From George Beckwith1
Philadelphia, October 2nd. 1791.
Having received from Lord Dorchester, a copy of his Lordship’s answer to a late address from deputies of the confederated western nations of indians,2 I am induced to transmit to you herewith an authenticated copy of that paper for the information of the Executive Government, in the hope that it may have a tendency to dispel the remaining prejudices of individuals, and to promote the peace of the frontiers.
I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient, and most humble servt
Alexander Hamilton Esqr:
&c &c &c
Copy, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.
1. This letter was enclosed in a letter which Henry Knox, Secretary of War, wrote to George Washington on October 4, 1791 (LS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress). H, in a letter to Knox, dated October 3, 1791, had submitted Beckwith’s letter to the Secretary of War.
2. According to Samuel F. Bemis, Dorchester’s address to a deputation of the confederated Indian nations is in the British Public Records Office. Dorchester informed the Indians that Great Britain would not join them in hostilities but that he would mediate between them and the United States (Bemis, Jay’s Treaty description begins Samuel Flagg Bemis, Jay’s Treaty, a Study in Commerce and Diplomacy (New York, 1923). description ends , 116). Dorchester sent a copy of his address in a letter to Lord Grenville on August 17, 1791 (see Brymner, Canadian Archives, 1890 description begins Douglas Brymner, ed., Report on Canadian Archives, 1890 (Ottawa, 1891). description ends , 302). It presumably was prepared in answer to a message from the English traders of the Northwest, dated August 10, 1791, which had been forwarded to Dorchester by Sir John Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The traders had asked Johnson to “represent to Dorchester the alarming situation of their trade to the Southward of Detroit.” They expressed the hope that “His Excellency will use his influence to persuade the Indians to listen to terms of peace” (Brymner, Canadian Archives, 1890 description begins Douglas Brymner, ed., Report on Canadian Archives, 1890 (Ottawa, 1891). description ends , 302).