Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from George Washington, 31 October 1794

From George Washington

Philadelphia 31. Octr 1794

Dear Sir

By pushing through the rain (which fell more or less on Saturday, Sunday and Monday) I arrived in this City before noon on Tuesday; without encountering any accident on the road, or any thing so unpleasant as the badness of the ways, after the rain had softened the earth and made them susceptible to deep impression, of the Wheels.

How you passed through the Glades1 after the various accounts we had received of them, in such wet weather, I am at a loss to conjecture; but am extremely anxious to know; as I also am to learn the operations of the army, and the state & condition of it, since.

Nothing important, or new has been lately received from our Ministers abroad; and although accounts from London to the first of September, & from Ireland of still later date have been inserted in the Gazettes, they are not precise enough to be detailed in a letter. In general however, the French continue to be successful by land, and it might be added by Sea also, for they are capturing a great number of British Merchantmen. Nor does the fate of Robespierre2 seem to have given more than a momentary stagnation to their affairs. The armies rejoice at it, and the people are congratulating one another on the occasion.

Mr. Monroe is arrived in France and has had his reception in the midst of the Convention,3 at Paris, but no letter has been received from him.

Few members have yet come to town.4 Tomorrow I presume will bring many. The papers say Mr. Trumbull5 is elected to the Senate, in the room of Mr. Mitchell6 who has resigned; but who has, or will, supply his place in the other house is not mentioned.7

Husbands8 and the other prisoners9 were safely lodged in this city on Wednesday afternoon. Press the Governors &ca. to be pointed in ordering the Officers under their respective commands, to march back with their respective Corps; and to see that the Inhabitants meet with no disgraceful insults, or injuries from them. The Secretary of War will, I expect, say something respecting the deposit of the Arms & public stores in proper places—to him therefore I shall refer.

Mrs. Hamilton & your family were very well yesterday afternoon. Your letter of the 23d. has been recd.

I am always and affectly   Yours

Go: Washington

Colo. Hamilton

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; ALS, letterpress copy, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives; LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

2Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was executed on July 28, 1794.

3James Monroe, United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France. See John Jay to H, September 11, 1794, note 4.

4The second session of the Third Congress met in Philadelphia on November 3, 1794.

5Jonathan Trumbull was a member of the House of Representatives from Connecticut from March, 1789, to March 3, 1795. He was United States Senator from Connecticut from March 4, 1795, to June 10, 1796.

6Stephen Mix Mitchell was elected to the Senate from Connecticut as a Federalist to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Roger Sherman. Mitchell served in the Senate from December 2, 1793, to March 3, 1795. He did not seek renomination in 1794.

7At the opening session of the Fourth Congress in December, 1795, the seats of former Connecticut Representatives Jonathan Trumbull, Amasa Learned, and Jeremiah Wadsworth were filled by Chauncey Goodrich, Roger Griswold, and Nathaniel Smith.

9Robert Philson, George Lucas, and George Wisecaver (Wisegarver) (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 , 212–13; Brackenridge, Insurrection description begins Henry M. Brackenridge, History of the Western Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, Commonly Called the Whiskey Insurrection, 1794 (Pittsburgh, 1859). description ends , 330).

On October 21, 1794, Lucas wrote to Richard Peters, United States judge for the District of Pennsylvania: “… we are Detaind till Mr Husbands and Mr Filson Come in Now I hope You will Call Upon Mr Wisecaver & Lucas and Give Us a hearing As your Honour Detained Us till these Men would Come in we have Injured no Man we hope your Honour will Call Upon us and Give Us a Hearing” (ALS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia).

Wisecaver’s undated address to Peters reads in part as follows: “The Humble Address of George Wisecaver To the Honourable Court Seting fourth that the Sd. George Wisecaver Never was Against the Law and within this Eighteen Months Purchased two Stills and Never has Recd No Benefit out of the Same being Calld. from home told his wife if the Excise Officer Came About to Enter the Stills the Sd. Wisecaver Wife went into Bedford and told Henry Wood Esqr to Enter the Stills that was Neglected and the Excise Man Never Came About Nor Sent No person to Act for him which Can be proven by three Men that Mr [John] Webbster Never Came Nor Sent and I being Unaquainted with the Law and the Excise Man living Above thirty Miles from any hous I did Not think it my Duty to wait on him as Mr Webster got the Commission he was the fitest man to look after the Buisness then if I had Refuesed to Enter my Stills Mr Webbster had Tiome to inform on me…” (ADS, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia).

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