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Diverting Goods Expressly Purchased for the Indians, Etc.

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: Sec War Ltrs to Factors, RG 75 view image
CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: Sec War Ltrs to Factors, RG 75 view image
Document Information
Date October 25, 1796
Author Name James McHenry (primary) Location: War Office
Recipient Name Edward Price (primary)
Summary McHenry advises Edward Price to expect an invoice from Samuel Hodgdon to ship goods to the trading house at Coleraine. McHenry provides guidance regarding requests by US military officers in garrison in Georgia and frontier inhabitants to purchase some of the goods in store, noting that it would be wrong to divert from the Indians goods expressly purchased for their use. If however, there are surplus goods, sell them for cash only, no credit. Goods should be sent to Benjamin Hawkins. McHenry also discusses the U.S. Government policy of encouraging cattle raising, agriculture and trade among the Indians [civilization].
Document Format Letterbook
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Edward Price; James McHenry; Lt. Col. Gaither; Benjamin Hawkins; Superintendent Military Stores; Indians; Creek Indians; Indian Agent South of the Ohio; factors; agents; ;
Related Places War Office; Coleraine Georgia; St. Mary's River; Tennessee; Tellico; ;
Keywords trading house; factory; cattle raising; grain; markets; horses; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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To Mr Edward PriceWar. Office October 25th 1796
You will be furnished by the Superintendant of miltary stores with an Invoice of goods for the trading-house at Coleraine, which you will dispose of agreeably to your instructions.
The mode of keeping your accounts, and the person to whom you are to address your remittances, and from whom you are to receive returns hereafter, will be pointed out to you in a future letter; 'til which time, You will be governed by existing orders.
You have stated that you are sometimes pressed by officers of the United States, in Garrison in Georgia, and by frontier Inhabitants, to sell to them articles in store; & that it would be a great convenience to
both, were you permitted to yield to their Solicitations. The institution of the trading-house, you will observe, being for different purposes, it would be wrong to divert from the Indians Goods expressly purchased for their use. However, should there be more of any article on hand than the Indians may call for, 'til it can be replaced; and the wants of the above description of persons for that article are pressing; and there should appear to you to be no other way in which they could be supplied; You may, under such circumstances, sell to them for ready money; but, in no case whatever, upon credit.
It being intended to remove the trade from Coleraine to the principal post to be established within the Creek Boundary, you will be pleased to furnish Lieut. Col. Gaither, immediately upon your arrival, with the dimensions and plan for a store proper for your business, that he may take measures to have it erected in a protected Situation.
You will also, as soon as it is ready to receive the goods, have them transported thither. The goods which are to go under your care addressed to Benjamin Hawkins, principal temporary Indian Agent, South of the Ohio, are to be forwarded agreeably to such instructions
as he may send you. Those for the creeks are to be stored in the trading-house, and held in like manner subject to his orders. With respect to the latter, you will open an account for the Creeks, in which you will credit them with the amount of the Goods annually sent them, and charge them with the orders that may be given by the Agent for their delivery.
As the views of the Government extend to the encouragement of Cattle-Raising and Agriculture among the Indians, as a mean [sic] of approaching them to the civilized State, it becomes an object to find for their Cattle and grain a ready and profitable market. I wish you, therefore, to ascertain and report to the Secretary of War, how far it would be safe for the Store to give goods for the one or the other; that is, whether the Store could readily, and without loss or risk, dispose of either, if received in exchange. Good horses, it is presumed, might be cheaply conveyed to market; and, perhaps, grain or beef could be sold to the contractors for supplying the troops, or transported to a Sea-Port and disposed of to advantage,
or, rather without a loss. All this you will enquire into, which includes a knowledge of what transportation will cost from the place where reserved, to where they may be Sold.
You will be pleased, immediately on your return, make out an Inventory of all the Goods on hand, the debts, if any, due to, & by the Factory; and remit it to the Secretary of War; and will, every 6 months, make out and transmit a similar return, that the same may be laid before the President.
I am, Sir, &c(Signed) James McHenry

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