George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Mifflin, 19 June 1794

From Thomas Mifflin

Phila. 19: June 1794.


I have the honor to transmit, for your information, a copy of the dispatches which I have this morning received from Genl Gibson, relatively to the hostile dispostion of the Six nations, instigated and supported, as it is alledged, by the British: and to be, with perfect respect, Sir, Yr Excellency’s Most obed. Hble Servt

List of the documents, accompanying this letter:1

1. A letter from Genl Gibson to the Govr dated 11 June 1794.

2. Deposition of D. Ransom, 9 June 1794.

3. Deposition of H. Certs, 9 June 1794.

4. Letter from Andw Ellicot & E. Denny to Genl Gibson, 8 June 94

5[.] E. Denny to Genl Gibson, 8 June 1794

6. A letter from Presley Neville to the Governor, 10 June 94.

Df, in Alexander J. Dallas’s writing, PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790-99; LB, PHarH: Executive Letterbooks; copy, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793-95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages. The copy in Senate records was sent with GW’s message to Congress of 19 Nov. 1794.

Secretary of War Henry Knox responded in a letter to Mifflin of this date: "Your Excellency’s letter of this date addressed to the President of the United States has been opened by me.

"The appearances up the Allegheney dictate that Fort Franklin be reinforced—I have accordingly ordered this done and Captain Crawford is to assume the command and to take with him an abundant supply of provisions and military stores.

"Besides this measure some recruits on their march to Pittsburg amounting to about One hundred will be detained there for the present under Major Butler except such a portion of them as shall be necessary to reinforce the Garrison of Fort Franklin.

"In addition to this I have forwarded five hundred Arms and accoutrements—One hundred Barrels of Powder and twenty Tons of Lead to form a Magazine at Pittsburg to serve in case of an exigency" (PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790-99).

1The document copies enclosed with this letter have not been identified. However, the original documents for the first five are in PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790-99, and copies of all six documents are with the copy of this letter in DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793-95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages. Gen. John Gibson’s letter to Mifflin informed the governor that "From every account, I have reason to believe the Six Nations mean to be hostile" and enclosed the four documents that follow. Daniel Ransom testified that an Indian had told him that "the Cornplanter intended soon to come to fort Franklin, on pretence of holding a council respecting the Indian who was killed by Robertson; that there the British and Indians were to land at Presqu’ Isle, and then form a junction with Cornplanter on French Creek, and were then to clear it by killing all the people and taking all the posts on it." Ransom added that another Indian had advised him to leave Fort Franklin and that some white men informed him "that the Indians appeared very surly." Henry Certs, whose name appears in the copies submitted to Congress as Henry Verts, reported finding the body of a man believed to have been attacked by Indians. Andrew Ellicott and Ebenezer Denny asked for military instructions in light of Ransom’s information, and Denny’s other letter conveyed a version of Certs’s information. Presley Nevill summarized the preceding information and added, "For my own part, I have no doubt of the hostile disposition of the Senecas, and that they actually committed the late murder on the Alleghany river" (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 , 1:509-10).

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