George Washington Papers

Enclosure: Thomas Dalton to William Wyndham Grenville, 8 June 1789


Thomas Dalton to William Wyndham Grenville

(Copy)1No. 2 Northumberland Court

SirStrand 8th June 1789

be pleased to permit me to inform you I am the bearer of the talks of the Kings Chiefs and head warriors of the Creek nation of British Indians in america.

the talks I alude to are now in the possision of Evan Napior Esqr., who was pleased to inform me I was to have the honour of an answer in the Course of three or four days, the time limited is five days Elapsed I am in pain untill I am informed of the Isue thereof and perticulary as I have no other habit in this nation but that of the Creek Indian in which I am obliged to Confine myself to my Chamber and as I have no other object in view but the liquedation of my business in this nation I must hope you will be pleased to order the Indian talk to be laid before you and honour me with your oppinion one way or the other for I woud Reather be a Sparrow on flight then a Canary bird in a Cage.2 I have the honour to be Sir your Hume Servt

T: D.
Capt. Creek nation

Copy, in the hand of “John A. Dingwell,”, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. This letter was labeled “No. 4” and appeared on one of the two smaller sheets.

1What is probably the original receiver’s copy of this letter is in P.R.O., CO 42/87 (Wright, Bowles description begins J. Leitch Wright, Jr. William Augustus Bowles: Director General of the Creek Nation. Athens, Ga., 1967. description ends , 180, n.12).

2The ministry’s answer, when it was finally forwarded by Evan Nepean, undersecretary of state for the home department, did not satisfy Dalton, according to Dalton’s 3 Aug. 1790 reply to Nepean from New York: “I am sorry to inform you the answer of his Majesty’s Minister on the 24th of June ’89 is by no means acceptable to my friends in the Creek Nation. It gives them reason to suggest that they are totally deserted by your standard. However, Sir, I as a British Subject beg you may reconsider the last business. I communicated to you on the part of the Creeks Fearing the consequence that may hereafter follow I have communicated my sentiments to Major Beckwith Aid de Camp to Lord Dorchester, who does me the honour to transmit this letter to you, and leave him to explain my wish that you, write me, to Lord Dorchester, as through any other channel I cannot receive it with safety to myself and the interest of your Nation. As my Situation is delicate I submit to the information of my friends on the business and beg leave to Solicit the Honour of your answer by the first Packet” (Turner, “English Policy toward America in 1790–91,” description begins Frederick J. Turner. “English Policy Toward America in 1790–1791.” American Historical Review 7 (1901–2): 706–35. description ends 721). Beckwith forwarded Dalton’s 3 Aug. 1790 letter to Grenville on 5 Aug. 1790, noting that it was “put into my hands by a person of the name of Dalton, who declares himself to be a Lieutenant on the half pay list, in His Majesty’s provincial service, this gentleman from his own account was sent last summer by the Creek Indians to London on the concerns of their nation and of other neighbouring tribes, and in consequence (as he asserts) had access to the King’s Ministers” (ibid., 720).

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