George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the inhabitants of Kentucky, 8 September 1789 [letter not found]

Letter not found: from the inhabitants of Kentucky, 8 Sept. 1789. On 18 Nov. 1789 Tobias Lear submitted to Henry Knox a letter from “a number of respectable Inhabitants of Kentuckey recommendg the Mountain leader [Piomingo] a Chickasaw Chief.”1

1Although Lear indicates that the letter was received by GW, it is possible that it was not addressed to him. It is undoubtedly the letter described in GW’s Memoranda on Indian Affairs, 1789, as a letter from “George Muter, Saml McDowell, Caleb Wallace, Harry Innes, George Nicholas, Christophr Greenup, Benja. Sebastian, James Brown, William McDowell, Thos Barber & Wm Kennedy.” These residents of Kentucky “Recommend Piemingo or Mountain Leader as a Chief of the Chicasaws applying for supplies of Ammunition for the use of his Nation; who from its friendly conduct towards the People of the United States, are at enmity with, and expect an attack from the Creeks. The Chicasaws they say are at present unconnected with both Spaniards & English, & have no chance ⟨illegible⟩ supplies from either, without becoming dependent on the Spaniards, or joining the Creeks, and thence forward more than probably enemies to the U. States. They add, that they are daily suffering from the Incursions of the Creeks; and have every reason to expect that they will be continued—that they have further reason to believe, if the Chicasaws can obtain a supply of Amn, they will cut out work for the former at home—and submit whether this will not be the most effectual, as well as the cheapest mode of retaliating—They are decidedly of opinion that some change should take place in the manner of conducting Indian Affairs in the Western Country.” On 15 Dec. Knox reported to the Kentucky citizens who signed the letter: “The President of the united States has directed me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated at Danville on the 8th of September last.

“You will probably have learned that Piamingo, the chickasaw chief did not proceed to new York, but that he was furnished with certain articles at Richmond by the Legislature of Virginia.

“I am further directed to inform you that such measures as are within the power, and consistantly with the general duties of the President of the united States will be adopted for the protection of the frontiers, and for the purposes of conciliating the chickasaws and choctaws, and if necesssary to avail the public of their assistance” (InHi).

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