George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 21 July 1794

From Henry Knox

War department. July 21. 1794.


I have the honor to submit to you a farewell speech to the Chickasaws1—A protection for their lands2—And commissions for certain of their Chiefs—These delivered by your hands will have a greater value than any other made. I am Sir, Most Respectfully, Your obedt Servt

H. Knox


Also on this date, Knox wrote to Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.: "Will you please to enquire of the President whether it would be agreeable to him to take leave of the Chickasaw Chiefs to morrow at ten or 11 o’clock?" (DLC:GW). No reply has been identified, but War Department clerk John Stagg, Jr., later wrote Dandridge: "General Knox directs me to inform you, that the hour of eleven is fixed for the interview of the Chickasaws with the President, on to morrow.

"The Secretary of War, and the Attorney General, are now with the Secretary of State, on the subject of an answer to the last communication from Governor Mifflin" (DLC:GW).

1This speech has not been found.

2A copy of a proclamation by GW of 21 July in regard to the Chickasaw Indians inhabiting the district "Beginning on the Ohio at the ridge which divides the waters of Tennessee and Cumberland and extends with that ridge Eastwardly as fa<r> as the most eastern waters of Eelk rive<r> thence to the Tennesse at an old field where a par<t> of the Chickesaws formally lived this line to be so run as to enclude all the waters of Elk ri<ver> thence across the Tennessee and a neck of land to Tenchacundy creek a southern branch of the Tennesse and up the same to its source, then to the waters of Tombigby, that is the west fork of long leaf pine Creek, and down it to the Chickasaws and Chocktaws a little below the trading path" is in the papers of James Robertson (TNJ-P). In the proclamation, people were "warned not to commit any injury tresspass or molestation whatever on the persons lands hunting grounds or other rights or property of the said Indians. And they and all others are in like manner forbidden to purchace, accept agree or treat for with the said Indians directly or indirectly the title or occupation of any lands held or claimed by them and I do hereby call upon all persons in authority under the United States and Citizens thereof in their several capasities to be aiding and assi[s]ting to the prosecution and punishment according to law of all persons who shall be found offending in the premises." The governor of the Southwest Territory, William Blount, also had a copy. In a note of 22 Jan. 1795, he stated: "The lines described in it are the same as those Settled at the Conference at Nashville in presence of the Cherokee Commissioners in 1792" ("The Correspondence of Gen. James Robertson," American Historical Magazine, 4[1899]:94-95). The proclamation was printed in the Knoxville Gazette, 3 [6] Feb. 1795.

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