Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James McHenry, 2 April 1799

From James McHenry1

War department 2d. April 1799


It being out of my power to send you copies of, you will herewith receive the following original letters from Brig. Gen. Wilkinson, which you will be pleased to return after taking such extracts from them as you may judge necessary.

Letter No. 1 dated  6 Decr. 17982
Do No. 2 do 10 Jany. 17993
Do No. 3 Do 31 Jany.4
Do No. 4 Do  2 Feby.5
No. 5 Circular letter to the officers commanding posts6
No. 6 Correspondence with Govr. Gayoso7
No. 7 Papers refered to in letter Jany 1799.

I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect   Your Obedient and Hum. Servt.

James McHenry

Major Gen. Alexr. Hamilton

LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This letter is in reply to H to McHenry, March 29, 1799.

3In this letter Brigadier General James Wilkinson, commanding officer of the Western Army, discussed relations with the Spanish and enclosed a map showing “Christian Settlements” and Indian towns and a copy of a petition, dated January 1, 1799, from the people of the Mississippi Territory to Congress requesting that their Spanish land titles be legally recognized (LS, marked “Duplicate,” Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

4In this letter Wilkinson reported that Zachariah Cox was in Tennessee, discussed relations with the Indians, and enclosed his correspondence with Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, governor of Louisiana (LS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

Cox was one of the promoters of the Tennessee Land Company, which had received a grant of land at Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee River from the Georgia legislature in 1795. Wilkinson accused Cox of assembling and organizing an armed force on land which had been guaranteed to the Indians. Cox was also involved in the Blount Conspiracy, whose participants were trying to interest the British Minister, Robert Liston, in plans to establish a British colony at Muscle Shoals. Wilkinson had ordered Cox’s arrest in 1798, but Cox escaped. See McHenry to H, March 19, 1799, notes 1 and 2. For additional information on Cox’s activities, see Isaac J. Cox, ed., “Documents Relating to Zachariah Cox,” Quarterly Publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, VIII (1913), 29–114.

5Letter not found.

6Letter not found.

7Wilkinson to Gayoso de Lemos, November 11, December 22, 1798; Gayoso de Lemos to Wilkinson, December 1, 1798, January 2, 1799 (copies, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress).

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