Abiel Holmes.

The annals of America online

. (page 49 of 79)
Online LibraryAbiel HolmesThe annals of America → online text (page 49 of 79)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the necessanr e^cercise of lawful authority; between burdens
proceeding irom a disregard to their convenience, and those
resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society ; to discrinai*-
nate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness, cherishbg
the first, avoiding the last, and uniting a speedv, but temperate
vigilance against encroachments, with an inviolable respect to the
laws.

^^ Whether this desirable object will be best promoted by afihrd*
ing aids to seminaries of learning already established, by the
institution of a national universi^, or by anv another expementSy
will be well worthy of a place in the deliberations of the legis*
lature.**
Beportof The secretary of the treasury reported a plan for the support
tory^f the ^^ public credit. With great strength and perspicuity he ilhis-
treasury. trated the political advantages of public credit, and ^ the com-
plicated variety of mischiefs which proceed from a neglect of
the maxims which uphold it. Public credit could only be main-
tained by eood faith, by a punctual performance of contracts ;**
and " good faith was recommended not only by the strongest
inducements of political expediency, but was enforced by con-
siderations of still higher authority. There are arguments for
St, which rest on the immutable principles of moral obligation :
And in proportion as the mind is disposed to contemplate in the
order of Frovldence, an intimate connexion between public
virtue and public happiness, will be its repugnancy to a violation
of those pnnciples. This reflection derived additional strengtii
from the nature of the debt of the United States. It was the
price of liberty. The faith of America had been repeatedly
pledged for it, and with solemnities that gave peculiar force to
the obligation.''
Coogreu The report of the secretary was largely discussed, and with
^r fa^i^ 5*^^ force of argument and eloquence. In conclusion, congress
the national passed an act for the assumption of the state debts, and for fund-
^^^' mg the national debt. By the provisions of this act, 21,500,000

dollars of the state debts were assumed in specified proportions ;
and it was particularly enacted, that no certificate should be re-
ceived from a state creditor, which could be '^ ascertained to
have been issued for any purpose other than compensations and
expenditures for services or supplies towards the prosecution of



Digitized by



Google



UNm3> STATES. 381

'tiie late war, and the defence of the United States, or of some 1790.
part thereof, daring the same.'' Thus was the national debt >^-v-«^
funded upon principles which considerably lessened the weight
of the public hardens, and eave much satisfaction to the puUic
creditors. '' The produce of the sales of the lands lying m the
western territory, and the surplus product of the revenue, after
satisfying the appropriations wnich were charged upon it, with the
addition of two millions which the president was authorized to
borrow at five per centum, constituted a sinking fund to be ap-
[Aed to the reduction of the debt. The effect of these measures
was great and rapid." The permanent value thus given to the
^ebt produced a result-equal to the most favourable anticipations.
*^ The sudden increase of monied capital derived from it invigo-
rated commerce, and consequently gave a new stimulus to agri-
culture."*

Commissioners, appointed by the legislature of the state of J?- ^^'^
New York, (on the 6th of March) declared the consent of that jl^'fcUoa
legislature, that the state of Vermont be admitted into the union wiUunVer-
•of the United States of America, and that immediately from "*°'^
«ich admission, aU claim of jurisdiction of the state of New York,
within the state of Vermont, should cease. The commissioners
also declared what riiould thenceforth be the perpetual boundary
line between the state of New York and the state of Vermont ;
«nd declared the will of the legislature of New York, that if the iSSi, up^JT
le^slature of Vermont should, on or before the first day of conditions.
January, 1792, declare that, on or before the first day of June,
1794, the state of Vermont would pay to the state of New York
die sum of 30,000 doHars, all rights and titles to land within the
state of Vermont, under grants from the government of the late
colony of New York or from the state of New York, with certain
exceptions, should cease. In consideration of this act of the ActofVir-
commissioners of New York, the general assembly of Vermont ginia con-
passed an act on the 23th of October, directing* the payment of ™"^'y*
30,000 dollars to the state of New York, and declaring that the
•line, d^ribed in that of those commissioners, shall be the per- Boondary

KJtual boundary line between the state of Vermont and state of ^^ "etUed.
ew York ; and declaring certam grants therein mentioned null
-and void.^

1 Marshall, Life of Washington, v. c. 4. Journals of Conmss.

t Vermont State Papers, 1S8, 194. The consent to tiie admission of Vermont
was expressed by the commissioners on the 6th of March. The bomidary line
was settled as follows : ** Beginning at die northwest comer of the State of
Massachusetts, thence westward, along tiie south boundary of PownaD, to the
jouthwest comer thereof, theate Qort|ierly, along the westem boundaries of the
townships of Pownall, fienningtoii, ghaftsbury, Arlington, Sandgate, Rupert,
Pawlet, Wells, and Pouitney, as ^^ ^ ^ townriilps are now held or possessed,
to the river, commooiy cified P<Hi|||^^^^er» thenee down the same, through



Digitized by VjOO^IC



AMSBICAN AMNAL&



^



m



1790.



Sept. 30.
Hannar's
expeditkMi
against the



In^an
burn their
principal
village.

CoLHai^
den*s men
atucked,
nndre-
pnlaed;

bat bum
their re-



towns.

CoLHarden
again de-
tached.



The presideDt tmiibnnly and earoesdjr pursued a just and
pacific policy towards the Indians. His endeavours to giv^e se-
curi^ to tl^ northwestern fixmtiers, by pacific arrangeinents,
having been unavailing, an expedition against the hostile tribes
northwest of the Ohio was planned as soon as it was ascertained
that a treaty with them was impracticable. The object of tbe
expedition was, to bring the Indians to an engagement, if possible ;
but, in any event, to destroy their settlements on the waters of
the Sciolo and Wabash. On the 30th of September, geoerd
Harmar, who was riaced at the head of the federal titMjpe,
marched from Fort Wadibgton with 320 regulars, and eSBsdod
m junction with the militia of Pennsylvania and Kentucky, who
had advanced about 20 miks in front. The whole army anxMnrt-
ed to 1463 men.

On the approach of colonel Harden, who commanded tbe
Kentucky militia, with a detachment of 600 men to reconnoitre
the ground, and to ascertab the intentions of the enemy, tbe
Indians set fire to their principal village, and fled precipitately
to the woods. The same officer, again detached at the head at
210 men, 30 of whom were regulars, when about 10 miles west
of Chilicothe, where the main body of the army laj, was attacked
by a small par^ of Indians. The militia neemg at the first
appearance of the enemy, tbe handful of regulars, commanded
by lieutenant Armstrong, made a brave resistance. Twenty
three of them fell in the field, and the surviving seven escaped,
and rejoined the army. The remaining towns on tbe Sciolo
were, notwithstanding, reduced to ashes ; and the provisions, laid
up before the winter, were entirely destroyed. After this service,
tne army decamped, to return to Fort Washington. To retrieve
the disgrace of his arms, general Harmar halted about eight
miles from Chilicothe, and late in the night detached coloael
Harden again, with orders to find the enemy and bring on an
engagement. His detachment, consisting of 360 men, of whom
60 were regulars commanded by major Wyllys, early the next
morning, reached the confluence of the St. Joseph and^ the St.
Mary, where it was divided into three columns. The left di-
vision, commanded by colonel Harden, crossed the St. Joseph,
and proceeded up its western bank ; the centre, consisting of
tbe federal troops, was led by major Wyllys up the eastern side
of the river ; and the right, under major McMillan, marched

the middle of the deepest channel thereof, to East Bay, thence throagfa the
middle of the deepest channel of East Bay and the waters thereof, to where flie
same communicates with Lake Champlain, thence through the middle of the
deepest channel of Lake Champlain, to the easC#ard of ttie islands, caDed tbe
Four Brothers, and the westward of the islands, called the Long Isle, or tibe
Two Heroes, and to the westward of the Isle La Motte, to the 45th degree of
north btitude."



Digitized by



Google



ITNITBD STATES. 383

aloBg t range of heighto Vfbkh commanded the right flink of 1700.
the centre division. The columns were soon met by a consider- v^-v - ^/
able body of Indians, and a severe engagement ensued. The
militia retrieved their reputation. Several of the bravest oSSiCen
hll I among whom was major Fontaine, a gallant young gentle- Major Fon-
man, who acted as aid to the general. The Indians, after giving ^^^
a semblance of fighting with the regulars in front, seized the
heights of the right of the centre column, and attacked the right
flank of the centre with great fury. Major Wyllys was among and major
the first who fell ; but the battle was still kept up with spirit, and ^^^
with considerable execution on both sides* The remnant of this
little band, overpowered at length by numbers, was driven ofiT
the ground, leaving 50 of their comrades, beside two valuable ^^^^^
officers, m^or Wyllys and lieutenant Frothingharo, dead upon
the field. The loss sustained by the militia amounted to upwards
of 100 men, among whom were ten officers. After this engage-
ment, the detachment joined the main army, and the troops re-
turned to Fort Washington.^

A negotiation for peace, held at the Rock Landing, hsmug CoL wuiet
been broken oflF by the Creeks, cdonel Willet was sent as an K^.jjJ
agent with a letter of introduction to Alexander M*Gillivray, who to Jniita^
was at the head of that nation, making suitable representations, tieaty.
and earnestly exhorting him to repair with the chieis to the seat
of the federal government, in order to eSect a solid and satisfac-
tory peace. He acquitted himself so well in this agency, that
the cniefs of the nation, with M^Gallivray at their head, were
bduced to repair to New York, where negotiations were imme-
diately opened, which terminated in a treaty of peace. The
treaty was signed and sealed on the 7th of August, by Henry TreatywiUi
Knox, secretary of war, and sole commissioner for treating with ^^^®^
the Creek nation of Indians, in behalf of the United States;
and by Alexander M'Gillivray and 23 Indian chiefs, in behalf of
themselves and the whole Creek nation of Indians. In this
treaty, an extensive territory, claimed by Greorgia under treaties
the validity of which was contested by the Creeks, was entirely,
or in a great part, relinquished.^

1 By general Harmar*8 Return, die baa of federal troops was 75 killed, and of
mOitia 108. '* Not less than 100 or 120 warriors were slain, and 800 log houses
and wigwams burned.*'

3 Mi^all, v. c 4. American Museum, viii. Appendix, where the treaty is
inserted entire. It was signed by chiefe of the « Cusetahs, Little TaUisee, Big
Tallisee, Tuckadateby, Natdiez, Chowetas, of the Broken Arrow, Coosades,^
an *' Alabama chief,*' and a chief of " Oakaoys." The first ^mature, on the
part of Uie Indians, was UMt of « Alex. M«Gillivray." This fomous oUe^ at
the age of lOjrean, was sent by his fiither from the Creek natiea to Charles-
town, South Cfarolina, and committed to the oaie of Mr. Faninhar M^GiUinay,
a relation of his &ther, by idioBi he was placed under the tuition ef an eminent
English master. He was abo taug^ w!a Ladn language in di# free eehoel.



Digitized by



Google



364
1790.

Dec 8.

Pretident^i

Speech.



Kentacfy
applies for
adiDiuion
into the
Union.



Indian in-
cnnionf.



AMERICAN ANNALS.

The district of Kentucky, at that time t part of Vir0aiia, baA
coDcurred in certain propositions, m consequence of wbichy with
the requisite sanction of congress, the district was to become a
disdnct member of the Union. The president, in his speech ta
congress, said, that since the last session he had received comr^
municadons by which this appeared ; and that application b now
made for the sanction of congress. *'The liberality and har-
mony,'' he observed, ^^ with wUch it has been conducted, will be
found to do great honour to both the parties ; and the sentiments
of warm attachment to the Union, and its present government,
expressed by our fellow citiz^ss of Kentucky, cannot fail to add
an aflfecdonate concern for their particular welfare, to the great
nadonal iinpresskins under which you will decide on the case
submitted to you."

Adverdng to the Indians, the president said, it bad been here-
tofore known to congress, that frequent incursions have beea
made on our fronder settlements by certmn banditd of Indians,
from the Nonhwest side of the Ohio. These, he observed,
with some of the tribes dwelling on and near the Wabash, have
of late been particularly active in their depredations ; and, being
emboldened hj importunity, and aided by such parts of the
neighbouring tribes as could be seduced to join in their hosdlides,
or aflbrd them a retreat for their prisoners and plunder, they
have, instead of listening to the humane invitations and overtures,
renewed their violences vmh fresh alacrity and greater effect.
The lives of a number of valuable citizens have thus been sacri*
Seed, and some of them under circumstances peculiar shocking^
whilst others have been carried into a deplorable captivity.
These aggravated provocations, said the president, render it
essential to the safety of the western setUements^ diat the ag-
gressors should be made sensible that the gDvemment of the
Union is not less capable of punishing their crimes, than it is
disposed to respect tneir rights, and reward their attachments.
As this object could not be elated by defensive measures, it



At the age of 17, he was lent to Savannah, and pteced in te counting home
of general Elbert During his apprenticeship, he devoted much more of hit
time to reading history, than to the acmiisition of mercantile knowl<Mige. On
this representation bemg made to his &Uier, he was sent for to the Creek nation.
The Creeks afterward chose him their Idmr; and, it was said, Wb Catholie
majesty promoted him to the rank of a brigamer general in Wb service. — Whfle
in Geor^a, during the war between the Creeks and the United States prior to
this treaty, I heaM much of M'OUlivrav. A respected friend and pariidiioner at
Midway, who h^ formerly resided in the interior of Georgia, had seen him at
his own house in the Creek nation. If I rishtly remember, he told me that the
fiither of M*Gillivray was a Scotsman, and his mother an Indian woman. Alex.
M*GiUivray married a Creek woman, and they had several children. Their &ther,
(he said), desirous that Uiey should learn Uie Endish language, always talked
with them in English ; hut their moUier, jealous for her native tongue, nevec
would talk to them in English, but alwayi m Mdian,



Digitized by



Google



UNITED STATES. 88(

became necessary to put in force the act, whidi autborizes the 1T90.
President to call out tne militia for the protection of the frontiers* w-v-^^
He had accordingly authorized an expedition, in which the regu-
lar troops in that quarter are combined with such draughts of
militia as were deemed sufficient.^

An act was was passed by congress to accept the cession ot Actt of coq-
Ae claims of the state of North Carolina to a certain district ^"***'
of Western territory ; and on the 20th of May, an act to provide
for its government, under the title of The Territory of the United
States south of the river Ohio. An act was also passed for the
encouragement of* learning, by securing the copies of maps,
charts, and books, to- their authors and proprietors.

The District of Columbia was ceded by Virginia and Mary- i>i«trict of
land to the United States. ^^^"""••

The state of Rhode Island, represented in a convention at ititUod.
Newport, adopted and ratified the Constitution of the United
States.

A convention of South Carolina formed a constitution for the S. Carolina,
state in conformity to that of the United States. An ordinance
was passed by the legislature of South Carolina for the erection
and establishment of an orphan house in Charleston.

Kentucky was detached by common consent from Virginia, Kentucky.
and on thie 6th of December erected into an independent
state.

Galliopolis, on Ohio river, was settled by a French colony. OaUiopoib.
The earliest settlement in the territory now the county of Mun-
roe, in the state of New York, was made this year. Geneseo, Geneteo*
in the same state, was settled by William and James Wadsworth
from Connecticut, who were the principal proprietors.*

The Connecticut Society for the abolition of slavery was Sociedes.
formed ; and the Middlesex Medical Society in Massachusetts.

The counties of Hancock and Washington, in the District of Countief in
Maine, were formed. They comprised an extent of more than **""••
100 miles square, from Penobscot river to Passamaquoddy, and
contained 21 incorporated towns, and 8 handsome plantations.
In all these towns and plantations there were but three ordained
ministers.

The Universal churches in the United States agreed on their
articles of faith at Philadelphia.

By the census taken this year, the number of inhabitants in the CenwM,
United States was 3,939,326 ; of which number 695,655 were
slaves.

1 American State Papers, i. 16.

2 The inhabitants of Geneseo ap© -.^.^^nts ftom the Ilastem states. In
1810, the household manufactures pro^^""??? ,a7^yiid8 oC clotk. Spafford.

VOL. II. ^g **^



Digitized by VjOO^IC



386



AMERICAN ANN ALa



1790.



Deaths.



Tennont
admitted
into the
Union.



Act for de-
fence of the
frontiers.



A. St Clair

appointed

commander



BeDJamm Fraoklin died, aged 85 years ; William lirii^slooy
governor of New Jersey, aged 64 ; James Bowdoin, late gover-
nor of Massachusetts, aged 64 ; Israel Putnam, major general
in the revolutionary war, aged 72; and Thomas Bradbury
Chandler, minister in the episcopal church at Elizabethtown,
aged 65 years.^

1791.

The controversy between Vermont and New York having
been amicably setUed, the assembly of Vermont proceeded to
call a convention of the people to take into consideration the .
expediency of joining the federal union. The convention met
at jBennington on the 6th of January. After a debate of three
days, the question was carried almost unanimously in the affirma-
tive. The general assembly, on the 18th of the same month,
made choice of Nathaniel Chipman and Lewis R. Mori-is as
their commissioners to attend congress, and negotiate the admis-
sion of the state into the union of the confederated states. The
commissioners repaired to Philadelphia, and laid the acts of the
convention and legislature of Vermont before the president of
the United States; and on the 18ih of Februaiy Vermont was
admitted by an act of congress into the Union, dv this act the
federal union was completed in every part of the United States.*

An act, passed by congress at the last session for the defence
of the frontiers, in addition to its other provisions, gave the presi-
dent an unlimited power to call mounted militia into the field.
Under this authority, two expeditions had been conducted against
the viUages on the Wabash, in which a few Indian warriors were
killed, some of their old men, women, and children made prison-
ers, and several of their towns, with extensive corn fields, de-
stroyed. The first expedition was led by general Scott, in May ;
the second, by general Wilkinson, in September; but these
desultory incursions had not much influence on the war. At the
close of them, the generals left a talk for the head men of the
nation, in which pacific overtures were repeated, but without
effect.

Congress having put more ample means in the hands of the ex-
ecutive for the protection of the frontiers, the attention of the presi-



1 For their characters, see Memoirs of the life and Writines of Benjamin
Franklin, ll.d. f. r. s. Allen's Bioe. and Hist. Dictionary, j^r^ William Living-
ston, LL.D. Lowell's Eulogy on Sie Hon. James Bowdoin, Esq. ll.d. late
President of the American Academy of Arts and Science, in vol. 2. of the Me-
moirs of the Academy ; Humphreys' Essay on the Life of General Putnam ;
and Allen, Art Chandler, Miller, li. 856. — ^A handsome obelisk, in memojy of
Dr. Franklin, was erected in the grave yard near Park street church in Boston*
in 1827, near the tomb of his fother, who died in 1744.

S Williams, Vennont, ii. c. 6.



Digitized by



Google



UNITED STATES. 887

dent was immediately directed to this object. On his nomination, 1 79 1 .
major general Arthur St. Clair, governor of the territory northwest \^*v-^^/
of the Ohio, was appointed commander in chief of the forces to »n chief of
be employed in a meditated expedition ; the immediate objects of J^n Mainit
which were, to destroy the Indian villages on the Miamis, to theMiamis.
expel the savages from that country, and to connect it with the
Ohio by a chain of posts, which would prevent their return
during the war.

The troops could not be raised and assembled in the neigh-
bourhood of Fort Washington until the month of September.
On the 7th of that month, 3ie regulars, marching thence direcdy Troops
north towards the object of their destination, established two ™*'cL
intermediate posts, Forts Hamilton and Jefferson, about 40 miles
distant from each other, as places of deposit and security. After
garrisons had been placed in these forts, the effective number of
die army, including militia, amounted to nearly 2000 men. With
this force the general continued his march, which was necessarily
slow and laborious. After some unimportant skirmishes, as the
army approached the country in which they mi^ht expect to
meet an enemy, about 60 of the militia deserted m a body ; in
pursuit of whom the general detached major Hamtranck with the
first regiment. The army, consisting of about 1400 effective
rank and file, continued its march, and, on the 3d of November,
encamped on a commanding ground, about 15 miles south of the
Miami villages. The militia, crossing a creek, and advancmg
about a quarter of a mile in front, encamped in two lines ; and
on their approach, a few Indians, who had showed themselves
on the opposite side of the creek, fled with precipitation. It
was the general's determination to throw up a slight work at this

Elace, for the security of the* baggage ; and, after being rejoined
y major Hamtranck, to march unincumbered, and expeditiously,
to the Indian villages. In both these designs, however, he was
frustrated.

The next morning, about half an hour before sunrise, an yn- Nov. 4.
expected attack was made upon the militia, who fled in the S*^/*^
utmost confusion, and rushing into the camp through the first line
of continental troops, threw them into disorder. The exertions
of the officers to restore order were not entirely successful.
The Indians pressed closely upon the fljnng militia, and intrepid-
ly engaged general Buder. The action instandv became severe.
Xhe fire of the assailants, passing round both flanks of the first
line, was in a few minutes poured furiously on the rear division
of the American army. Directed most intensely against the
centre of each wing, where the artillen" was posted, it made
great destruction among the artillerists* The Indians, firing firom
die ground, and from the shelter of the woods, were scarce-



Digitized by



Google



AMERICAH ANNAUL

1791. I7 ^eeo, boC when spi ingii i g from one oofer to ancdier.
\^\r%^ idvanciDg close op to the American lines, and to the very moutiis

j of the field pieces, tfaey fought with the most daring and 'mtrepid

\ bfaveiy.

The oneqoal coodoct of the soldiers, as is usual on soch oe-

; casKMis, imroinentlj exposed the oflkers, who, in their fearleas

effiyrts, fell in great numbers. Their only hope of victory was

j DOW in the bayonet. Lieutenant colonel Darke, with the seoood

regiment fiMnung the left of the wing, made an impetuous chzrgQ
upon the enemy, and drove them, with some loss, about 4O0



Online LibraryAbiel HolmesThe annals of America → online text (page 49 of 79)