Conversation with George Hammond1
[Philadelphia, April 30–July 3, 1792]
It is somewhat remarkable that in my last conversation with Mr Hamilton on these points,2 he said that this government would, he doubted not, consent to grant to the subjects of the crown a free intercourse of commerce with the Indians dwelling within the American territory, provided that a similar intercourse with the Indians residing in the territory of Canada should be allowed to the citizens of the United States. Within three days after this conversation I received from Governor Simcoe3 a memorial of the merchants of Montreal,4 a copy of which I have the honor of inclosing and from which your Lordship will perceive that those Gentlemen imagine that the evils, resulting from the surrender of the posts, would be considerably alleviated by the permission, to the subjects of the two countries, of this reciprocity of commerce with the Indians residing within their respective dominions.
D, PRO: F.O. description begins Transcripts or photostats from the Public Record Office of Great Britain deposited in the Library of Congress. description ends , Series 4, Vol. 16, Part I.
1. This conversation has been taken from Hammond to Lord Grenville, July 3, 1792, Dispatch No. 26.
2. Hammond is referring to the problems concerning the western posts, the Indians, and the fur trade.
3. John Graves Simcoe, lieutenant governor of Canada, was appointed first governor of Upper Canada, a province which had been formed by the British government in May, 1791.
4. There were two memorials sent to Simcoe by the merchants of Montreal,one dated December 9, 1791, and the other dated April 23, 1792. The latter dealt with the “reciprocity of commerce with the Indians” mentioned by Hammond. Both memorials are printed in E. A. Cruikshank, ed., The Correspondence of Lieut. Governor John Graves Simcoe with Allied Documents Relating to His Administration of the Government of Upper Canada (Toronto, 1923), I, 91–94, 133–37.