George Washington Papers
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Timothy Pickering to Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., 25 November 1795

Timothy Pickering to Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.

War Office Nov. 25. 95

Dear Sir

The inclosed instructions to Mr Price, who is to manage the Indian trading store in Georgia, and to Captain Eaton who is to command the troops destined to St Mary’s river, I pray you to lay before the President for his inspection, and approbation or correction.1 I have this moment finished them. I will wait on the President to receive his orders concerning them either this evening or as early to-morrow morning as shall best suit his convenience. I am yr obt servt

T. Pickering

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1Edward Price (d. 1799) served as factor until his death.

William Eaton (1764–1811) of Vermont served as a captain in the U.S. army from 1792 to 1797 and as U.S. consul at Tunis from 1797 to 1803. He also is known for his military exploits in North Africa in 1804 and 1805 and as a witness at the conspiracy trial of Aaron Burr.

The enclosures have not been found, but copies of the detailed instructions that Pickering sent to Price on 26 Nov. can be found in CSmH: William Eaton Papers; MHi: John Adams Papers; and DNA: RG 75, Letters to Factors. These instructions were comprised of eighteen numbered items. Pickering began by informing Price that “The principle of the trade is to furnish the Indians with Goods at such moderate prices that the Sales may simply reimburse to the United States the prime cost” and that “The object of this trade is by supplying the Indians on such easy Terms to manifest the liberality, and friendship of the United States, and thus by the ties of Interest and gratitude, to secure their attachment, and lay the foundations of a lasting peace.” Pickering ended the list by suggesting “the necessity of kind and friendly treatment of the Indians who may visit your Station and of perfect candour in all your dealings with them. Patience in particular will be requisite and caution when any of them get drunk.” Pickering also told Price that he should establish the post at Colerain; informed him about his assistants; instructed him about record keeping and the prices of his goods and the pelts with which the Indians might pay; cautioned him against giving credit or selling to Indian traders; and wrote that he could sell liquor but should discourage its use.

A copy of Pickering’s letter of instruction to Eaton, also dated 26 Nov., can be found in DNA: RG 75, Creek Factory Correspondence. In that letter, Pickering advised Eaton generally to prevent incursions from Georgia into Spanish territory and to protect Georgians and Creeks “against the malicious or vindictive designs of the other,” noting particularly the recent murders of seventeen Indians. Pickering continued with instruction about the army’s relationship with the new trading post. He advised Eaton that he was, if necessary, to provide artificers and laborers as well as guards; to “cultivate harmony” between the troops and the traders; and to ensure that the Indians who visited were “treated with perfect kindness,” guarding against drunkenness among his troops and preventing any bartering between the troops and Indians.

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