James Madison Papers

From James Madison to James Monroe, [ca. 10 October] 1813

To James Monroe

[ca. 10 October 1813]

It is of the greatest importance that the Creek war should be crushed before it can invite or co-operate with British or Spanish attacks in that quarter, or draw other Tribes into it. In this view and under the circumstances existing, the large force from Tennissee may be adopted under the usual regulations.1

The Choctaw Agency may be furnished with an acceptance by the Govt. of the aid of that tribe; the acceptance to be presented on notice from the officer commanding the District, who should be informed thereof, & have a discretionary power to give the notice.2 General F.’s doubts as to his authority to call for Militia should be removed.3

The proper Steps should be taken for re-enlisting or reengaging the expiring corps.4

Provision should be made for Scouts if necessary.5

RC (DLC: Monroe Papers). Unsigned. Addressee not indicated. Docketed by Monroe, “From the President.” Undated, but a note on the facing page in Daniel Parker’s hand reads: “Sept. 28th. 1813 Extract from Govr. Blount—Extract.” Conjectural date assigned on the basis of Parker’s note and evidence presented in n. 1.

1JM was probably responding to a War Department extract of Willie Blount’s letter to John Armstrong of 28 Sept. 1813 (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, B-327:7) containing Blount’s request that JM be informed that, authorized by a 24 Sept. 1813 act of the Tennessee legislature, he had ordered a 3,500-man force to be raised against the hostile Creek Indians, who were believed to be “about to envade this State.” Blount also asked “that the said Troops be immediately recd. by the President into the public service.” This force, he added, would cooperate with that of the 1,500 militia he had already called out as requested by Armstrong. According to its docket, Blount’s letter reached the War Department on 7 Oct. 1813 (ibid.).

2Blount’s letter to Armstrong of 28 Sept. 1813 (ibid.) expressed approbation for the “measures taken by John Pitchlynn to provide supplies of powder and lead for the Choctaws,” apparently referring to an 18 Sept. 1813 letter to him from Pitchlynn, U.S. interpreter to the Choctaws, of which Blount had enclosed a copy in a letter to Armstrong of 27 Sept. 1813 (DNA: RG 107, LRUS, B-1813). Pitchlynn wrote that because the hostile Creeks planned to “make war on and exterminate all nations of red people who would not join them in their war against the whites,” he had arranged to supply the Choctaws with ammunition and would draw on the War Department to pay for it (ibid., P-1813). In his 27 Sept. letter to Armstrong, Blount also enclosed a copy of a 20 Sept. 1813 letter to him from James Robertson, U.S. agent to the Chickasaws, forwarding a letter Pitchlynn had written to Robertson, who commented, “I suppose it is with [the Choctaws] as it is with the chickasaws, so long without an answer to their offer of Service & request for supplies to enable them to give aid to the United States and the friendly Creeks” (ibid., B-1813).

3For Brig. Gen. Thomas Flournoy’s hesitancy to call out militia, see Harry Toulmin to JM, 14 Sept. 1813, n. 2.

4For Blount’s question on extending the terms of service for U.S. companies stationed in Tennessee, see JM to Daniel Parker, ca. 18 Aug. 1813, n. 2.

5In his letter to Blount of 20 Sept. 1813, Robertson informed the governor that he had engaged “twelve of the most active chickasaws with one chief to command them as Spies to range about sixty miles toward the creek nation,” at a rate of one dollar per day beginning 1 Oct. 1813, with ammunition to be supplied by the government (DNA: RG 107, LRUS, B-1813).

Index Entries