[Instructions to Colonel Thomas Procter]

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Document Information
Date March 11, 1791
Author Name Henry Knox (primary) Location: Philadelphia
Recipient Name Thomas Procter (primary)
Summary Commissioned Procter to act as an emissary to the Miami and Wabash Indians and provided detailed instructions on his role in getting the tribes to come to Fort Washington to negotiate peace. Public will pay for all "reasonable expenses" related to negotiations. Proctor will receive a bonus of $500 if he can persuade the Miami and Wabash Nations to a treaty at Fort Washington.
Document Format Contemporary Copy of Letter
Document Notes Instructions to Colonel Thomas Procter.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Thomas Procter; Henry Knox; Miami; Wabash; Cornplanter; Big Tree; Half Town; Seneca; Seneka; Six Nations; Wyandot; Delaware; Arthur St. Clair; Wea; Ouitanen; Ouatanon; Michael Houdin; Michael Gabriel Houdin; french; officer; Joseph Howell; Waterman Baldwin; Indian Nation; tribe; Baldwin; ;
Related Places Philadelphia; Allegheny River; Oil Creek; Buffalo Creek; Sandusky; Lake Erie; Fort Harmar; Fort Washington; Wabash River; Sunbury; Tioga Point; Wyoming; frontier; territory; Indian lands; Miami town; Oyl Creek; Massachusetts; ;
Keywords treaty; journal; ;
Key Phrases "Your mission requires an acquaintance with human nature and the art of managing the hopes and fears of an uncivilized race of men."
Transcription

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Instructions to Colonel Thomas Procter--11th March 1791
Copy.
(5.)
Instructions for Colonel Thomas Procter.
Sir,
Having offered to you the execution of a mission on the part of the United States to the Miami and Wabash indians, and you having accepted of the same, you are to receive these instructions as the rule of your conduct.
The great object of your long journey is to impress the said Miami and Wabash Indians, with the candor and justice of the general government--- That the United States requires only, that they would demean themselves peaceably.
That if they should refuse to listen to this invitation they only, will be liable for the evils which will fall upon and crush them.
That this invitation is not made in consequence of any principles of fear but from a desire to pluck them if
possible
of the six Nations.
It is possible he may not be at home in which case it will be important to dispatch instantly runners for him--or in case he should be councelling at Buffaloe Creek with the other part of the nation, it may be proper for you to repair thither.
You are to endeavor by all possible means to induce the Cornplanter and as many others of the chiefs as possible, to go with you upon your mission to the Miami and Wabash Indians---and you will remember that it is of the highest importance, that you should set off without the least delay.
Having obtained as companions the chiefs of the Senekas and others you will proceed by land or water as shall be judged best to Sandusky upon Lake Erie, where reside the Wyandot and Delaware tribes of Indians, these tribes are our friends, and in treaty with us which as far as is known has been well observed by them.
You have also delivered to you
two
two messages, one to each of the said tribes written by General St. Clair, who made the treaties with them at Fort Harmar in January 1789.
You will inform them of the object of your journey, and desire that they will appoint some of their chiefs accompany you agreably to the General's desire in his message.
You will proceed from the Wyandots and Delawares directly to the Miami town where you will assembly the indians together and speak to them in the style before mentioned.
If you succeed in persuading them to accompany you to Fort Washington, you will set out immediately with them, sending Captain Houdin and such chiefs as the tribes present as shall be agree upon to the Wea or Ouatanon towns on the Wabash, and to the other tribes on that river and its vicinity in order to persuade them also to repair to a treaty at Fort Washington.
But
But if after using all your arguments to induce the Miami indians to repair to Fort Washington you should fail you must leave them and with the friendly Indians who accompany you repair to Fort Washington.
Let it be impressed strongly upon your mind that every moment after you set out upon your journey must be most industriously employed-- For you must if within the limits of possibility be at Fort Washington, by the fifth of May next, whether you succed or not-- This is of the highest importance, as it is connected with collateral arrangements.
The great retardment to be apprehended will be at the Cornplanter's residence or in other parts of the Seneka nation. But you will endeavor to render your stay as short as possible.
A knowledge of your character induces a confidence you will well execute the high trust reposed in you with all due dispatch and address.
Your
possible out of the fire, which is already enkinled.
The message which is herewith delivered to you will show you the sentiments expressed to them, and you, and the indians who may accompany you are to say all that may be proper to enforce said sentiments.
You have been informed of the measures taken with the Cornplanter, Big Tree and Half Town, and other Senekas who were in this city lately, to go to the said Miami and Wabash Indians, with messages from their own nation of similar import with the one, with which you are charged.
You will therefore immediately repair to the Cornplanter's residence, which is upon a branch of the Allegany River near the creek called Oyl Creek, make known to him you intentions, and deliver him the speech herewith delivered to you for the Seneka and others
of
Your mission required an acquaintance with human nature and the art of managing the hopes and fears of an uncivilized race of men--you will be careful not to promise more than is reasonable to the Indians who may accompany you, and all your promises of that fort shall be complied with.
Your business with the Miami and Wabash Indians, will be to persuade them to repair to Fort Washington where they shall be treated kindly and justly; but you are not authorized to particularize to them any terms.
Considering the nature of the service, it is proper to be explicit as to the terms you are to receive from the public, which are as follows.
1st Your reasonable expences shall be borne by the public, and upon this point you will be careful to set down your expenses daily, in order that a judgement may be formed thereon when your accounts are to [be] settled
2dly
2dly As a reward for your services, you shall be allowed the sum of five dollars for each day while you are actually employed upon this business.
3dly If you succed in bringing the real chiefs of the Miami and the Wabash indians to a treaty at Fort Washington you shall receive the further sum of five hundred dollars.
4thly In case you should in the course of the business be wounded or disabled from obtaining a livelihood by your personal exertions, attempts will be made to obtain for you a pension of lieutenant colonel commandant wounded in the service of the United States.
5thly And in case you should unfortunately lose your life in the course of this business the same attempts will be made to obtain the pension of seven years half pay, of a Lieutenant colonel commandant for your orphan children.
Captain Michael Gabriel Houdin a french officer of reputation, who served
in
in the late was in the Massachusetts line will accompany you in the prosecution of this business, and in case of misfortune to your by sickness or otherwise, he is to take these instructions, and to pursue them as if given to himself.
Captain Houdin is to be allowed his expences and two dollars per day as a reward for his services.
And case he should be wounded or disabled endeavors will be used to obtain him a pension of a captain wounded in the military service of the United States.
I have issued my warrant upon Joseph Howell, to pay you six hundred Dollars on account of your and captain Hourdin's expences, and for which sum you are regularly to account.
Your route will be from this city to Sunbury, and then, either directly for the part of the Allegany where the Cornplanter lives, or to Tiogo point as you may find best-- If you go through Wyoming
enquire
enquire for a captain Baldwin who has agreed to keep school among the Senekas, on account of the United States.
You will confide your business as a secret and enjoin the same on Captain Houdin.
Provided you should bring the indians to Fort Washington, you will stay there no longer than the treaty shall be accomplished upon which you and Captain Houdin will return with all convenient speed to this city.
You will keep a journal of your daily occurrences, and deliver me a copy thereof, when you shall deliver the Report of your proceedings.
Given at the War Office of the United States, in the city of Philadelphia this eleventh Day of March 1791
To Colonel Thomas Proctor