George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James McHenry, 29 July 1796

Mount Vernon 29th July 1796


Your letter of the 25th instant, enclosing the Treaty with the Creek Indians, and other Papers relative thereto, has been received.

The Papers are returned, & due consideration, it is expected, will be given them; and a report thereof made.

Four months (the time allowed by the above Treaty; for running the boundary line between that Nation and the United States) seems, under any circumstances, to be hardly sufficient to arrange matters for such a Work; but if it is to be done under the Authority of the Treaty newly entered into, and the Senate are to have an Agency in the appointment of the Surveyor &ca. The Commissioners (on the part of the United States have agreed to a measure, the execution of which is impracticable; as there is an interval of more than five Months between the date of the Treaty and meeting of the Senate; consequently, no ratification of it in that period; nor appointments, if the advice & consent of the Senate to them, be necesary, can be obtained without convening that body.

Conformably to the Treaty of New York, with the Creeks, a Mr Ellicot was empowered to run the line; but whether any person on behalf of the United States was commissioned to see it done, or whether the appointment of Mr Ellicott was made with, or without the participation of the Senate, my memory does not enable me to pronounce. Be this however as it may, the Constitution & Laws must govern in this case.

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DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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