From Alexander Hamilton
Pittsburgh November 17. 1794
I wrote to you two days since by express from Washington.1 The judiciary corps with m⟨y⟩ self arrived here last Evening. The list of prisoners has been very considerably increased, probably to the amount of 150 but it is not yet so digested as to be forwarded. Governor Lee just informs me that he has received a letter from Marietta advising him of the apprehending of John Holcroff the reputed Tom the Tinker & one Wright a notorious offender.2
Subsequent intelligence shews that there is no regular assemblage of the fugitives where it is supposed—there are only small vagrant parties in that quarter affording no point of Attack.
Every thing is urging on for the return of the troops. The engagement of a corps to remain here goes on, it is said, well. With perfect respect & true attachment I have the honor to be Sir Yr Obed. ser.
2. The letter has not been identified. John Holcroft (c.1742–1816) was a distiller and farmer who resided near what is now Gastonville in Washington County. He was exempted from the general pardon of 29 Nov., and in explaining that exemption, U.S. District Attorney William Rawle included Holcroft among those whose offenses were “too generally known to require a particular enumeration.” Holcroft was indicted for treason in May 1795 in connection with the assault on John Neville’s house. However, in response to a petition from Holcroft (not identified), GW determined in June 1795 “that the Conduct of the prisoner subsequent to the 11th Septr last does not invalidate his claim to the Amnesty promised to those who on that day gave assurances of submission to the Laws of the United States in the manner prescribed by the Commissioners.” Therefore, Holcroft was “discharged from any prosecution for offenses against the United States, committed by him previous to the 22d Augt 1794.” Holcroft denied that he was the Tinker (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 4:402–3, 420–21; William Bradford to Rawle, 4 June 1795, DNA: RG 21, Criminal Case Files of the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1791–1840; R. T. Wiley, “Sketch of John Holcroft,” Historical Magazine of Monongahela’s Old Home Coming Week: Sept. 6–13, 1908, 97–99).
According to Daniel Morgan’s December letter to GW, the Holcroft apprehended on the river (who escaped en route) was not John Holcroft the Tinker. He may have been John Holcroft’s son Richard.
The other man probably was Edward Wright of Allegheny County, who was a militia captain in 1793. He too was exempted from the general pardon, and Rawle listed his offences as “at Neville’s; at Braddock’s Field; opposed to signing submission.” Wright was indicted for treason in May 1795. A report from Chambersburg, Pa., dated 29 Oct. 1795 listed Wright as arraigned for high treason at York and “honourably acquitted” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 2d ser., 4:402–3, 420–21; DNA: RG 21, Criminal Case Files of the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1791–1840; Aurora General Advertiser [Philadelphia], 7 Nov. 1795).