Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Sim Lee, 29 August 1794

To Thomas Sim Lee

Philad Aug 29. 1794

Dear Sir

We have received by the last Pittsburgh Mail advices which give a hope that the disturbances there may terminate without bloodshed.1 Yet the symptoms thus far are too equivocal to be relied upon and may be a mere trick to produce a relaxation of efforts. Hence the President has concluded to proceed as if they might prove fallacious. I thought this hint might not be unacceptable to you.

It is very important in its example & consequences that even if the Militia are not [to] be used a zeal for the support of Government should appear amongst them. It may save the necessity of using force now & at future periods.

With great respect & esteem   I have the honor to be Dr Sir   Your obed ser

A Hamilton

His Exellency Governor Lee

ALS, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.

1H is referring to the correspondence between the Federal commissioners and the committee of conference appointed by the insurgents in western Pennsylvania at their meeting at Parkinson’s Ferry on August 14, 1794. See William Bradford to H, August 23, 1794, note 3.

After a meeting between these two groups, it was agreed that all further negotiations should be carried on in writing. On August 22, 1794, the committee of conference wrote to the Federal commissioners that “we are impowered to give you no definitive Answer with Regard to the sense of the People on the great Question of acceding to the Terms of Accommodation; but that in our own Opinion, it is the Interest of the Country to accede to them, & that we shall make this Report to the Committee, to whom we are to report, & state to them the Reasons of our Opinion, that so far as they appear to have Weight, they may be regarded by them. It will be our Endeavor not only to conciliate them, but the public Mind in general to our Sense on this Subject” (copy, Pennsylvania Miscellany, Whiskey Rebellion, Vol. I, Library of Congress). This letter is printed in Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV description begins Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV (n.p., 1876). description ends , 190.

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