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From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 2 June 1794

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States 2d June 1794.

Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives.

I send you certain communications, recently received from Georgia, which materially change the prospect of affairs in that quarter, and seem to render a war with the Creek Nations more probable than it has been at any antecedent period.1 While the attention of Congress will be directed to the consideration of measures suited to the exigency, it cannot escape their observation, that this intelligence brings a fresh proof of the insufficiency of the existing provisions of the laws, towards the effectual cultivation and preservation of peace with our Indian neighbours.

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LS, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793-95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; copy, DNA: RG 233, Third Congress, House Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals; LB, DLC:GW.

Both houses of Congress read this message on 2 June and tabled the matter. In the Senate on 3 June, the message was referred to the committee assigned to report on the bill "for the more effectual protection of the Southwestern frontiers" (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 3d Cong., 1st sess., 117-18, 745).

1In addition to the four letters to Henry Knox from Richard Brooke Roberts and Constant Freeman discussed at Knox to GW, 1 June, n.1, this message also enclosed copies of a letter of 7 May from Theodore Sedgwick to Roberts and one of 5 May from James Jordan to Henry Gaither (both sent with Roberts’s first letter to Knox of 10 May); a report of Frederick Dalcho, 10 May (sent with Roberts’s second letter to Knox of that date); and an undated deposition of Timothy Barnard (sent with Constant Freeman’s letter to Knox of 10 May). Sedgwick reported the theft of horses by Indians who ambushed and defeated the militia that pursued them. Jordan reported that a "small party" of Indians had set out to steal horses and that one Indian town was "determined for war." Dalcho reported about an attack by militia on a group of friendly Indians near Fort Fidius. The militia commander told Dalcho that in consequence of the death of Lt. Thomas Hay in the earlier skirmish, he intended "to pursue and destroy any party of Indians he might gain intelligence of," and he alleged that Barnard had "given a pass to the Indians who killed" the lieutenant. Barnard swore that he had "neither directly nor indirectly given any pass or other licence to any Indian or Indians" (all DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793-95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; 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 , 482-84).

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