Monday 16th. The Commissioners, who had returned from the proposed Treaty with the Creek Indians before me, to this City dined with me to day, as did their Secretary Colo. Franks and young Mr. Lincoln who accompanied them.
During the summer of 1789 an increasing stream of reports came from state officials and frontier settlers telling of Indian attacks by war parties from southern tribes, particularly urged on by the Creek chief Alexander McGillivray. The administration in Aug. 1789 appointed Benjamin Lincoln, Cyrus Griffin, and David Humphreys United States commissioners to open negotiations with the southern tribes on behalf of the government and “establish peace between the State of Georgia and the Creeks” (ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:65–68). The commissioners arrived in Savannah 10 Sept. and conducted negotiations with state officials and Indian leaders over the next three weeks. By 10 Nov. they were back in New York. On 17 and 20 Nov. they reported to Knox that the Creek were determined not to make a treaty; however, as McGillivray and the other Creek chiefs “have given strong assurances in their talks, and by writing, that no further hostilities or depredations shall be committed on the part of their nation; and as the Governor of Georgia . . . will prevent the commission of hostilities and depredations upon the Creek nation, on the part of Georgia, the commissioners, in the best of their judgment, report, that all animosities with the Creek nation should henceforth cease.” In obedience to their instructions, however, they included detailed information on the Creek country and plans for “offensive and defensive measures” in case hostilities should break out (ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:78). The reports and the commissioners’ journal containing their correspondence with Creek leaders and Georgia officials are in ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:68–80.
mr. lincoln: probably Abner Lincoln, Benjamin Lincoln’s son-in-law (Mattern, Benjamin Lincoln description begins David B. Mattern. Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution. Columbia, S.C., 1995. description ends , 190).
David Salisbury Franks (c.1740–1793), son of John Franks, a prominent Jewish merchant of Philadelphia, served as aide-de-camp to Benedict Arnold 1778–80, with the rank of major, but was acquitted of complicity in Arnold’s treason. In 1781 he was designated an official courier by Robert Morris to carry dispatches to John Jay in Spain and served as vice-consul at Marseilles from 1784 to 1787. In 1789 he asked GW to appoint him to a foreign diplomatic post, preferably that of consul general in France, but instead received the minor appointment of secretary to the commissioners (Franks to GW, 12 May, 11 June 1789, DLC:GW; STRAUS description begins Oscar S. Straus. “New Light on the Career of Colonel David S. Franks.” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society 10 (1902): 101–8. description ends , 101–8). After his return from the mission to the Creek, he served as assistant cashier of the Bank of the United States. He died of yellow fever during the 1793 epidemic in Philadelphia (see also WOLF description begins Edwin Wolf II and Maxwell Whiteman. The History of the Jews of Philadelphia from Colonial Times to the Age of Jackson. Philadelphia, 1957. description ends , 158–64).