George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 30 April 1794

From Henry Knox

War Department. April 30th 1794


I have the honor to submit to your consideration a letter from the Governor of Georgia, and a Copy of a letter from me to which this is an answer.1 I have the honor to be with perfect respect Your obedient servant

H. Knox


1Knox probably enclosed the letter from Georgia Governor George Mathews to him of 1 April (G-Ar: Governors Letterbooks). Mathews acknowledged Knox’s letters of 22 Feb. and 6 March and responded: “It is with astonishment, I am informed that the President of the United States entertains an Opinion, that more men are kept in service in this State, than what is necessary for the Protection of the frontiers, and states the number on duty to be from one thousand to twelve hundred. I cannot with precission ascertain what the numbers are, but am well assured they cannot exceed one half of what is suggested by you. and am confident any deminution of those in service will endanger the Safety of the state. for, whatever may be advanced to the Contrary, the Indians still continue their hostilities; and only a few weeks sence killed two Spies, and carried of[f] Horses to a considerable amount, thus Situated, in an almost constant state of Warfare I cannot refrain from remarking the injustice that appears to be, in denying the State of Georgia the protection of the general Government, whilst she so largely Contributes to its support.”

Mathews enclosed a copy of his letter to Knox of 19 Feb., laying out his plan for the defense of Georgia’s frontier (see G-Ar: Governors Letterbooks). He called this to “the particular attention of the President” with “a Confidence that he will on taking a serious review of the situation of our extended frontier, be of opinion with me, that the hundred Horse and foot in addition to the Federal troops (which does not exceed one hundred and thirty two privates, Seventy two of which will be discharged between this and the first of July) will be inadequate to protection, and that nothing short of my requisitions can give security to the Settlers.”

Matthews also discussed a problem with the pay of Georgia militia and explained the retention of prisoners taken from the town of the Creek chief White Lieutenant (on the latter, see Knox to GW, 13 Dec. 1793).

GW approved the draft of Knox’s reply and returned it to Knox (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 301). The draft has not been identified.

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