George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate, 6 August 1790

To the United States Senate

United States [New York]
August 6th 1790.

Gentlemen of the Senate,

Considering the circumstances which prevented the late Commissioners from concluding a Peace with the Creek Nation of Indians,1 it appeared to me most prudent that all subsequent measures for disposing them to a Treaty should in the first Instance be informal.

I informed you on the 4th Inst: that the adjustment of the Terms of a Treaty with their Chiefs now here, was far advanced2—such further Progress has since been made, that I think measures may at present be taken for conducting and concluding that Business in Form. It therefore becomes necessary that a proper Person be appointed and authorized to Treat with these Chiefs, and to conclude a Treaty with them. For this Purpose I nominate to you Henry Knox.3

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, 1789–91, Records of Executive Proceedings, President’s Messages—Indian Relations; LB, DLC:GW.

1For the difficulties that Benjamin Lincoln, Cyrus Griffin, and David Humphreys had the previous autumn in negotiating with the Creeks, see David Humphreys to GW, 26 Sept. 1789, n.3, and 27 Sept. 1789, and Henry Knox to GW, 27 Oct. 1789 and note 2; report of the commissioners to the southern tribes to Knox, 17 Nov. 1789, in DHFC, 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 2:210–41.

3Immediately after Tobias Lear delivered GW’s message, “the Senate agreed to dispense with the rule so far as to take” the message into consideration, and resolved “That they do advise and consent to” Knox’s appointment. His commission was dated the following day (DHFC, 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 2:88–89).

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