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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Minutes for the President's speech

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.05210 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph document Date: 24 October 1791 Pagination: 7 p. : docket ; 31.7 x 20.3 cm.

Summary of Content: The minutes discuss issues at the War Department involving national security and the Indians (this information was requested by Alexander Hamilton at GLC02437.05199). Describes treaties and measures to establish peace on the western frontiers. Reports that "Accordingly offensive operations were directed, to be conducted however as consistently as possible with humanity." Hopes they can continue to talk with the Indians. Docket is marked "Private."

Full Transcript: [draft]
Minutes for the President's speech
In pursuance of the powers vested in me by law, I have directed such measures for re-establishing the tranquillity [sic] of the western frontier, ...as appeared, adequate and proper for that purpose.
At the same time that treaties were held, and other just means used, to attach the [wavering], and to confirm the well disposed tribes [inserted: of Indians] in their friendship to the United States, offers of pacification were held forth to the hostile tribes upon terms of moderation and justice. [struck: B]
But [2] these offers, having [inserted: had] no effect, it became necessary to convince the refractory, of the power of the United States to restrain and punish their depredations accordingly [struck: military] [inserted: offensive] operations [struck: have been] [inserted: were] directed, to be conducted [inserted: however] as consistently as possible with humanity. Some of these operations have [inserted: been illegible with full success] [struck: amply succeeded], and the others are yet undecided.
The offers of peace are still continued to the deluded tribes, and [struck: a] considerable number of individuals, [inserted: belonging to them] have [inserted: lately] renounced [struck: any] [inserted: all] further opposition, removed from their former situation, and placed [3] themselves under the [inserted: immediate] protection of the United States.
It is sincerely to be desired that [struck: all hostility future coercion may be unnecessary, and] [inserted: in future coercion may not be necessary] that an intimate intercourse may be effected, tending to advance the happiness of the Indians, and to attach them firmly to the United States.
To effect these desireable objects it seems necessary that the [inserted: Indians] [struck: laws] should [inserted: experience the benefits of] [struck: establish] an impartial administration of justice [struck: for the In] That the mode of alienating their lands, the main source of discontent and war, [4] should be defined and regulated [struck: illegible] by such principles, as to prevent all controversy.
That the advantages of commerce should be extended to them, and such rational experiments [struck: towards illegible] [inserted: made] for imparting to them the blessing of civilization, as may from time to time be suitable to their condition.
And that proper penalties should be provided for such lawless persons as shall violate the treaties which the US have or may [form] with the Indian tribes
[5] A system producing the free operation of the mild principles of [illegible] and benevolence towards an unenlightened [struck: race of men] [inserted: race of men] whose happiness materially depends on the conduct of the US, would at once be highly oeconomical [sic] and honorable to their national character.
The importance of the subject will justify me in [struck: bringing] recommending to your [serious] confidence the necessity and propriety of establishing a system for the national defence. A [struck: system] A system [inserted: to] would embrace the organization [struck: and] of a general milita[illegible] The establishing of magazines and arsenals [struck: in a general part of the illegible] [6] and furnishing them with all necessary appartus [sic], manufactured [illegible] the United States, and after the fortification of such places as are from the nature of things peculiarly vulnerable and important [struck: Our It would will be more consonant to the wisdom and dignity of the United States, that our national security should rest under the basis of divine providence on the basis of judicious arrangements than on a fortuitous assemblage of circumstances]
[7] It [struck: will] [inserted: would] be more consonant to the wisdom and dignity of the United States that our national security [inserted: should] rest under the [probation] of divine providence [illegible] the basis of solid arrangements than on a fortuituous assemblage of circumstances.
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People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: American Indian HistoryNorthwest Indian WarRevolutionary War GeneralPresidentPresidential Speeches and ProclamationsCongressGovernment and CivicsNorthwest TerritoryFrontiers and ExplorationWestward ExpansionMilitary HistoryTreatyMorality and EthicsDiplomacy

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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