George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 6 March 1790]

Saturday 6th. Exercised in the Coach with Mrs. Washington and the Children and in the Afternoon walked round the Battery.

Received a letter from the Govr. of the Western Territory dated at the Rapids of Ohio giving an acct. of the State of Affairs in the Westn. Country.

Arthur St. Clair was appointed governor of the Northwest Territory in 1787. His letter to GW from “the Rapids of the Ohio,” at present Louisville, Ky., has not been found. However, in a letter to GW, 1 May 1790, written from Cahokia in the Illinois Country, St. Clair stated: “In a Letter, which I had the honor to address to you from the Rapids of the Ohio, I mentioned the Information I had received respecting Mr. Morgan in that part of the Country” (DNA: RG 59, Territorial Papers, Northwest Territory). St. Clair’s earlier letter concerned the activities of George Morgan (1743–1810), member of the former Philadelphia trading firm of Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan. In 1789 Morgan actively engaged, with Spanish representative Don Diego de Gardoqui, in a scheme to develop the Spanish settlement of New Madrid in what was then Spanish Louisiana and to entice Americans to settle there.

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