Notes of a Conversation with George Hammond
Dec. 17. Hammond says the person is here to whom the 6. nations delivered the invitation for Simcoe to attend, who says they insisted on it and would consider his non-attendance as an evidence that he does not wish for peace. But he says that Simcoe has not the least idea of attending.—That this gentleman says we may procure in Upper Canada any quantity of provisions, which the people will salt up express during winter, and that he will return and carry our request whenever we are ready.
MS (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand; partially dated; written with “Anas” entries for 10 and 12 Dec. 1792 on the other side of a sheet containing Notes for a Conversation with George Hammond, [ca. 10 Dec. 1792]; recorded in SJPL. Included in the “Anas.”
Captain Edward B. Littlehales was the British officer who brought word to George Hammond of the invitation from the Iroquois for John Graves Simcoe, lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, to attend the forthcoming conference at the Lower Sandusky as a mediator between the United States and the Western tribes. Littlehales, who was also Simcoe’s trusted private secretary, had attended the November 1792 Iroquois council at Buffalo Creek which had extended this invitation to his superior. During his stay in Philadelphia Littlehales conversed twice with the Secretary of the Treasury about the Lower Sandusky conference, but unfortunately the details of these conversations are largely unknown. There is no evidence that TJ met with Littlehales at this time (Simcoe Papers description begins E. A. Cruikshank, ed., The Correspondence of Lieut. Governor John Graves Simcoe, with Allied Documents relating to His Administration of the Government of Upper Canada, Toronto, 1923–31, 5 vols. description ends , i, 62n, 256–60, 262, 280).
Littlehales was overly sanguine about Simcoe’s willingness to allow American purchases of supplies in Upper Canada for the Indians who planned to gather at the Lower Sandusky. When Hammond forwarded Alexander Hamilton’s request that he be permitted to dispatch an agent to Upper Canada for this purpose, Simcoe rejected it, explaining to the British minister that “the Indians would feel themselves less Independent, if they were Victualed by the United States during the Negotiation” (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xiii, 382–3; Simcoe Papers description begins E. A. Cruikshank, ed., The Correspondence of Lieut. Governor John Graves Simcoe, with Allied Documents relating to His Administration of the Government of Upper Canada, Toronto, 1923–31, 5 vols. description ends , i, 277, 281).