General Joseph Foos to Governor Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr.
Delaware June 2d. 1812Colonel James Kilbourne to Governor Meigs
I have just returned from visiting the lesser settlements their Aprehentions of danger is some what Aleyde science they understand that they are to be protected -- tho the settlement on Scioto tyinks the Com- pany is directed to range too far as to be of much service to them -- I am of the same opinion -- I understand that 6 or 8 Days ago you Issued orders to me to rais 2 Companies to march to lower Sandusky if so I have not yet recd any -- permit me sir to state to you that it is the public opinions that 2 would be two small we think or 5 companies would be barely sufficient -- I expected to have the satisfaction of seeing your Excellency paying us a visit before this time -- if it is your intention to order out Troops to Sandusky I think it would be well (if you could leave head quarters) to be at Franklinton first -- but your better judgement will diside the most proper way - previous to my healing that you had ordered out the rifle company here I had ordered out the same but their range was to be different more of this when I have the pleasure of seeing you the messenger is starting --
I am Dr. sir yours with Esteem
His Excellency R. J. Meggs
To his Excellency Return J. Meigs Esqr. Governor & Commander in Chief of the Military forces of Ohio. --
The following statement of facts is respectfully submitted for consideration, and such redress as your Excellency can with propriety grant in the premises.
The most ruinous & oppressive System has been adopted & is now acting upon in the militia department in Franklin & Delaware Counties, under the direction as it is understood, of Genl. Joseph Foos calling, as is conceived, for the summary interference of some superior officer, and the immediate pressure of the case has induced the application to be made directly to your Excellency for the needed relief. --
The whole Militia force of Deleware, & Worthington had been called out by the Officers of the Regiment in a case of alarm, which proved a false alarm, and was so ascertained before they had assembled at Delaware. but it was determined to march them to the boundary line, to make observations & detain for three or four days, and they were marched accordingly to the Little Scioto 6 miles above the line & there encamped where they were all ordered by the General to be detained, without the exception of a man lia- ble to military duty, not even of those who stand detached under the Law of Congress & Subject to the call of the President, or secretary of War. --
Frequent applications have been made by the Company & field officers, & by private Citizens both in & out of the line for the release of the men but without effect when no apparent object exists for their detention, except it be to furnish a pretext for keeping Certain officers on public pay & rations. -- Furlows have indeed been given for short times to individuals, allowing them about as much time as to go home & return -- but not for effecting any business of importance, -- The expense of this encampment must be enormous, as the extent of their Numbers has been from 3 to 5 hundred, Officers & Soldiers, & among them there have been 2 Majors of Battalion, One Colonel, one General, one Brigade Inspector, two Sets of Regimental Staff, & Commissioners, Waggon Masters, forage Masters quarter Masters &c &c, the smile as for an army -- a part of the Officers & Men first on the ground have been allowd to return, viz Majr. Strong & two Companies of his Battalion, and two Companies in & about Franklinton -- Still detaining the two Companies from Worthington entire, 45 of whom are Men having families, with not a person beside Women & small children to do the smallest chose of work, & several of them New settlers of the present year, who have no means of supporting their families but daily labour, -- no invasion of the frontiers has happened in this quarter nor is any at present apprehended & it the individual opinion of all the officers, soldiers & Citizens in these parts that the Battalion formed by detachments from Companies Commanded by Colo Kenick is all sufficient for the purpose of erecting Block- house on the line, & affording the Necessary Guard & protection to their part of the frontier -- unless immediate relief can be given in the case not a field of small grain can be put in the ground the present year, un-less by neglecting other business of equal importance. -- Under these Circumstances the seasonable interference of the Commander in Chief is most earnestly requested for the relief of the people in this part &c &c
Some more information about Joseph Foos. He was a big force in Federal-era Ohio politics, and helped get the capital established at Columbus. He ran a ferry and a tavern at Franklinton, profiting handsomely from the continuous movement of troops, equipment and supplies from there to the outposts and camps to the north.
Colonel James Kilbourne was proprietor of the Worthington Manufacturing Company, and the leading spirit behind the Scioto land company which settled Worthington in 1803.