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Accurate Information about the Northwestern Frontier & the Mississippi River

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionConnecticut Historical Society: Oliver Wolcott Jr. Papers. view image
Document Information
Date July 29, 1796
Author Name Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (primary) Location: Treasury Department
Recipient Name Anthony Wayne (primary) Location: Headquarters
Summary Wolcott is preparing a report for the House of Representatives on the establishment of districts for the collection of duties upon the Mississippi River and upon the northern boundary of the United States. He requests information about the state of the northwestern frontier. He asks about trading posts, settlements, and waterways along Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. He questions the current treaty with Great Britain and wonders which posts the US intends to maintain for commerce along the Mississippi.
Document Format Autograph Draft Letter
Document Notes Partially illegible.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Anthony Wayne; Oliver Wolcott, Jr.; House of Representatives; British; army; ;
Related Places Headquarters; Treasury Department; Northwestern Territory; Lake Erie; Lake Huron; Lake Michigan; Mississippi River; Ohio River; Great Britain; portages; Northern Frontier; Western Frontier; trading posts; Canada; posts; ;
Keywords session of Congress; establishment of districts; duties; northern boundary; collection of duties; accurate information; navigable waters; regulate commerce; portages; treaty; goods; settlements; provisions; military posts; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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Vol. 31 No. 9172
T D July 29th 1796
I have been instructed to report to the House of Representatives at the next session of Congress "a plan for the establishment of Districts for the collection of duties, upon the River Mississippi & on the Northern boundary of the United State & the [undecipherable] which may be necessary for the safe & consistent collection of such duties"
To enable me to comply with this duty I have to request that you would take measures [undecipherable] you for preparing me with accurate information of the state of our Northern Fron & Western Frontiers in respect to the following particulars
1st At what places [undecipherable] on Lakes Erie, Huron or Machigan or on any navigable waters connected with either of the said Lakes, on them at present trading posts or settlements?
2nd What Which are the places on said Lakes or navigable waters, which at which future settlements or trading Posts, are likely soon to be established?
3d What Which are the positions
on the said Lakes or navigable waters, most suitable to be taken by the United States to enable them to regulate commerce & ensure a [undecipherable] collection of duties, & what ought to be the boundaries of the collection Districts?
4th Which are the "portages" probably intended by the third article of the Treaty with G. Britain on which the British have a right to carry goods without paying duties & generally, [undecipherable] at what places are thse portages between waters waters connected with the Ohio & Mississippi; and at which of the said portages are there settlements?
5th What is the nature & [undecipherable] of the trade which has been carried on, from Canada, to any place on the Mississippi, across the territory of the United States?
6th What posts must the United States maintain, to enable the British to use [undecipherable] the portages necessary to any their commerce on the Mississippi & at the same time prevent the introduction of goods into the American settlements for consumption without payment of duties?
7th AT what places on the Mississippi [undecipherable] on any [undecipherable] navigable waters connected therewith, except the Ohio, are there at present trading Posts or settlements, & what is the nature & [undecipherable] of the trade at such posts or settlements?
As I have informed you of the resolution of the House & as the nature of the information desired [undecipherable] can be collected from the forgoing inquiries, I shall only add that I shall be oblidged by a new communication of any information which in your judgement [undecipherable] will be useful.
you will further oblidge me by stating whether in what degree you find the new settlements posts competent to the supply of provisions for our Military Pos Posts & [undecipherable] [undecipherable] [undecipherable] which quarter supplies can be out [undecipherable] in cans where as this information will be [undecipherable] important in forming Contracts for the Army.
Your speedy attention to the subject of this Letter will [undecipherable] me under particular obligations.
I am with perfect respect [undecipherable]
His ExcyAnthony Wayne Esq
July 29th 1796Genl Anthony WayneHead QuartersRecorded