George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Knox, 29 February 1792

To Henry Knox

Wednesday 29th Feb. 1792

Dear Sir,

That General St Clair may not think his letters (enclosed) to me, have been unattended to, or slighted, I wish such an answer as will do for publication may be prepared—conformably—to the Sentimts which seemed to be entertained of the matter when the subject was before us the other day.1 I am always Yrs

Go: Washington

P.S. To say neither too much, nor too little, in the answer will be a matter of some difficulty under the existing circumstances of Genl St Clairs case.

ALS, NNGL: Henry Knox Papers.

1GW enclosed Arthur St. Clair’s private letter to him of 24 Feb. 1792, which reads: “I take the Liberty to enclose for your perusal the Draught of a Letter I propose to address to You on the Subject I had the honor to Mention to you a few days ago. You will perceive Sir that the Letter is intended to be published, and it is for that Reason I have presumed to lay it before you in this manner, and I have to beg the favour that, if there be any Sentiment in it, or any thing in the manner of expression that you disaprove of, you would be pleased to point it out that it may be suppressed or altered before it be too late. I am not sure, Sir of the Ground I have taken upon this Occasion, but I am sure the Measure has proceeded from a delicacy of Respect, and an earnest Desire to avoid the giving you the smallest disatisfaction, and to approach you in my private Character is a Liberty which you were pleased to grant me” (OHi: Arthur St. Clair Papers). St. Clair’s enclosed draft of another letter to GW has not been found. Ever since St. Clair arrived in Philadelphia in late January, he had vigorously defended his conduct during his disastrous campaign against the northwestern Indians (see Knox to Tobias Lear, 31 Jan., n.1).

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