George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 9 July 1794

From Henry Knox

War department, July 9th 1794.


I have the honor to submit to your consideration the following papers.

Letter from James Seagrove—4th June 1794.

Letter from Israel Chapin—7 June 1794—recd this day—1

Narrative of Mr Ewing enclosed in Israel Chapin’s letter of the 12th June 1794—2

Depositions of Peter Tuttle and Charles Evans.3

Letter from Governor Mifflin, 14th June 1794, to the President of the United States—The copy of a letter from the Secretary of War in answer thereto, dated 21st June 1794 and the reply of the Governor of 24th June 1794—4

Draft of a letter to Drs Anderson and Pollock.5

Letter from Robert Elliot—22d June 1794—supposed to be written to General Otho H. Williams of Baltimore—recd July 5. 1794.6

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, Your most obedt Servt

H. Knox

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The entry for 11 July in GW’s journal of proceedings lists as returned to Knox all of the enclosed documents except for the correspondence with Pennsylvania governor Thomas Mifflin.

1Israel Chapin’s letter to Knox of 7 June reported that he had sent agents into Upper and Lower Canada to report on British and Indian activities, described his intent to meet with Joseph Brant, expressed concern about British influence on the Cornplanter, reported about his attendance at an Indian council at the Genesee River and a future council at Venango, Pa., discussed Indian discontent with the Presque Isle settlement, and noted that the British were continuing to fortify at the rapids of the Maumee River (NHi: Henry O’Reilly Collection).

2William Ewing’s narrative has not been identified. For Chapin’s letter to Knox of 12 June, see Knox to GW, 25 June, n.7.

3Peter Tuttle, a soldier in Capt. Thomas Pasteur’s company of the 1st sublegion, and Charles Evans, a soldier in Capt. Alexander Gibson’s company of the 4th sublegion, had, as a result of being captured by Indians (Tuttle in August 1793 and Evans in April 1794), found themselves in early May 1794 at the residence of the British Indian agent Alexander McKee near the rapids of the Maumee River. In depositions dated 9 July, each testified that about 200 British soldiers under the command of "Captain Steele" [Robert Stiell] were engaged in erecting a fort at the rapids of the Miami [Maumee], that about 500 Indians were in the area preparing for war, and that they had heard the British say the purpose of the fort was to encourage the Indians (both in PHi: Wayne Papers).

4For Knox’s letter to Thomas Mifflin of 21 June, see Knox to GW, 18 June, n.3. Mifflin’s reply to Knox of 24 June argued that "some old grievances alleged to have been suffered from the Union, the inflammatory speech of Lord Dorchester, the constant machinations of British Agents, and the corruption of British bribes, had, in truth, previously excited that hostile disposition, which you seem to consider as the effect of the measures pursued by Pennsylvania for establishing a Town at Presqu’-isle." He pointed out that his suspension of the Presque Isle establishment was "founded principally on the assurances I have received that the obstacles are of a temporary nature; and, consequently, that the success of the attempts, which, you inform me, are put in train to remove them, may be so seasonably attained as to admit, not only of an accommodation of the views of the General Government, but also of the execution of the law of Pennsylvania, within the period contemplated by the Legislature (PHi: Executive Correspondence, 1790-99; see also 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 , 1:511).

5This letter has not been identified. GW returned the draft to Knox on 11 July (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 312). However, Knox dated the letter to Thomas Pinckney in which he evidently enclosed for forwarding his letters to John Anderson and Allan Pollok as 7 July (DLC: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Family Papers).

6Robert Elliot (d. 1794), in partnership with Otho H. Williams’s brother Elie Williams, was acting as contractor for supplying Gen. Anthony Wayne’s army and made his headquarters at Fort Washington, near Cincinnati. He was killed by Indians near Fort Hamilton, Northwest Territory, on 6 October. His letter has not been identified.

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