James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Morton, [ca. 24 October] 1813

From John Morton

[ca. 24 October 1813]

Extract of a Letter from Capt. R. D. Richardson; of the Ordnance, attached to Genl. Harrison’s Army, to Capt. Morton,1 Washington; dated at

Detroit, 14 Octr. 1813.

“The result of the council, held yesterday with the Potowatamie & Miami Indians, after repeated Solicitations on their part for Peace, is precisely as follows: vizt. Several of the principal chiefs of those Tribes, with their Families, are to remain with us as Hostages, and a Suspension of Hostilities is to take place from this moment, untill the will of the Government is made known on the Subject. All the hostile Indians are immediately to return to their Hunting Grounds in the neighborhood of Fort Wayne.2

An Expedition is intended immediately to Mackinac, & another to Long Point. Those accomplished, and we shall have scoured the Country.

A flag was brought in yesterday to Gen: H. by Capt. Le Britton from Gen Proctor, on the Subject of some private papers. This Circumstance is so characteristic of the British Nation and so suspicious, that Gen: H. very properly, in my Opinion, concluded to return Capt. Le Britton to another Section of the British Army, and directed him to remain, for the present, where he was.”

RC (DLC). Addressed at foot of document to: “The President of the U. States with Capt. mortons most respectful Compliments.” Undated; conjectural date assigned on the basis of the fact that in 1813 mail delivery from Detroit to Washington usually took about ten days.

1Capt. John Morton was deputy commissary of ordnance (Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; Washington, 1903). description ends , 2:731).

2In addition to the points mentioned by Richardson, the armistice signed at Detroit on 14 Oct. 1813 stated that the Indians would punish any among their number who committed a “murder or other depredation” against U.S. citizens, and would turn their prisoners over to U.S. officers (Esarey, Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, Indiana Historical Collections, 2:577–79).

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