Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, [31 January 1790]

To George Washington1

[New York, January 31, 1790]


I have made the inquiry of General Schuyler2 which you directed. He says that he thinks Kirkland’s3 fidelity may be relied on; but does not entertain a very favourable opinion of his judgment or veracity. He says also that there is a Mr James Deane4 at Onieda who is a man of more discernment discretion and integrity, and who may probably be got here in twelve days.

I shall make the inquiry you direct in your letter of this day & will wait on you with the result.

I have the honor to be   Sir   Your Affect & Obedt Ser

A Hamilton

The President of the U States6

ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, January 1, 1799–December 27, 1800, National Archives.

1When this letter was written, Washington was reviewing the relations of the United States with Indians along the country’s entire frontier. He undertook this review as a result of the report of the commissioners sent to negotiate with the Creek Indians. For this report, which is dated November 20, 1789, see ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Indian Affairs, I, 68–80. For Washington’s reaction to the report and his concern over relations with the Indians, see John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Diaries of George Washington, 1748–1799 (Boston, 1925), IV, 54, 57, 58, 60–61, 69, 74, 81.

2Philip Schuyler.

3Samuel Kirkland was a missionary to the Oneida Indians and lived among them during most of his adult life. He was generally credited with keeping the Oneidas neutral during the American Revolution. In 1793 he founded the Hamilton Oneida Academy, which in 1812 became Hamilton College.

4Deane, like Kirkland, had been a missionary to the Oneidas. One of the first settlers of what is now Utica, during the American Revolution and the years immediately following it he had served as agent and interpreter for the commissioners of indian affairs for the northern department.

5This is a mistake and should read “1790.”

6Washington endorsed this letter: “From Colonel Hamilton 31st. Jan. 1790.”

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