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[517] that any portion, or the whole, of the million dollars might be expended in the purchase or manufacture of ordnance, in the building or equipping iron-clad or other steamers, or the erection of iron-clad or other fortifications, or in such other measures as the public exigencies might require. The inhabitants of any town on the coast were further authorized, with the approval of the Governor and Council, to raise money, and expend it in defending their town against the public enemies of the United States.

Under this act, fortifications were erected at Newburyport, Marblehead, Plymouth, Salem, New Bedford, and Gloucester. The forts in Boston Harbor were connected with each other and with the city by a magnetic telegraph; a complete and most ingenious system of harbor obstructions was devised for the harbor of Boston; and all the workings, drawings, and bills of materials prepared which would admit of the system being applied at a moment's warning. The great want, however, was still of the largest gun; and the result of all inquiries was, that no more could possibly be obtained in this country.

At this time, Mr. John M. Forbes, being in England, was making inquiries into the possibility of our obtaining any such guns in Europe. The result of these inquiries was, that there were only three parties known in all Europe in a position to manufacture such guns. Of these it was understood that Sir William Armstrong was not at liberty to manufacture for any foreign power, while Mr. Knapp, the famous steel-founder of Essen, in Prussia, was fully employed by the Prussian and Russian Governments. There remained, therefore, only Captain Blakely.

The real Blakely gun consists of a steel spindle or gun proper, over which another steel gun or jacket is shrunk on, inclosing the whole breech, and extending forward to the trunnions for longitudinal strength, and reinforced by one or more layers of steel rings shrunk on over the jacket. Captain Blakely had received large contracts for his guns from the Russian Government, but was only beginning to manufacture those of large calibre. He was dependent upon Knapp for his steel spindle, Knapp's being the only establishment in Europe

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