To George Hammond
December 29. 1792
From the opinion you have been so obliging as to express that arrangements may probably be made in Upper Canada for procuring a supply, from that quarter, of the Indians expected to assemble at O’glaise in the ensuing spring for the purpose of holding a treaty with this government.1
I have the honor to inform you that I have concluded to send an Agent into the territory of Upper Canada, to endeavor to effect contracts for the above-mentioned supply; and, as you have authorized me to do, shall count on your good offices to facilitate the object of his mission. When the person shall be determined upon, it will be made known to you.2
It is impossible for us to foresee with certainty the number of persons who will be assembled. We conjecture however that they will amount to about five thousand, men women and children; and that they may remain together six weeks. These are the only data we have as to the quantum of supply, which may be requisite.
Any contract however which may be formed must embrace as much more as may be found necessary.
All details will of course be committed to the Agent who shall be sent.
I have the honor to be with respect &c.
George Hammond Esqr.
Copy, 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 5, Vol. 1.
1. In the autumn of 1792 the western Indians agreed to meet representatives of the United States Government in the spring of 1793. The Indians were to assemble not at the Auglaize (O’Glaise) but at Sandusky. Whether the reference to Auglaize as the meeting place instead of Sandusky was a mistake or an intentional change was a matter of dispute. The Indians had stated that Sandusky was to be the meeting place. Secretary of War Henry Knox, however, was informed that the meeting would be held at the “Rapids of the Miami River.” See “Conversation with George Hammond,” November 22, 1792, notes 4 and 5.
On January 21, 1793, John Graves Simcoe wrote to Hammond: “I cannot but believe that the change of the place in the Speech of Mr. Knox, is in him matter of design, Lower Sandusky, as appointed by the Indians, and the rapids of the Miami, are nearly Ninety Miles apart: the latter is where the States intend to take post, and possibly it might be of material Service to them, to explore the Country by means of their convoys, between this and Fort Jefferson, and Fort Hamilton in particular, as at St. Clair’s defeat, They seem to have been so totally ignorant of the intermediate distance” (Simcoe Papers description begins 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, 1923–1931). description ends , V, 29–30). On January 27, 1793, Simcoe wrote to General Alured Clarke that “in two separate Conversations which Capt. [Edward Baker] Littlehales held with Mr. Hamilton, that Gentleman insisted upon it, in contradiction to him, that Lower Sandusky, & the River au Glaize, were one & the same place” (Simcoe Papers description begins 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, 1923–1931). description ends , I, 280).
The confusion may have arisen from the fact that, although the western Indians had designated Lower Sandusky as the meeting place for the proposed council with the United States commissioners, in transmitting this information to the United States Government during a council at Buffalo Creek in November, 1792, the representatives of the Six Nations stated that the western tribes had requested them “to inform General Washington we will treat with him, at the Rapids of the Miami, next spring, or at the time when the leaves are fully out” (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Indian Affairs, I, 323–24). The mistake was corrected on February 28, 1793, when Knox wrote to the western Indians: “When the President of the United States consented to meet you next Spring at the rapids of the Miami, it was under the full conviction that you had appointed that place, as the one most agreeable to you, at which the Council fire should be kindled; but it has since been found that the Interpreter mistook the place you intended. We now find that it is your desire that lower Sandusky should be the place at which the Conference should be held” (Simcoe Papers description begins 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, 1923–1931). description ends , I, 295).
2. William Hull was the agent appointed by the United States to acquire supplies for the council with the Indians.