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Conference on the Whiskey Rebellion

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionPrinted Version only view image
PublicationSyrett, Harold C., ed. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 Vols. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961-87. (no image)
Document Information
Date August 2, 1794
Author Name Cabinet (primary)
Recipient Name Unknown Recipient (primary)
Summary Conference concerning the insurrection in western Pennsylvania. Washington begins the conference by stating that the "most spirited and firm measures" are necessary to counteract the Whiskey Rebellion because it threatens the very existence of the Constitution. That said, Washington insisted that the federal government not overreach beyond the bounds of the Constitution, and to work with the Pennsylvania government. Thomas McKean, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, warned that "the employment of military force, at this period, would be as bad as anything that the Rioters had done - equally unconstitutional and illegal." If left to the courts, McKean argued, the rioters could be prosecuted and punished without resorting to military force. Secretary Hamilton, naturally, "insisted upon the propriety of an immediate resort to Military force."
Document Format Printed Document
Document Notes Those present at this conference were George Washington, Edmund Randolph, Henry Knox, William Bradford, and the following officials from Pennsylvania: Thomas Mifflin, governor; Thomas McKean, chief justice; Jared Ingersoll, attorney general; Alexander J. Dallas, secretary of the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd ser., IV, 144-146
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups George Washington; Edmund Randolph; Henry Knox; William Bradford; Thomas Mifflin; Thomas McKean; Jared Ingersoll; Alexander Dallas; governor; John Neville; Presley Neville; David Lenox; Thomas Butler; Francis Mentges; Post Rider; Judge Wilson; Attorney General; militia; rioters; magistrate; Alexander Hamilton; Judge Addison; military;
Related Places Philadelphia; Pennsylvania; Western Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh; Allegheny County;
Keywords insurrection; Whiskey Rebellion; Constitution; mail; letters; Pittsburgh Gazette; newspaper; revolt;
Key Phrases [not available]

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