George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 3 December 1794

From Henry Knox

December 3d 1794.


I have the honor to submit to your consideration, the draft of a letter to Major General Wayne; which it is proposed to send off to morrow.1 I am, most respectfully, Sir, Your obedt Servt

H. Knox
secy of War


1GW’s secretary Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., replied to Knox on this date, “By the President’s order B. Dandridge respectfully returns to the Secy of War the dft of a letter for Genl Wayne; & informs the Secy that it has recd the President’s approbation” (ADf, DLC:GW).

Knox’s letter to Gen. Anthony Wayne, dated 5 Dec., acknowledged Wayne’s letters received in Knox’s absence and communicated Congress’s thanks to Wayne and his army and GW’s “most favourable judgment” of Wayne’s “incessant industry in discipling the troops … judicious arrangements and vigilance in marching and encamping … and … care in obtaining the necessary supplies for an army in a wilderness.” Wayne was now to “make the best possible disposition of your force so as to secure the advantages you have so happily gained, and, if possible to effect a peace with the Indian tribes upon the liberal principles heretofore transmitted to you.”

Knox enclosed a letter from Lord Dorchester to Wayne that “would seem to exhibit a desire of peace with the Indians,” and he characterized John Jay’s treaty negotiations as promising for the delivery of the western posts held by the British. Timothy Pickering’s negotiations with the Six Nations had adjusted relations there “in a manner, which it is hoped may be satisfactory and permanent.” The “severe stroke” on the Cherokee lower towns was also reported to Wayne.

Wayne was further informed that recruiting for the legion “has almost terminated” and that three months pay for the army had been sent to Pittsburgh, and he was requested to have the muster rolls updated. New supply contracts were enclosed, and Wayne’s complaints about the contractors were noted.

As a result of John Simcoe’s letter to George Hammond of 20 Oct. (see Edmund Randolph’s second letter to GW of 1 Dec., n.1), Wayne was asked “to ascertain precisely what posts were occupied by the British on the Miami [Maumee River] in 1783.”

Knox also discussed the “most happy termination” of the Whiskey Insurrection, and Wayne’s dispute with Gen. James Wilkinson. He noted that Wilkinson had asked to come to Philadelphia, and he told Wayne that GW did not object but that Wilkinson had been told “that the permission ought to come through you.” Knox enclosed copies of Wilkinson’s letters of 30 June and 18 July and directed Wayne, “immediately upon the further request” of Wilkinson, to order a court of inquiry and send the results to the War Department (PHi: Wayne Papers; see also Knopf, Wayne description begins Richard C. Knopf, ed. Anthony Wayne, a Name in Arms: Soldier, Diplomat, Defender of Expansion Westward of a Nation; The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence. Pittsburgh, 1960. description ends , 365–69).

Index Entries