George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander Hamilton, 13 July 1794

From Alexander Hamilton

Treasury Department July 13th 1794


I have considered the two subjects upon which you desired my opinion as maturely as my situation has permitted.1

With regard to the proceedings on Kentuke, I perceive nothing that can with propriety or utility be done; unless the Attorney General on full and careful examination should be of opinion that they furnish indictable matter, in which case I should think it very material that prosecutions against the ostensible & leading characters should be instituted.

With regard to the affair in Georgia the following course presents itself as eligible.

1 To urge the Governor of Georgia to employ effecaciously all the means in his power (that of military coertion if necessary not excepted) to prevent the establishment supposed to be meditated, referring him to the late Act of Congress & informing him that the expence will be borne by the U. States.2 The Commanding officer of the Troops of the U. States to be directed to cooperate.

2 To apprise the Creek Nation of the information which has been received, and to assure them, that the U. States will cooperate with them to prevent the intrusion in the first instance & afterwards to dispossess the Intruders. It may perhaps be made a consideration for urging them to run the line of the last Treaty.3

3 To mention the matter informally to the Spanish Commissioners expressing the disapprobation of the Government and its intention to exert all the means in its power to frustrate the enterprise. I have the honor to be with the highest respect Sir Your most Obedient & humble servant

A. Hamilton


2Hamilton was referring to "An Act directing a Detachment from the Militia of the United States," 9 May, which directed the several states "to organize, arm and equip, according to law, and hold in readiness to march at a moment’s warning" a militia detachment. Georgia’s proportion was 1,333 men (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 . 1:367-68).

3Hamilton was referring to the Creek treaty signed at New York on 7 Aug. 1790. Article 4 of that treaty described the boundary between the Creek Nation and the United States and provided for a line to be run by "an able surveyor on the part of the United States, who shall be assisted by three old citizens of Georgia . . . and three old Creek chiefs" (Kappler, Indian Treaties, 2:25-29). Opposition to the boundary concessions among some Creeks, encouraged by Spanish agents, prevented their cooperation with the survey, which remained to be done when a new treaty was negotiated in 1796 (see James Seagrove to GW, 5 July 1792; and speech of Fusatchee Mico, 21 June 1796, ASP, Indian Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:599-600).

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