Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Sim Lee, 23 September 1794

From Thomas Sim Lee

Council Chamber [Annapolis]
September 23rd 1794.


I have the pleasure to inform you that the opposition to the Government in this State1 is entirely crushed without the loss of one Life. The alacrity with which the Militia on the first notice marched from the different parts of the State, and the general spirit disclosed by the Citizens precluded all hope of success to the Insurgents and induced them to abandon their design on the arsenal without a trial of their strength.

Many have been taken by small detachments of Horse and delivered over to the Civil Authority; those thought most criminal are Confined in gaol, those less so, have been admitted to bail, and an order for disarming such as are suspected of being accomplices is now executing.2

As there is reason to believe that the Western Insurgents hold a correspondence with the disaffected of this State, the happy termination of the business here will be more important, and cannot fail of having an influence in restoring the peace and order of the government in that Quarter.3

I have thought it prudent to deliver a part of our arms to particular corps of our Militia, a surplus however will still remain and every assistance that can be given in furnishing the Virginia Troops will be rendered with pleasure. The Maryland Quota of Militia will be full, or nearly so, and are moving on to Cumberland.

I have the honor to be &c

Tho: S Lee

The Honble
Alexander Hamilton
Secretary Treasury.

Copy, RG 56, Letters 2d Comptroller, 2d Auditor, Executive of Maryland and Georgia, 1789–1833, Maryland, National Archives.

2Lee’s information is based on the following letter which Mountjoy Bayly wrote to him on September 19, 1794: “In obedience to those orders, honoring me with the direction of the troops which your Excellency had commanded to rendezvouz at Frederick Town for the purpose of repressing that turbulent spirit which had violated peace & order and seemed to threaten Government itself in the Counties of Frederick Washington and Allegany.… For that purpose I marched about 300 Infantry together with 70 horse through Harmans Gap which opens into the County of Washington near the Pennsylvania line, a rout which led me through the midst of those people whose turbulency it was your object to punish and repress. This was done with an intention to apprehend the characters who had been most active in their opposition to Governmt and whose names had been previously furnished to me for that purpose.

It was supposed too that the appearance of an Armiment would have a very good effect, and convince those who had lost sight of their duty that Government could send forward a force at any time when necessity required it sufficient to inforce obedience to the Laws. On my arrival into Washington I proceeded to carry into effect my arrangements by despatching the cavalry in quest of the Ringleaders. But upon the first display of the Horse, I found a party from Hagarstown had superceded the necessity of any exertion on my part, by having previously brought in those disorderly people to Justice. About the number of twenty have been apprehended, all of which have been admitted to Bail except eight, these have not yet undergone their examination but most of them perhaps all of them will be committed to close Jail, without bail, however this is but opinion. Martin Bear and John Thompson had been examined before my arrival, and although both of them had been considered as notorious offenders they were admitted to Bail and to my great surprize Cols. [Thomas] Sprigg & [Rezin] Davis were their Securities. It is however but proper to add that upon the examination of these two men their was no evidence of their guilt save the general report as I am informed by those who were present…” (ALS, Hall of Records of Maryland, Annapolis). A similar account of these events is in The Maryland Journal, and the Baltimore Advertiser, September 22, 1794.

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