James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William McIntosh, 3 September 1810 (Abstract)

§ From William McIntosh

3 September 1810, Vincennes. Introduces himself as a former British army officer who settled in Vincennes in 1786 and who was territorial treasurer until he quarreled with William Henry Harrison over advancing Indiana to the second stage of territorial government. Relates his current dispute with Harrison over the 1809 Treaty of Fort Wayne, claiming that Harrison negotiated the agreement unfairly and that the Indians did not give their consent to it freely. States further that Harrison has misled the administration and that the published account of Harrison’s dealings with Tecumseh,1 which he encloses, is inaccurate. Advises that Tecumseh and other Indians will travel to Washington in the fall to lay before JM their complaints against Harrison. Declares Harrison to be corrupt and urges the administration to dismiss him and to withhold ratification of the 1809 treaty.

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, M-185:5). RC 4 pp. Docketed by a War Department clerk as received 17 Oct. 1810. Enclosure is a clipping from the Vincennes Western Sun, 25 Aug. 1810.

1Tecumseh (1768–1813), born to a Creek mother and a Shawnee father, grew to maturity in western Kentucky and southern Indiana. He went to the Ohio country in the 1790s where he fought against U.S. forces in the campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. His role in the early stages of the Indian religious revival movement led by his brother, the Prophet, is unclear, but after 1806 he came increasingly into conflict with both American officials and many Indian chiefs as he attempted to discourage further land cessions to the U.S. In August 1810 Tecumseh had come to Vincennes to deliver his response to Harrison’s suggestion that he and the Prophet visit JM in Washington (R. David Edmunds, Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership [Boston, 1984], pp. 19–42, 73–134).

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