Letter from John Harris, Fort Washington, to Samuel Hodgdon on Indian attacks and expression for support for Hodgdon against slanderous attacks

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CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: 2nd Cong, Senate, Sec Treas Reports, RG46 view image
CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: 2nd Cong, Senate, Sec Treas Reports, RG46 view image
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Document Information
Date July 6, 1792
Author Name John Harris (primary) Location: Fort Washington
Recipient Name Samuel Hodgdon (primary) Location: Philadelphia
Summary Notes that he heard through General Putnam of Hodgdon's safe arrival at Marrietta. Cavalry arrived from Kentucky; General Wilkinson accompanied them to Fort Jefferson. Savages attacked a party. Some Wabash Indians arrived at the post. Major Beatty writes that collective force of savages will be double; he expects bloody autumn. Major Freeman and his party are not all off. Reports of Shawnee killings and capture. Wabash and Miami. Reports of attack on soldiers; bodies found mangled. Discusses keel boats. Discusses Hodgdon as having fallen out of favor; yet hopes the sons of slander hide their heads from open shame. General Putnam will take command at the post; is leaving in a few days for Fort Jefferson. Refers to Indian goods. Major Strong wants to know about some paper he left on recruiting business. Expresses friendship of Hodgdon. Notes that Indian prisoners and quantity of goods will be sent to Fort Vincennes or Fort Knox. Compliments to David Brown.
Document Format Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Samuel Hodgdon; John Harris; General Putnam; General Wilkinson; Major Beatty; Cavalry; Wabash; Miami; Major Freeman; Major Strong; David Brown; Shawnee; savages; ;
Related Places Philadelphia; Fort Washington; Fort Vincennes; Fort Knox; War Office; Fort Jefferson; Wabash; Kentucky; Miami; Shawnee; Marrietta; ;
Keywords keel boats; cavalry; Indian goods; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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Letter from Jno Harris
Fort Washington, July 6th, 1793
Dear Sir
I am happy in having an opportunity of writing to you. It is probable this will meet you with your pleasing family far remote from the Janus of Discord, Calamity & War.
I was happily informed by Genl Putnam of your safe arrival at Marietta, & shall be still more happy to hear that no accident happened to you between that place & Philada.
New one hundred Cavalry arrived from Kentucky under the command of Capt. Barbec soon after you left us. Genl. Wilkinson accompanied them to Fort Jefferson. On the 25th of last month the savages attacked a party of one Serjeant, one Corporal & twelve, who were cutting grass on the prairie adjacent to the Garrison (Fort Jefferson), every one of which party was cut off - only three bodies have been found, which were very much mangled. The number of Indians is supposed to be between sixty & one Hundred.
On the evening of the 8d
instant. Seven of the Wabash Indians arrived at this post with Mr. Viego, among whom are Bill, the [undecipherable] up (so called) & the largest Boy who went with Mr. Manard.
Mr. Viego informs that several parties of Indians have cross'd the Ohio into Kentucky. Major Beatty writes that it his opinion; that the collective forces of the Savages will be double to what it was the last year. He expects a bloody Autumn.
It is almost beyond a doubt that Major Freeman & his party are all not off: Bill informs me (coroborated by the report from Vincennes) that the Shawonees met a Flag on Harmer's Trace- five or six days travel from Fort Washington, fired on them, killed three dead on the spot. The person who carried the Flag kept his ground. The Indians came up & took him, kept him a few minutes & killed him. They took all their papers &c - & carried them back to their Town on examination by some persons that understood English. They were found to be great Father from the White Chief & were very sorry for what they had done.
The Indians it seems, are collected in very large Bodies on the Wabash & Miami Rivers. The effects of which futurity will discover.
The business of the Department is situated as usual - Small Escorts now & then go or come. I have by order of GenSuperscript textl. Wilkinson purchased a waggon & one Hundred
Hundred Bushels of Salt for Capt. Armstrong who is mowing Hay on the prairie adjacent to Fort Hamilton. The Hay - well made - prepared by salt & properly secured will I think be of essential service next fall for the Horses & Oxen.
There is not any Corn to be purchased in the Territory at any price. Mr. Smith has not yet delivered all his. Kentucky boats are gone. I shall have to shell it out & bring it down in Keel-boats.
I have heard no complaint yet on my part & hope there will be none. I am determined to do all & everything which is in my power to indemnify my surety.
I have had several Combats (viva vou) in which I attempted to vindicate the issue of Truth & Might, against slander Calumny & Malice. Thank God. I can make out to hold my own.
And my dear Sir, altho your popular Horizon appears to some persons to be slanted - yet I sincerely hope that the rays of the sun of conscious Bright & Merit will dart with such force on the souls of those grovling some of the Slander or Reproach as to cause them to hide their heads & screen themselves from open shame.
Genl. Putnam will take no command at this post. he means to leave us in a few days for Fort Jefferson. I received you Order by him respecting the Indian Goods. I shall be attentive in [taking?] receipts
Major Strong desired me to put you in mind of some paper which he left with you accepting the recruiting business: he wishes them sent forward by the first opportunity.
Your sudden departure deprived me of any private conversation with you, permit me therefore now (my dear Sir) to tender you my sincere thanks for the past favor, which you were pleased to confer on me & hope my present & future conduct may ensure your future interest & Friendship
It is rumored that a party of the Indian prisoners & a quantity of Goods will be sent to post Vincennes or Fort Knox - but I have not had any thing official respecting it.
Be good enough Sir to present my Compliments to David Brown - and altho I am unacquainted with your Family, I will Thank you to present my best respects to them
Adieu my dear Sir, & believe that I am With the highest sentiment of Friendship & Gratitude, Respect & Esteem Your Most Obdient Servant, Jno Harris.
Samuel Hodgdon Esqr