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Hostile Indians

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionLibrary of Congress: Harry Innes Papers, mm81027201 view image
Document Information
Date July 7, 1790
Author Name Harry Innes (primary) Location: Danville, Kentucky
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Discussed dealing with hostile Shawnee Indians. Treaty at Fort Harmar, relations b/w settlers and Indians. Innes asserts Indians are aggressors and that settlers are defending their safety.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes First page largely illegible.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Harry Innes; Shawnee; Shawnese; Indians; Indian Nation; hostiles; Congress; Commissioners; General Harmar; militia; aggressors; emigrants; settlers; volunteers; robbers; Governor St Clair; Arthur St Clair; ;
Related Places Danville, Kentucky; counties; Indian country; territory; Great Miami; Western Territory; Ohio River; Fort Harmar; Western Country; ;
Keywords war; treaty; expeditions; invasion; district; horses; stolen; merchandise; money; household goods; wearing apparel; clothing; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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[first page undecipherable due to poor image quality]

this District who [undecipherable]
of a Savage Warr then hoped that the attention of [undecipherable] Government would be turned toward quieting the [undecipherable] of Indians in this they have been disappointed & [undecipherable] blasted for altho’ Corn were sent by the late Congress in [undecipherable] the [undecipherable] the great to treat with the Indians yet are met by no tribe but the Shawese as such prejudicies preserve the two of the Corn against the Inhabitants of Kentucky that [undecipherable] were taken to convince those Indians that they must [undecipherable] commiting depredations in this District as being a part [undecipherable] United States the Indians have been hostile ever since & says [three words undecipherable] Kentucky was not included as a part of the Union. I believe it [undecipherable] Fact that the Agent of the Indian affairs [undecipherable] the old Government uniformly misrepresented the cond[undecipherable] the people of Kentucky & endeavored to induce Government [undecipherable] that they were the Aggressors - this also has been [undecipherable] of one of the Agents in the Southern Department. In 1788 the former Congress authorized the Governor of the [undecipherable]stern Territory to hold a Treaty at Fort Harmar with the [undecipherable] the North West Side of the Ohio, this was in part affected, [undecipherable] not [satend] to the Indians who molest this District.

1786 two expeditions were carried over the Ohio against differs [undecipherable] of Indians which altho’ they had the Junction of the [undecipherable] yet the Field Officers of the District have been [undecipherable] therefor upon a supposition that they misconstructed to Order Council & extended it too far.

[undecipherable] The Fall of that Year the Inhabitants were flattered with a [undecipherable] of Protection, the Continental Troops were ordered to be increased in measure of a representation from General Harmer but in the [undecipherable] of 1787 the Troops which had been actually raised for this purpose were disbanded [undecipherable] measure was succeeded by another faint hope of westing in Genl Harmer a power of determining on the propriety of Peace [undecipherable] it on the Latter, he was authorized to call on this District [undecipherable] of [undecipherable] not exceeding $75 by the Executive of [undecipherable] who [undecipherable] the measure by an express command a Militia to be embodied should not march after raised [undecipherable] receive the Governor’s orders therefor.

This Order of the Executive was soon followed by another, the [undecipherable] of an Invasion the Troops to be raised shall not march over [undecipherable] established with the Indians or out of the State except in immediate pursuit of an invading enemy - the restrictions [undecipherable] any benefit intended by the order.

[four lines undecipherable]

of the several [undecipherable] within this District received letters from the Governor of the State forbidding them on any pretence whatsoever from sending the Militia of the state or into any Indian Country.

I have been intimately acquainted with this District from [undecipherable] 1783 I can with truth say that in this period of time the Indians have always been the aggressor that any incursions made into their Country have been from reiterated injuries committed by them that the depredatory mode of [Warr] & plundering carried on by savages it is indeed difficult & almost impossible to discriminate what tribes are the offenders - that since [undecipherable] first visit to their District which was the time above named I can venture to say that 1500 souls have been killed & taken in the District & migrating to it - that upwards of 20000 Horses have been taken & carried off - & other Property such as Iron [undecipherable] Household Goods or Wearing apparel have been carried of & destroyed by those Barbarians to at least £15000

[undecipherable] informations have been given of these injuries which continue to be daily perpetrated & yet we have no satisfactory accounts of the intention of Government for our relieve [undecipherable] to the District are of a serious & important nature by them do we daily see the [undecipherable] of our Country [undecipherable line] them do we find people intimidated from migrating to [undecipherable] Country, which lessens our rising strength - by them are the Wealth of our Citizens diminished & the value of our Lands [undecipherable] What will be the result?

Volunteer Expeditions will be carried on in the Indian Countries upon the principle of [undecipherable] Protection & self Preservation, & Government will not be able to counteract them - the consequence will be that the Volunteers who may thus embody will not discriminate between Indians who are Hostile & those who have treated [undecipherable] consider all as Enemies that come in their way - & the supposed [undecipherable] will no longer have any faith in Government - it will not [undecipherable] the intended views of Government but [undecipherable] what [undecipherable] been done.

I will Sir be candid on this subject not only as an inhabitant of Kentucky, but as a friend to Society who wishes to see order & Regularity preserved in the Government under which I live. The people say they have been long ground under their misfortune [undecipherable] see no prospect of relief - they are the Strength & [undecipherable] of the Western Country all measures which have been [undecipherable] are placed for execution in the hands of Strangers who have no interest among them - they [undecipherable] the general sufferers yet have no voice in the [undecipherable] aggressors & have no Representation to [undecipherable] them in their [undecipherable] the general Sentiments of the People & they being to [undecipherable] in the Government & appear determined to revenge themselves for this purpose a meeting was lately held in this [undecipherable] a number of respectable Characters to determine on the propriety of carrying on three Expeditions this fall [undecipherable] want of a more general representation of the District [undecipherable] was postponed until the meeting of our own Convention is about the 25th Inst. at which time there will be a [undecipherable] meeting of influential characters of the District unless some Information is received before that time that will be Satisfactory, I fully expect one or more Expeditions will be determined on - the Attacks of the Indians have been this Spring & Summer in every [undecipherable] of the Districts & the Idea of such a general restraint [undecipherable] contained in the late Letter of our Governor hath given [undecipherable] general disgust towards General St Clair whose information gave rise to it, that I doubt whether he [undecipherable] treated with common complisance if he was to travel [undecipherable] District for altho’ the Inhabitants of Kenty crossed the limits of the [undecipherable line] the murderers & Robbers, & therefore considered [undecipherable] under the Laws of God & Man.

Impressed with the Idea that the forgoing observations will no unacceptable to you as an Office of Government this [undecipherable] department it may be properly communicated to [undecipherable] the President, if worthy your attention I shall [undecipherable] Appology for the length of my letter.

I am with great respect [undecipherable line]

Harry Innes

Major Genl Knox

Secy of Warr