James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Eustis, 7 September 1812

From William Eustis

Monday Morng. 7 Septr. 1812


By the mail of this day I have only time to submit for consideration a suggestion which has been made of the expediency of detaining the Indian chiefs as hostages. If their tribes should become hostile it is in my mind doubtful whether they may not be useful with their influence among them; if they are not hostile detaining them will give great cause of offence. On the 24 Aug. Gov Meigs writes from Urbana that fort Wayne “shall be maintained” “Ohio troops mounted go this morning.”1 At Cincinnati it is stated on the 27th. that the post is taken—looking at the map leaves a hope, but the circumstance of 200 citizens of Cin: being lost, shows if true that the force was insufficient & defeated.2 In great haste

W Eustis

Mr Munroe had mentioned the subject and is willing, indeed he proposed to go out.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Meigs stated in this letter that troops would leave the following morning to defend the fort (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, M-393:6).

2Eustis may have referred to a 23 Aug. account from Cincinnati printed in the Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser on 7 Sept. 1812, which reported: “All is confusion and bustle here. Cincinnati has lost nearly 200, some of them the best citizens we had. This moment 2000 troops from Kentucky have arrived here, on their march to reinforce Gen. Hull, but they are too late.”

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