Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, 25 October 1794

To George Washington

Berlin [Pennsylvania] 3d days March
October 25. 1794
7 oClock in the


We arrived here this afternoon. A very heavy rain has rendered the march extremely arduous and distressing; but we find here much better shelter than was foreseen. Our baggage & stores are just beginning to arrive. The Jersey line & Brigade of Cavalry took the right hand road about five miles back.

Tomorrow we shall continue our march & I hope that we shall conform to the general arrangement though we must shorten tomorrows march & lengthen that of the day following.

The troops have shewn all the patience that could have been expected. In short I perceive nothing amiss.

Bradford1 & Fulton2 it is said are gone off. By tracing time, it is not probable they were at all influenced by the arrest of Husbands & Philson.3

With the highest respect & truest attachment   I have the honor to be Sir   Your obed ser

A Hamilton

The President of The UStates

ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1David Bradford, an emigrant from Maryland, was a deputy of the attorney general of Pennsylvania from 1783 to 1794 and a member of the Pennsylvania legislature in 1792. He was the most militant of the leaders of the insurrection and was never offered amnesty. For an account of Bradford’s escape down the Ohio River, see Francis D’Hebecourt to Henry Lee, November 10, 1794 (Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV description begins Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV (n.p., 1876). description ends , 450–51). D’Hebecourt was a captain of militia at the French settlement of Gallipolis.

2Alexander Fulton. According to William Findley, “Fulton was from Maryland,” and in the early seventeen nineties he was not only a federalist, but an open advocate of the excise law.…” By 1794, however, he was a leader of the opposition to the excise (Findley, History of the Insurrection description begins William Findley, History of the Insurrection, In the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania: In the Year M.DCC.XCIV. With a Recital of the Circumstances Specially Connected Therewith: And an Historical Review of the Previous Situation of the Country (Philadelphia, 1796). description ends , 96).

3Herman Husband (Husbands) and Robert Philson of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, were two of four men who were arrested and sent to Philadelphia while the army was at Bedford. Husband, a backwoods preacher in North Carolina before he moved to western Pennsylvania, had played a leading part in opposition to the excise laws. Philson operated a store in the village of Berlin in Bedford County.

In his diary for October 20, 1794, Washington wrote: “I found also, which appeared to me to be an unlucky measure—that … [Judge Richard Peters] had issued his warrants against, and a party of light horse actually siez’d, one Herman Husbands and one Filson as Insurgents—or abetters of the Insurrection. I call it unlucky because my intention was to have suspended all proceedings of a civil nature until the Army had united its columns in the Center of the Insurgent Counties and then to have ciezed at one and the same all the leaders and principals of the Insurrection—and because it is to be feared that the proceeding above mentioned will have given the alarm and those who are most obnoxious to punishment will flee from the Country” (GW Diaries description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Diaries of George Washington (Boston and New York, 1925). description ends , IV, 223).

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