George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Winthrop Sargent, 2 January 1790

From Winthrop Sargent

Losanteville [Territory N.W. of River Ohio]

Sir2d Jany 1790

I do myself the Honour to transmit your Excellency the Proceedings of the Governour in his Executive Department from July last, and since his Return to the Territory.1

By the Ordinance for the Government of this Country such Communications should have been made to the Secretary of Congress, but a late Resolution has induced me to suppose (though it has not expressed it) that all Official Communications, from me, as well as the Governour, should be addressed to your Excellency.2

If I have erred in this Opinion, I request your Excellency would put me right.

Mr Charles Thompson Secretary to Congress furnished me with the Journals, to Novr 1787—If it is proper that they be continued to me, I must take the liberty of asking your Excellency’s Order to that Purpose.

The Governour arrived here this Morng & will probably be detained by public Business until the 4th when he expects to take his Departure for Kaskaskias. With the greatest Respect I have the Honour to be your Excellency’s most obedient & most devoted Servant

Winthrop Sargent

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Territorial Papers, Territory Northwest of the River Ohio; copy, DNA: RG 59, Territorial Papers, Territory Northwest of the River Ohio.

1The enclosure was the “Proceedings of the Governor,” from 16 to 30 Dec. 1789, an account of the appointments made by Arthur St. Clair for that period, a proclamation concerning a ferry across the Ohio at Wheeling, Va. (now W.Va.), and a statement by St. Clair that “the Governour has observed with some Regret that little Attention is paid to Militia Duties—Though the Settlement is at present in a State of Safety, there is a faithless People on the Frontier, & a People who may be led to Acts of Hostility without any Provocation from the Inhabitants of the Territory—Self Preservation therefore dictates that they be prepared—the Advantages will result to the People themselves and the Penalties of the Law will be avoided” (DNA: RG 59, Territorial Papers, Territory Northwest of the River Ohio). The enclosures are in CD-ROM:GW.

2Section 1 of “An Act to provide for the Government of the Territory North-west of the river Ohio” provided that when “any information is to be given, or communication made by the governor of the said territory to the United States in Congress assembled, or to any of their officers, it shall be the duty of the said governor to give such information and to make such communication to the President of the United States” (1 Stat. 52–53 [7 Aug. 1789]).

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