Governor's presence in Washington
, and urged upon him to propose to the Legislature to concentrate the expenditure of the State
in the immediate construction of iron-clads for the defence of the coast.
The Legislature responded to the Governor
's representations of the plan by a resolve on the 25th of March, 1862, authorizing the construction of one or more iron-clad vessels.
The plans were in progress, and the parties stood ready to contract for their construction, when the Navy Department protested that it was ready to put under construction, in every part of the country, all that the utmost resources of the people could accomplish; and that the result of a competition in the market between the State
and the United-States Governments
could only result in injury to both.
Upon the Governor
's representation that there were two parties in Massachusetts
capable of building such vessels, the Navy Department at once offered contracts to each of these establishments.
At this juncture, it was ascertained, that Professor Treadwell
, so widely known for his scientific attainments, his investigations into the problem of the construction of heavy ordnance, and his invention of the gun bearing his name, with a party of gentlemen associated with him, could be induced to build immediately new and extensive works for the manufacture of guns according to his patents, if a contract could be given him by the State
, sufficiently large to justify the investment of the considerable capital which must be required.
The enormous strength of the Treadwell gun had been sufficiently proved; but the invention had been made at a time when there seemed to be no necessity of any such great strength in guns, and such as were already in use appeared sufficiently good.
This invention had therefore been without result, though its principle was, in part at least, adopted in the Parrott gun in this country, and much more extensively by the celebrated foreign manufacturers, Sir William Armstrong
and Captain Blakely
The Governor submitted to a commission composed of Colonel Charles Amory
Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison Ritchie
, his aide-de-camp, and two distinguished civil engineers, Messrs. J. W. Brooks
and James B. Francis
, the question of the ascertained or probable merits of the Treadwell