From Henry Knox
War department July 28th 1794
I have the honor to submit to you the draft of a letter to the Governor of Georgia on the proposed establishment on the Creek lands.1
This letter has been drafted by the Secretary of State and is conformable to my sentiments. I have the honor to be with perfect respect Your obedient Servant
I have also the honor to enclose Colo. Pickerings Instructions, with an addition relatively to the Oneidas which seems highly incumbent on the U.S.2
LS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. On the LS, the paragraph between the two signatures is in Knox’s writing.
1. The enclosed draft has not been identified. GW’s approval of it was recorded in his journal of proceedings for 29 July (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 316). The letter from Knox to Georgia governor George Mathews of 28 July stated that although "so serious a struggle as this against the authority of the State, and the erection of Forts, (both of which steps may be so easily turned against the United States) would be sufficient in themselves to call forth precautions on the part
Map 3. Georgia and SW Territory, 1794. (Illustrated by Rick Britton. Copyright Rick Britton 2010.)
of the General Government," GW "entertains the most perfect reliance on your exertions to repel the mischief arising from this quarter." However, GW was obliged by the act of 28 Feb. 1793 regulating Indian trade to remove any citizens who attempt to settle on Indian lands. He therefore requested that Mathews "warn by proclamation these disturbers of the peace, that they are offending against the laws of the United States and of Georgia, and that their attempts will be repelled by military force"; call out "such parts of your Militia as may be necessary to accomplish the business with decision"; and "call upon the Commanding Officer of the Federal Troops in Georgia, who is instructed to obey your Excellency’s orders, to co-operate in the removal of these settlers from the Indian lands." Mathews was also requested to report "at the earliest possible moment, the actual state of things in your quarter, and particularly to note whether it will be necessary to resort to the Militia of any other state for aid" (DNA: RG 107: Correspondence of the War Department Relating to Indian Affairs, Military Pensions, and Fortifications, 1791-1797; 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 , 1:501-2).
On this date Mathews issued a proclamation against Elijah Clarke’s settlement in which he stipulated that such acts violated the laws of Georgia and subverted "good order." The proclamation warned citizens not to join Clarke’s endeavor, ordered individuals who settled across the Oconee "immediately to desist," and called upon the Georgia judiciary and all citizens to help apprehend Clarke and his supporters (Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State, 2 Aug. 1794). Mathews replied to Knox on 19 Aug., reviewing his efforts to remove Clarke and promising that if necessary he would "lose no time in having recourse to a sufficient military force" (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 , 1:495).
Armed with opinions from Solicitor General John Y. Noel and Attorney General George Walker that Clarke and his adherents were in violation of state and federal laws, Mathews in late August sent Gen. John Twiggs to persuade Clarke to disband. When that effort failed, the governor ordered military forces to surround the settlement. Clarke initially defied the troops, but on 27 Sept., he and his followers surrendered when Gen. Jared Irwin promised protection of their lives and property (Noel to Mathews, 27 Aug., Telamon Cuyler Collection, GU-HR; Walker to Mathews, 30 Aug., in the Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State, 20 Sept.; 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 , 1:497, 500).
2. The entry of 29 July in GW’s journal of proceedings notes that he "Approved, with some alterations suggested, the Instructions from the War Departmt. to Colo. Pickering, for treating with the Six Nations at Canandogua the 8. Septemr." (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 316). The instructions have not been identified.