George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 6 October 1789]

Tuesday 6th. Exercised in a Carriage with Mrs. Washington in the forenoon.

Conversed with Genl. Knox (Secretary at War) on the above tour who also recommended it accordingly.

Signed Letters of Instructions to the Governor of the Western Territory respecting the situation of matters in that Quarter. And authorized him, in case the hostile disposition of the Indians was such as to make it Necessary to call out the Militia, & time would not allow him to give me previous notice of it, to apply to the States of Virginia & Pennsylvania for a Number not exceeding 1500; one thousand of which to be taken from the former and 500 from the latter.

Henry Knox had been appointed secretary of war by GW 11 Sept. 1789.

letters of instructions: Section 5 of “An Act to recognize and adapt to the Constitution of the United States the establishment of the troops raised under the Resolves of the United States in Congress assembled, and for other purposes therein mentioned” (1 STAT. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 95–96 [29 Sept. 1789]) authorized the president to call state militia into service if needed to protect the frontier from Indian raids. A copy of GW’s letter to Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, is in DNA: RG 233, Records of Reports from Executive Depts.—War Dept.

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