedling box N. 4. but this is not the right Season. There are in my Southern Seedling bed three flourishing Catalpas of last years spontaneous growth. Of the 8. Pots of Brazilian flower seeds planted 8. May one shoot only, the Jasminum Muscoza, just appears. I put in to seedling Pot N. 4. a deposit of decaying raspberries; and took from it one Tangier Orange-seed planted in it 3 June, which had a tap-root half an inch long. I now placed it in N.E. Corner of Box N. 3— I planted in Pot N. 7. 12. Black-heart Cherry Stones. The Althea in Box N. 4. is putting out its second leaf proper— The Persimon in Pot N. 1. puts forth its 7th leaf— In the Nursery— No appearance of new Cork Oaks since the 16th:—one black walnut in the South border, planted 11. April. The English Walnuts and Shag barks suffer severely from the depredations of nightly bugs. The Chesnuts not quite so much— I found four young trees of spontaneous growth, but know not what they are—Mulberry? Sycamore? Willow Oak?