Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Isaac Craig, 25 August 1794

To Isaac Craig1

War Department August 25th 1794


Your letter of the 17th Instant to the Secretary at War2 has been received and duly attended to.

The suggestions respecting additional measures of defence have been considered, but the danger of the means falling into the hands of the insurgents, appears at present an objection.

It is hoped that every thing at Pittsburgh or which shall come there, not necessary for the Post itself, has been forwarded down the river & will continue to be so as long & as fast as it can be done with safety.

The friends of Government at Pittsburgh ought to rally their confidence and if necessary manifest it by Acts. They cannot surely doubt the power of the U. States to uphold the authority of the laws, and they may be assured that the necessity of doing it towards preserving the very existence of Government so directly attacked will dictate & produce a most rigorous and persevering effort; in which the known good sense and love of order of the quiet body of the people and all the information hitherto received of their sentiments & feelings with regard to the present emergency, authorise a full expectation of their hearty cooperation—with esteem

I am   Sir   Your Most Obedient Servant

Alexander Hamilton
for the Secy at War

Isaac Craig Esquire

LS, Isaac Craig Papers, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2On August 17, 1794, Craig wrote to Henry Knox: “… Messr. [Jasper] Yeats, [William] Bradford & [James] Ross are now here. I do beleave they are by what they have seen and heard Pretty well Convinced that the powers they are Vested with will have but a small effect in bringing the Misguided multitude to a sence of their duty as Citizen of the United States and although I have no Doubt but Proper measures will be adopted, I must beg leave to Offer as my Opinion that Something ought to be done immediately to excite Confidence in those that remain well effected to Government.

“Several of the inhabitants of Pittsburg say that they submitted to the Humiliating Condition imposed on them by the multitude on Bradocks Field only with a view of saving their Property & that if the Town Could have been protected it would have been Otherwise. Therefore as the Works & Troops at this post is not adequate to the protection of the Town on all Sides, I presume another work ought to be errected on the points of Grants hill Mounted with two 12 pounders & two three pounders & also that two 12 pounders & two three pounders & a 5½ inch Howitzer with Proper apparatus ought to be added to Fort Fayette. A Company of Artillery I presume will Also be necessary. I have mentioned my Opinion on the above Particulars to Colo. [Thomas] Butler who fully Approves of it.” (LC, Isaac Craig Papers, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)

Craig wrote to Knox on August 29, 1794, requesting permission to provide additional barracks in case the garrison at Fort Fayette was augmented (LC, Isaac Craig Papers, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). On September 6, 1794, John Stagg, Jr., chief clerk in the War Department, wrote to Craig: “… as there is no positive arrangement at present, for a permanent augmentation of force, to the garrison at Fort Fayette, the erecting of additional barracks therein, as suggested in your letter, is a matter that must be governed by existing circumstances on the spot” (LS, Isaac Craig Papers, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). On September 26, 1794, Craig informed Knox that “… I am Accordingly agreeable to the Orders of Coll Butler, Enlarging the Barracks & building a Store House” (LC, Isaac Craig Papers, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

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