Wednesday 27th. Did business with the Secretaries of the Treasury & War—With the first respecting the appointment of Superintendants of the Light Houses, Buoys &ca. and for building one at Cape Henry—With the latter for nominating persons (named in a list submitted to me) for paying the Military Pensionrs. of the United States and the policy and advantages (which might be derived from the measure) of bringing Mr. Alexr. McGillivray Chief of the Creek Nation here being submitted to me for consideration I requested that a plan might be reported by which Governmt. might not appear to be the Agent in it, or suffer in its dignity if the attempt to get him here should not succeed.
treasury: “An Act for the establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers” (1 STAT. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 53–54 [7 Aug. 1789]) provided for the upkeep of all lighthouses on United States territory for one year. Thereafter no expenses for lighthouse support would be defrayed unless the establishment was ceded to the federal government. Section 3 of the act provided for the erection of a lighthouse near the entrance of Chesapeake Bay, and in late 1789 Virginia ceded land for such a lighthouse at Cape Henry (Hamilton to Beverley Randolph, 10 Feb. 1790, HAMILTON  description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 6:261–62).
war: “An Act providing for the payment of the Invalid Pensioners of the United States” (1 STAT. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 95 [29 Sept. 1789]) provided that the payment of military pensions granted by the states to invalid veterans of the Revolution should be continued by the United States. On 26 Jan. 1790 Knox wrote GW reporting that Hamilton had suggested that the responsibility for making payments should be relegated to the collectors of the customs appointed under the Treasury Department. A list of the collectors was enclosed in Knox’s letter (DLC:GW). GW evidently agreed to this solution, for on 30 Jan. Hamilton wrote Jedediah Huntington, collector at New London, Conn., that in regard to invalid pensions, “the President having signified to me his pleasure, that the business in your state may be committed to your management; it remains for me to direct the necessary provision” (HAMILTON  description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 6:232–33).
creek nation: The failure of the negotiations by David Humphreys, Cyrus Griffin, and Benjamin Lincoln with the Creek nation in late 1789 (see enry for 16 Nov.) left the problem of Indian depredations on the southern border still unsolved. It was suggested both in New York and on the frontier that the failure of the negotiations owed something to the ineptitude of the commissioners. Alexander McGillivray maintained that misunderstanding had arisen from “that puppy Humphries report to the president, it being a very unfavorable one and asserted that I would not treat on any terms whatever. . . . So I find that my different notes to them objecting to certain Stipulations were never produced to the president” (McGillivray to William Panton, 8 May 1790, CAUGHEY description begins John Walton Caughey. McGillivray of the Creeks. Norman, Okla., 1938. description ends , 259–62).
On 15 Feb. 1790 Knox wrote to GW that he had conferred with Sen. Benjamin Hawkins of North Carolina, “who is well acquainted with the influential characters among the Creeks.” It was Hawkins’s opinion that McGillivray was anxious for a reasonable settlement with the United States and had indeed intimated to Hawkins that he might be persuaded to come to New York to open negotiations. Knox recommended that the experiment should be tried. The proposal “shall have the aspect of a private transaction, yet it shall have so much of the collateral countenance of government, as to convince Mr. McGillivray, that he may safely confide in the proposition as it relates to his own and the other Chiefs personal security until their return to their own Country. I have shown Mr. Hawkins the enclosed draft of a letter to Alexander McGillivray, it has received his approbation, and he is willing to copy and sign the same, adding thereto some circumstances relative to a former correspondence on some philosophical enquiries” (DLC:GW). Hawkins’s letter to McGillivray, dated 6 Mar. 1790, is in CAUGHEY description begins John Walton Caughey. McGillivray of the Creeks. Norman, Okla., 1938. description ends , 256–58.