Alexander Hamilton Papers

Draft of Instructions for William Hull, 14 January 1793

Draft of Instructions for William Hull1

[Philadelphia, January 14, 1793. On January 14, 1793, George Washington recorded in the “Journal of the Proceedings of the President” that “The Secretary of the Treasury submitted … a draft of Instructions to be given to General Hull who is to go into Canada to purchase provisions for the treaty to be held with the hostile Indians in the Spring at Au Glaize.”2 Draft not found.]

JPP description begins “Journal of the Proceedings of the President,” George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 13.

1Hull, a native of Derby, Connecticut, had served as a lieutenant colonel in a Massachusetts regiment during the American Revolution. After the war he settled in Newton, Massachusetts, where he practiced law. In 1784 Congress sent him to Canada on an unsuccessful mission to demand the surrender of the posts held by the British in violation of the terms of the 1783 treaty. In January, 1793, Hull was appointed the agent to arrange with Governor John Graves Simcoe for the purchase of supplies for the proposed meeting with the western Indians in the spring.

2For the proposed meeting between the commissioners of the United States and the western Indians, see “Conversation with George Hammond,” November 22, 1792, note 4. See also “Conversation with George Hammond,” December 15–28, 1792; H to Hammond, December 29, 1792.

Although H’s draft has not been found, Hull’s instructions are described by his biographer as follows: “His instructions were, to explain to Governor Simcoe, then Governor of Upper Canada, the manner in which the savages were supplied with the munitions of war, provisions and clothing, by the Agents of Indian Affairs, and the commanding officers of the British garrisons at Detroit, Michilimackinac, and other places conveniently situated for the purpose. He was likewise authorized to hold treaties with the Indians, and inform them that the President of the United States would appoint Commissioners the next summer to meet them at Sandusky or any other convenient place, with full authority to settle all differences and to bury the hatchet. He was further directed to make arrangements with Governor Simcoe, that there should be no impediment in the passage of the Commissioners over Lakes Ontario and Erie, with the supplies for the treaty” (Maria Campbell, Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull; Prepared from His Manuscripts, by His Daughter, Mrs. Maria Campbell: Together with the History of the Campaign of 1812, and Surrender of the Post of Detroit, by His Grandson, James Freeman Clarke [New York, 1848], 254–55).

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