Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Washington to the Cabinet, 17 February 1793

George Washington to the Cabinet

United States, February 17th. 1793.


I transmit you a Copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to me, with the heads of Instructions proposed to be given to the Commissioners who may be appointed to hold a Treaty with the Western Indians, in the spring.

As I intend, in a few days, to call for the advice and opinion of the Heads of the Departments on the points touched upon in the enclosed paper, I must request you will give it an attentive and serious consideration, and note such alterations, amendments or additions, in writing, as may appear to you proper to be introduced into the instructions proposed to be given to the Commissioners.

I shall likewise request the opinion of the same Gentlemen upon the expediency of asking the advice of the Senate, before the end of their present Session, as to the propriety of instructing the Commissioners to recede from the present boundary, provided peace cannot be established with the Indians upon other terms. I therefore desire you will turn you attention to this matter also, in order that you may be able to give a deliberate opinion thereon, when the Gentlemen shall be called together.

Go: Washington

RC (DLC); in the hand of Tobias Lear, signed by Washington; at head of text: “(Private)”; at foot of text: “The Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Feb. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DLC: Washington Papers); at head of text: “The Secretary of State; The Secretary of the Treasury, and The Attorney General, of the U.S. (Circular).” Recorded in SJPL between 16 and 18 Feb. 1793. Enclosure: Henry Knox to Washington, 16 Feb. 1793: “I have the honor respectfully to submit to your consideration certain general ideas which may be proper for the heads of the Instructions to the Commissioners for treating with the hostile Indians. After you shall have decided upon the general principles of the Instructions, the details may be formed and submitted to your judgment” (Tr in DLC; in the hand of Benjamin Bankson; at head of text: “Copy”). Second enclosure printed below.

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