George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Timothy Pickering, 13 April 1795

To Timothy Pickering

Philadelphia 13 Ap⟨ril 1795⟩


It would be eq⟨ua⟩lly imp⟨roper⟩ (on acct of the expence, & other incon⟨venien⟩ces which would attend the measu⟨re) to⟩ continue the militia army in the wes⟨tern⟩ counties in this state, longer ⟨in service⟩ than the nat⟨ur⟩e & exigency ⟨of the case may⟩ require; or, under the reports wh⟨ich pre⟩vail of threatnings ag⟨ainst the Collectors,⟩ & other indications of latent disco⟨ntent,⟩ to disband it before a full submiss⟨ion⟩ to the revenue laws is ⟨unequivocally mani⟩fested. Under this ⟨view of the subject⟩ it would Seem most adviseable ⟨& proper,⟩ to reduce the force there by degrees; ⟨& to⟩ begin this without delay—acc⟨ompanying⟩ it with your best ⟨endeavou⟩rs ⟨to discover,⟩ the real temper, and true sta⟨te of things⟩ in that quarter, that it may be ⟨know[n] when⟩ the whole may be disbanded with safety & propriety.1 Conformably to these ⟨ideas,⟩ I would have you act.

Go: Washi⟨ngton⟩

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. Where the letterpress copy is illegible, the text in angle brackets is taken from the letter-book copy.

1Pickering wrote Daniel Morgan on 18 April and requested his “deliberate answer” to the query: “Whether it will not be perfectly safe to begin to disband the army immediately?” The secretary also asked Morgan to consider sending “some officers & soldiers” home “immediately” and continuing others “in service some time longer” (NN: Daniel Morgan Papers).

On 3 June, Morgan announced in his general orders: “The term having expired, for which the troops late of this garrison were engaged, and of consequence disbanded by instructions from the … Secretary at war, the general thinks it no longer necessary to continue the four battaalions of militia, which from motives truly patriotic, embodied themselves in the four counties of Washington, Westmoreland, Fayette, and Allegheny, for the preservation of order and good government; he, therefore … returns them his sincere thanks, and directs that they return to the respective regiments from which they were originally taken.”

Morgan added that GW desired “to express his thanks to the officers and soldiers of the late militia army, who so cheerfully joined the standard of the United States from a principle so truly laudable and patriotic” (Philadelphia Gazette & Universal Daily Advertiser, 26 June).

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