Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Hammond, 30 March 1792

From George Hammond

Philadelphia 30th March 1792


By the last packet, I have received from my Court (in consequence of a communication from me of the reports circulated upon the subject) a corroboration of the truth of the sentiments, which I had the honor of stating to you, as the result of my personal conviction, in my letter of the 14th of December, relative to Mr. Bowles.

I am directed to assure this government, in the most explicit manner, that the assertions said to have been made by Mr. Bowles of his pretensions having been encouraged or countenanced by the government of Great Britain, or of his having been furnished by it with arms and ammunition, are entirely without foundation. The report also of his having obtained from the government of Great Britain any sort of commission as superintendant of the Indians or in any other character, or of his having received authority, to promise to the Indians protection and assistance in the recovery of their old boundary with Georgia, or to hold out to them the expectation of any English reinforcements in the spring, is equally groundless.

I feel the sincerest satisfaction in being empowered to communicate to you, Sir, this additional proof of the solicitude of his Majesty’s government to promote a good understanding with the United States, which solicitude cannot be more decidedly evinced than by this prompt contradiction of the rumours to which I have alluded, and which are as repugnant to the truth, as they are injurious to the establishment of that mutual confidence, which ought to subsist between our respective countries.—I have the honor to be with great respect and esteem, Sir, Your most obedient, humble servant,

Geo. Hammond.

RC (DNA: RG 59, NL); in a clerk’s hand, except for signature; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Mch. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (same). PrC of FC (DLC); in clerk’s hand, with following unsigned attestation at foot of text: “Department of State sc. I hereby certify that the preceding letter from his Britannic Majesty’s Minister plenipotentiary dated 30th. March 1792, and addressed to the Secretary of State, is truly copied from the original.—In Testimony whereof I have caused my seal of office to be hereto affixed this thirty first day of March 1792.”


Hammond received corroboration of his previous assurances to TJ that the British government had not authorized William Augustus Bowles’ efforts to incite the Creeks against the United States in the form of a 3 Jan. 1792 letter from Lord Grenville, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs (Mayo, British Ministers description begins Bernard Mayo, ed., “Instructions to the British Ministers to the United States 1791-1812,” American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1936 description ends , p. 20–1).

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