Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, 11 November 1794

To George Washington

Rostraver Township1 [Pennsylvania]
November 11. 1794


I have the honor of your note of the 5 instant.

Tomorrow the measures for apprehending persons & seizing stills will be carried into effect. I hope there will be found characters fit for examples & who can be made so. Col Hamilton Sheriff2 is now at our quarters come to make a voluntary surrender of himself. It is not yet certain how much can be proved against him; but otherwise he is a very fit subject.

I observe what Mr. Bache is about.3 But I am the more indifferent to it as the experience has proved to me (however it may be in ways which I could not allege in my justification) that my presence in this quarter was in several respects not useless. And it is long since I have learnt to hold popular opinion of no value. I hope to derive from the esteem of the discerning and in internal consciousness of zealous endeavours for the public good the reward of those endeavours.

I propose, if no urgent reason to the contrary occurs, to leave this country for Philadelphia about the 15th instant and I shall lose no time in reaching it. Mean while I trust the business of my department will suffer no injury from my absence.

Before I go I will try to see that a good arrangement is made with regard to arms stores &c.

With true respect & affectionate attachment I have the honor to be   Sir   Your obedt ser

Alex Hamilton

P.S Poor Lenox4 has been on the torture so long & has lately received such unpleasant accounts that we have all advised him to return to Philadelphia.

The substitutes devised will guarrd against injury to the service. Intelligence having been received of some of the insurgents having embodied about Beaver Creek5 a plan is laid provisionally for giving them a stroke—the execution of which will be speedily attempted if nothing to the contrary occurs.

The President of the UStates

ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

2John Hamilton, the sheriff of Washington County, surrendered to Judge Richard Peters, who denied Hamilton an immediate examination. Insurgents who refused to incriminate him were threatened with forfeiture of their amnesty.

3Benjamin Franklin Bache. See Washington to H, November 5, 1794, note 5.

4David Lenox, marshal for the District of Pennsylvania. For an account of his “torture,” see Lenox to H, September 8, 1794.

5Beaver Creek is in the southwestern part of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

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