Thomas Jefferson photo

Special Message

February 25, 1808

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United State:

The dangers to our country arising from the contests of other nations and the urgency of making preparation for whatever events might affect our relations with them have been intimated in preceding messages to Congress. To secure ourselves by due precautions an augmentation of our military force, as well regular as of volunteer militia, seems to be expedient. The precise extent of that augmentation can not as yet be satisfactorily suggested, but that no time may be lost, and especially at a season deemed favorable to the object, I submit to the wisdom of the Legislature whether they will authorize a commencement of this precautionary work by a present provision for raising and organizing some additional force, reserving to themselves to decide its ultimate extent on such views of our situation as I may be enabled to present at a future day of the session.

If an increase of force be now approved, I submit to their consideration the outlines of a plan proposed in the inclosed letter from the Secretary of War.

I recommend also to the attention of Congress the term at which the act of April 18, 1806, concerning the militia, will expire, and the effect of that expiration.


Thomas Jefferson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives