George Washington Papers

Henry Knox to Tobias Lear, 13 December 1791

Henry Knox to Tobias Lear

Philadelphia, 13 Dec. 1791. “Mr Kirkland seems desirous that the President . . . should peruse his plan relatively to the Oneida indians, and I therefore send it accordingly.”1


1The enclosed plan of the Rev. Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Oneida Indians since 1766, probably was his “Plan of Education for the Indians, Particularly of the Five Nations,” which he drafted at Oneida, N.Y., on 4 Oct. 1791 (Documentary History of Hamilton College [Clinton, N.Y., 1922], 27–31). Before submitting a copy of it to Henry Knox, Kirkland requested Timothy Pickering to comment on the particulars of his plan, which Pickering did in a letter of 4 Dec. (ibid., 35–38). Kirkland then presented the plan to the secretary of war, who asked him sometime before 6 Dec. to provide a cost estimate for its implementation (see Kirkland to Knox, 6 Dec., ibid., 32–35). Knox apparently had discussed with GW measures to maintain friendly relations with the Oneida Indians. Writing from Oneida, N.Y., on 5 Jan., Kirkland informed Knox that he would set out for Geneseo on 9 Jan. with Good Peter and other Oneida chiefs on the first leg of their trip to the capital (see Knox to Kirkland, 20 Dec. 1791, and Kirkland to Knox, 5 Jan. 1792, both in NCH: Samuel Kirkland Papers).

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