George Washington Papers

Proclamation, 26 August 1790


[New York, 26 August 1790]

Whereas it hath at this time become peculiarly necessary, to warn the citizens of the United States against a violation of the treaties, made at Hopewell, on the river Keowee, on the third and tenth days of January, in the year of our lord 1786, between the United States, and the Choctaw and Chicasaw nations of Indians;1 and to enforce the act, ⟨e⟩ntitled “an act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes”, copies of which treaties and act are hereto annexed:2 I have therefore thought fit to require, and do by these presents require, all officers of the United States, as well civil as military, and all other citizens and inhabitants thereof, to govern themselves according to the treaties and act aforesaid; as they will answer the contrary at their peril. Given under my hand, and the seal of the United States, at the city of New-York, this, twentysixth day of August, in the year of our lord3

Go: Washington

By the President

Th: Jefferson

DS, in Edmund Randolph’s hand, NNGL: Knox Papers.

For the background to this document, see GW to the U.S. Senate, 11 Aug. 1790 and notes, and GW to Edmund Randolph, 12 Aug. 1790 and notes.

1The proclamation as published in various contemporary newspapers also listed the Treaty of Hopewell signed with the Cherokee nation on 28 Nov. 1785 (see, for instance, Gazette of the United States [New York], 15 Sept. 1790).

2The published proclamation printed the thirteen articles of the 28 Nov. 1785 Cherokee treaty. The text of this and of the other two Hopewell treaties is conveniently printed in DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 2:169–80.

3The printed proclamation concludes: “one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and in the fifteenth year of the sovereignty and independence of the United States” (Gazette of the United States [New York], 15 Sept. 1790).

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