George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 6 August 1791

From Henry Knox

War Department [Philadelphia], 6th August 1791.


I have the honor to submit to you, Governor Blount’s report, relative to the treaty with the Cherokees, which he formed on the 2d instant—and also his request for leave of absence.1

I shall have the honor to wait upon you personally relative to this business, after you shall have read the papers.

I have also the honor to submit Copies of the Instructions and Letters to Major General St Clair, Major General Butler and Mr Hodgdon the Quarter Master; and also to Brigadier General Scott, and the Board in Kentuckey.2 With the highest Respect I have the honor to be Sir, Your most Obed. huml. servt

H. Knox


1No copy of William Blount’s report on the Treaty of Holston of 2 July has been found. See Carter, Territorial Papers description begins Clarence Edwin Carter et al., eds. The Territorial Papers of the United States. 27 vols. Washington, D.C., 1934–69. description ends , 4:65, n.69. For Blount’s letter to Henry Knox of 17 July requesting a leave of absence, see ibid., 70–71. GW referred Blount’s request to Thomas Jefferson, who informed Blount on 12 Aug. of GW’s “consent to the absence you therein ask from the 15th. of September to the 20th. of November” (Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 22:29–30).

2Knox’s instructions of 21 Mar. to Arthur St. Clair 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 1:171–74. The enclosed letters to St. Clair probably included Knox’s letters of 21 July stating that GW “has commanded me to urge, that, as soon as your troops are assembled, or such portion thereof as you may judge proper, that you commence the establishment of such of your posts of communication, to which your force may be adequate. He is greatly anxious that the campaign be distinguished by decisive measures, so that the expense incurred may be manifestly useful and important” (ibid., 179–80) and of 4 Aug., which mentioned GW’s anxiety for the commencement of operations (ibid., 180–81). For Knox’s instructions of 5 April to Richard Butler, see ibid., 184–85. On 21 July Knox wrote Butler that GW “is exceedingly anxious that Major General St. Clair should commence his operations at as early a period as possible; and he has commanded me to urge that you, and all the troops within your orders, descend the Ohio immediately” (ibid., 191). Knox informed Butler on 4 Aug. that GW “is extremely anxious that the troops should be immediately assembled at fort Washington. I am persuaded, from your former letter, that they have all descended the Ohio,” which was not the case (ibid., 192). For Knox’s instructions of 31 May to Quartermaster Samuel Hodgdon, see ibid., 193. The enclosed copies of Knox’s letters to Hodgdon were those of 9, 23, 30 June, 7, 14, 21 July, and 4 Aug. (ibid., 193–95). For Knox’s instructions to Charles Scott, dated 9 Mar., see ibid., 129–30. Knox’s communication to the “Board in Kentuckey” has not been found but was probably in response to its letter to him of 20–30 May (Knox to GW, 27 June, n.1).

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