George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 11 July 1794

To Alexander Hamilton


Dear Sir,Philadelphia July 11th 1794

I am sorry to hear that your little son continues indisposed, and wish you to carry him into the Country for a few days, if it is conceived that exercise & Change of Air will be of Service to him.

Before you go, or as soon after as convenient, I should be glad to receive your opinion in writing, on the Kentucky & Georgia business, both of which have been communicated to you by the Secretaries of State & of War—or one of them—according to the information I have received.1

I sincerely wish that the excursion you propose may have the desired effect—I am Dr Sir Your Affecte Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Have you draughted any answer yet to the Letter of the Marquis of Lansdown to me, introductory of the Bishop of Autun?2

ALS, DLC: Hamilton Papers.

1Edmund Randolph wrote two letters to the other cabinet members on this date requesting their opinions on resolutions lately passed in Kentucky and on recent intelligence from James Seagrove of Georgia (Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 16:588-91). For Seagrove’s letter to Henry Knox of 4 June, see the enclosure with Knox to GW, 9 July. The thirteen resolutions adopted at a meeting of Kentucky citizens at Lexington, Ky., on 24 May started with the assertion "That the inhabitants West of the Apalachian mountains, are entitled by nature and by stipulation, to the free and undisturbed Navigation of the River Mississippi." They complained that the "enjoyment of this right" had been "uniformly prevented" by Spain while the United States had "adopted no effectual measures for its attainment" and had "veiled" the measures that it did take in "mysterious secrecy." The citizens claimed "a right to expect and demand, that Spain should be compelled immediately to acknowledge our right, or that an end be put to all negociations on that subject." They offered support for attempts to obtain "redress" of "the injuries and insults offered by Great Britain to America," but insisted that their grievances with Great Britain had "a stronger claim to satisfaction, both from their atrocity and continuance," than eastern complaints. Because of "the recent appointment of the enemy of the Western country to negociate with that nation, and the tame submission of the general government, when we alone were injured by Great Britain," it was necessary that they state their "just demands" to the president and Congress, namely the protection of their frontiers by the general government. To "unite" with others in "the common cause of the western people," the citizens recommended that each Kentucky county appoint a committee to correspond on the subject and, "when it may be judged expedient, to call upon the people to elect proper persons to represent them in Convention, for the purpose of deliberating on the steps which will be most expedient for the attainment and security of our just rights" (Kentucky Gazette [Lexington], 31 May).

2For the letter of 2 March from William Petty, marquis of Lansdowne, to GW, see Hamilton’s second letter to GW of 5 May, n.1. GW replied to Lansdowne’s letter on 30 August.

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