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and practical character, that could be easily got at, on this subject, and therefore would hear Clairborne's engineer, as well as Mr. Weston; especially as he professes to be particularly well skilled in the application of the principles for propelling boats, in an easy and cheap manner, against the stream, and for conducting water to cities or for any other purpose whatsoever.

The bill you allude to has not passed, nor do I know what shape it will take if it does, and therefore can say nothing more on the subject at this time, than that there will be no precipitancy in engaging either the agents or the means of carrying the law into effect. If the measure, which I have recommended, should be adopted, with the importance of it I am strongly impressed; consequently, if any thing should be required of the President towards carrying it into execution, I shall feel it in a particular manner my duty to set it a going under the most favorable auspices. I return Dr. Currie's letter, with thanks for the perusal of it. The picture drawn in it of the state of things in his own country, and the details which he gives of those of the belligerent powers, are gloomy for them indeed. All here are well, and all join in best regards for you, with, dear Sir, your affectionate, &c.


Philadelphia, 30 December, 1794.


The considerations, which you have often suggested to me, and which are repeated in your letter of the 28th instant, as requiring your departure from your present office, are such as to preclude the possibility

of my urging your continuance in it. This being the case, I can only wish that it was otherwise.*

I cannot suffer you, however, to close your public service, without uniting with the satisfaction, which must arise in your own mind from a conscious rectitude, my most perfect persuasion, that you have deserved well of your country.

My personal knowledge of your exertions, whilst it authorizes me to hold this language, justifies the sincere friendship, which I have ever borne for you, and which will accompany you in every situation of life; being, with affectionate regard, always yours, &c.


Philadelphia, 22 January, 1795.


From a long acquaintance with and sincere regard you, I always feel pleasure in hearing from you


* From General Knox's Letter.-"Sir; In pursuance of the verbal communications heretofore submitted, it is with the utmost respect, that I beg leave officially to request you will please to consider, that, after the last day of the present month and year, my services as the Secretary for the Department of War will cease. I have endeavoured to place the business of the department in such a train, that my successor may without much difficulty commence the duties of his station. Any explanations or assistance, which he may require, shall be cordially afforded by me.

"After having served my country nearly twenty years, the greatest portion of which under your immediate auspices, it is with extreme reluctance, that I find myself constrained to withdraw from so honorable a station. But the natural and powerful claims of a numerous family will no longer permit me to neglect their essential interests. In whatever situation I shall be, I shall recollect your confidence and kindness with all the fervor and purity of affection, of which a grateful heart is susceptible." - December 28th.

Timothy Pickering, at this time Postmaster-General, was appointed to succeed Henry Knox as Secretary of War on the 2d of January, 1795. VOL. XI. 2

and of you.
ultimo was an acceptable annuity.*

Consequently your letter of the 30th


Notwithstanding you have passed your seventy-third year, whilst you enjoy tolerable health, and retain your faculties in the vigor they are, I wish, as well on public as on private account, that length of days may be added to those which you have already numbered. A month from this day, if I should live to see the completion of it, will place me on the wrong (perhaps it would be better to say on the advanced) side of my grand climacteric; and, although I have no cause to complain

* From Mr. Pendleton's Letter. "Lest I should suffer the year to expire, I take up the pen to congratulate you on your safe return from the westward, and on your having, as we hope, quelled the spirit of anarchy and disorder in that quarter, without shedding other blood than what shall be found on a legal trial to have been justly forfeited to the laws, a circumstance which affords considerable consolation under the enormous expense incurred on the occasion, which, though inevitable, is yet grievous in the present situation of America.

"The success of our army under General Wayne is also gratifying, affording a fair prospect of peace in that quarter with the Indians. I fear a radical peace with those to the southward will only be attained by a similar proceeding. Will you permit me, Sir, to suggest a doubt, whether the policy of contracting to pay an annual tribute to neighbouring Indians be sound, and adapted to the genius and temper of that people. It conveys an idea of inferiority, which most nations indeed will take advantage of; but these people, having been in a train of beneficial plunder upon us, will only be restrained by their fear of offending our government, and not by concessions. The old counsellors will profess to be at peace, and continue to receive their annuity, whilst their young men continue their depredations, and the others will say they cannot restrain them. A fair and well-supplied trade with them, a strict adherence to treaties on our part, and a demand of the same on theirs, a fair purchase of their lands when they choose to sell, a prohibition of all speculations upon them, either in trade or buying their lands, and occasional presents in their necessity, which they will consider as a bounty, and not view it in the light of the other, as a stipulated price of peace with them, seem to me the true system.

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"I hope we are to continue at peace with the nations of Europe, though they shall be mad enough to continue their war. But if the papers retail the truth, is it not strange that the Bermudian privateers should yet be capturing American vessels?" - December 30th.

of the want of health, I can religiously aver, that no man was ever more tired of public life, or more devoutly wished for retirement than I do.

I hope and believe, that the spirit of anarchy in the western counties of this State, to quell which the force of the Union was called for, is entirely subsided; and although, to effect it, the community has been saddled with a considerable expense, yet I trust no money could have been more advantageously expended, both as it respects the internal peace and welfare of this country, and the impression it will make on others. The spirit with which the militia turned out in support of the constitution and the laws of our country, at the same time that it does them immortal honor, is the most conclusive refutation, that could have been given to the assertions of Lord Sheffield,* that, without the protection of Great Britain, we should be unable to govern ourselves, and would soon be involved in confusion. They will see, that republicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, that laws, under no form of government, will be better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness be more effectually dispensed to mankind.

The successes of our army to the westward have already been productive of good consequences. They have dispelled a cloud, which lowered very heavily

* In his Observations on the Commerce of the American States. This tract was published shortly after the peace at the end of the revolution, and within two years it passed through six editions. Its object was to disparage the importance of the English trade with the United States, and to prevent a commercial treaty. It contained an elaborate array of details respecting the American trade, stated and arranged in such a manner as to give the author's reasoning a plausible aspect, and to produce a considerable influence on the public mind, especially as his views accorded with the prevalent feeling in England. Several pamphlets were written in reply to Lord Sheffield's Observations.

in the northern hemisphere (the Six Nations); and, though we have received no direct advices from General Wayne since November, there is reason to believe, that the Indians, with whom we are or were at war in that quarter, together with their abettors, begin to see things in a different point of view. But what effect these favorable changes may have on the southern Indians, it is not easy at this moment to decide.

I accord fully in opinion with yourself, that the plan of annual presents, in an abstract view, unaccompanied with other measures, is not the best mode of treating ignorant savages, from whose hostile conduct we experience much distress; but it is not to be forgotten, that they in turn are not without serious causes of complaint, from the encroachments which are made on their lands by our people, who are not to be restrained by any law now in being, or likely to be enacted. They, poor wretches, have no press through which their grievances are related; and it is well known, that, when one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly. The annual presents, however, to which you allude, are not given so much with a view to purchase peace, as by way of contribution for injuries not otherwise to be redressed. These people are very much irritated by the continual pressure of land speculators and settlers on one hand, and on the other by the impositions of unauthorized and unprincipled traders, who rob them, in a manner, of their hunting. Nothing but the strong arm of the Union, or, in other words, adequate laws can correct these abuses. But here jealousies and prejudices, from which I apprehend more fatal consequences to this government, than from any other source, aided by local situations, and perhaps by interested considerations, always oppose themselves to efficient measures.

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