George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States House of Representatives, 19 February 1793

To the United States House of Representatives

[Philadelphia] ⟨Feby 19th 1793⟩

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives.

It has been agreed, on the part of the United States, that a treaty or conference shall be held, at the ensuing season, with the hostile Indians north west of the Ohio, in order to remove, if possible, all causes of difference, and to establish a solid peace with them.1

As the estimates, heretofore presented to the House for the current year, did not contemplate this object, it will be proper, that an express provision be made by law, as well for the general expenses of the treaty, as to establish the compensation to be allowed the Commissioners, who shall be appointed for the purpose. I shall, therefore, direct the Secretary of War to lay before you, an estimate of the expenses, which may probably attend this measure.2

Go. Washington.

Copy, DNA: RG 233, Second Congress, 1791–1793, House Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals; LB, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is from the letter-book copy.

2Knox presented such an estimate to the House of Representatives on this date (Journal of the House description begins The Journal of the House of Representatives: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 5:128). One day earlier Knox had sent Lear for submission to the president a “draft of a message to the house relative to the proposed treaty, and also an extimate for the expence thereof.” Knox also wrote that he would call on GW “in the Morning to take his orders thereon. I have seen the secretary of the treasury upon this business but neither of the other gentlemen” (DLC:GW). On 2 Mar. 1793 GW signed “An Act making an appropriation to defray the expense of a Treaty with the Indians northwest of the Ohio” (1 Stat., description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 333; see also JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 76). This act allowed for up to $100,000 in expenses, and it allotted the three commissioners a salary of $8 per day, plus expenses. For the appointment of the commissioners, see GW to U.S. Senate, 1 Mar. 1793 (second letter).

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