George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 26 July 1794

From Henry Knox

War department July 26th 1794


I have the honor to submit a letter just received from the Secretary of this Commonwealth containing information of measures taken in behalf of the Executive of Pennsylvania relatively to the commotions in Allegheney County.1 After you have perused them I pray that they may be sent to the Secretary of State who has the other papers relating to the same subject. I have the honor to be with perfect respect Sir Your obedient Servant

H. Knox


1On 18 July, Gen. John Gibson at Pittsburgh wrote Pennsylvania governor Thomas Mifflin to report "that a civil war has taken place in this county." On 16 July "at day-light," 100 men had attacked the house of inspector of the revenue John Nevill. Nevill repulsed the attack, and, upon his application, about twenty federal troops were sent to protect him. However, on the next day "another party of 500 men from the upper part of this county and Washington collected together and about 6 o’clock in the afternoon made a second attack on Genl Neville’s house." Though Nevill escaped, "the rioters burned the dwelling house barns and all the outhouses and every thing in them." Alexander James Dallas transmitted a copy of Gibson’s letter to Knox on 25 July (both letters, CtHi: Oliver Wolcott, Jr., Papers). Dallas’s letter to Knox of 26 July, submitted here, sent "the official documents relating to" the measures taken by Pennsylvania "to suppress the lawless spirit of the Rioters; to ascertain the circumstances of the offence; & to bring the offenders to justice" (PHarH: Executive Letterbooks). Dallas enclosed copies of his circular letter to Pennsylvania officials of 25 July, his letters of that date to Gibson and to Pennsylvania attorney general Jared Ingersoll, and Ingersoll’s letter to Dallas of 26 July reporting the steps he had taken to investigate (all CtHi: Oliver Wolcott, Jr., Papers; see also Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 4:65-66).

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