George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 12 April 1790]

Monday 12th. Exercised on Horse-back after which did business with the Secretaries of the Treasury and War Departments. The latter was directed to authorize the Judge of the Western district Harry Innis to permit the County Lieutenants of that District to employ 4 Scouts in each of the Frontier Counties for the purpose of discovering the movements of the Indians & giving the alarm in case they are about. The other Frontier Counties along the River Ohio East side above the Kentucke district was also authorized to keep out the same Number of Scouts.

The Secretary of State submitted the draught of a Report to me, which he was about to make to the House of Representatives in Congress consequent of a letter & other Papers which had been refered to him on the subject of Coinage—which report appeared to me to be sensible & proper.

Harry Innes (1753–1816) was at this time United States judge for the district of Kentucky, a post he held from 1789 to 1816. Innes was born in Caroline County, Va., and studied law there but moved to Bedford County, Va., where he began practice and held a number of local offices. In 1784 he was state attorney general for the western district and in 1785 moved to Kentucky, where he became involved in the so-called Spanish Conspiracy and in the struggle for Kentucky statehood. Knox wrote to Innes authorizing the scouts, 13 April 1790 (VSP description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds. Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts. 11 vols. Richmond, 1875–93. description ends , 5:133). report: On 8 April 1790 the House of Representatives ordered Jefferson to report on a letter from John H. Mitchell of South Carolina to Thomas Tudor Tucker, 22 Mar. 1790, “reciting certain proposals of Matthew Boulton, of the Kingdom of Great Britain, for supplying the United States with copper coinage to any amount that government shall think fit to contract with him for” (DE PAUW description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends , 3:360). Jefferson’s “Report on Copper Coinage,” 14 April 1790, advised that although Boulton’s abilities appeared equal to his proposals, it was imperative that the coinage of the United States be managed at home rather than in a foreign country. For this reason “he is of opinion, the present proposals should be declined.” The report was read and tabled in the House 15 April (DE PAUW description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends , 3:368). Mitchell’s letter and Jefferson’s report are in JEFFERSON [1] description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 16:342–48.

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