To George Washington
[Philadelphia, August 15, 1794]
The Secretary of the Treasury presents his respects to The President—incloses him a letter which Mr. Coxe has just brought to him for his perusal.1
It is conceived that a reply may be given to this Letter, by Mr Coxe, which being published with the letter, may do good. If the President sees no objection, the idea will be pursued.2
It is said that papers have been received from England down to the 26. of June, which announce that the duke of york3 & general Clairfait4 have received a new & total defeat, their army cut to peices & the duke of york missing.5 This was in an attempt to relieve Ypres. It is added that in consequence the Emperor has offered to purchase peace by a relinquishment of all the Low Countries.
LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. The letter to which H is referring was one which Hugh H. Brackenridge, a resident of Pittsburgh and a prominent figure in western Pennsylvania politics, sent to Tench Coxe on August 8, 1794. Brackenridge stated: “… the United States cannot effect the operation of the law in this country. It is universally odious in the neighboring parts of all the neighboring States, and the militia under the law in the hands of the President cannot be called out to reduce an opposition” (ALS, Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia). This letter is printed in Brackenridge, Insurrection description begins Henry M. Brackenridge, History of the Western Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, Commonly Called the Whiskey Insurrection, 1794 (Pittsburgh, 1859). description ends , 144–45; Calendar of Virginia State Papers, VI description begins Sherwin McRae, ed., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, from August 11, 1792, to December 31, 1793, Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond, VI (Richmond, 1886). description ends I, 251–53.
2. On September 15, 1794, Brackenridge acknowledged receipt of Coxe’s response to his letter of August 8 and wrote: “Suppressing your name, I have just given your letter to the printer of the Gazette of this place, conceiving that it will be of service in composing the minds of the people of this country” (LS, Papers of Tench Coxe in the Coxe Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia). This letter is printed in Brackenridge, Insurrection description begins Henry M. Brackenridge, History of the Western Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, Commonly Called the Whiskey Insurrection, 1794 (Pittsburgh, 1859). description ends , 146–47. Coxe’s letter, dated August 26, 1794, appeared in The Pittsburgh Gazette of September 20, 1794. The heading states that “The following is a letter from a Citizen of Philadelphia to an Inhabitant of Pittsburgh, in answer to one giving some account of the late Transactions.” Coxe’s letter reads in part as follows: “… My intentions in replying to your letter do not extend to an examination of the several laws, the nature, operation & provisions of which you consider as either injurious to our western brethren or disagreeable to all the philosophic men and the Yeomanry of America. I shall confine myself on the one hand to some remarks upon the danger to our free governments, and to the peace and safety of the United States, which such means of opposition and relief tend to produce—and on the other to a statement of certain reasons, which appear to render it improbable that the desired relief will be attained by those means” (ADfS, Tench Coxe Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia). Coxe’s draft of this letter is dated August 20, 1794.
3. Frederick, Duke of York, was a general of the English forces in the United Provinces from April, 1793, until November, 1794. He was the second son of George III.
4. François Sebastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Comte de Clerfayt, was a member of a family prominent in the Austrian Netherlands and a field marshal in the Austrian army.
5. This is presumably a reference to the Battle of Turcoing, fought on May 18, 1794, in which the allied armies lost a total of fifty-five hundred men. The report that the Duke of York was missing was incorrect.