Settler life on the western frontier

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CollectionPierpont Morgan Library: Henry Knox Papers view image
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Date September 3, 1792
Author Name Reverend David McClure (primary) Location: East Windsor
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary) Location: Philadelphia
Summary Reverend McClure writes Secretary Knox on Arthur St. Clair's campaign. Discusses Indian warfare and frontier and pioneer life. The southern people today experience what the first settlers of New England felt, writes McClure. The foundations of all empires are laid in blood. Suggests that difficulties with Indians will prevent too extensive an immigration over the Western Territory, which if unchecked, could result in some to "lose the habits of subordination in society". He is worried that the frontiersmen will not have the "restraints of law and government" and will "adopt the habits of savages." Also mentions his brother James who lost a leg in the war, and who died in Dublin; he was master of a ship from Exeter.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; David McClure; James McClure; Arthur St. Clair; Indians; pioneers; settlers;
Related Places Philadelphia; East Windsor Connecticut; Hartford; Exeter; Dublin; Ireland; New England; Mississippi River; Western Territory; West; frontier;
Keywords changes in this mutable world are many and frequent; inclose two discourses on the death of worthy friends; pledge of affectionate remembrance; master of a ship; promising boys that I saw with you; lost a leg in the war; frontier people of the southern states now experience the calamities that the first settlers of New England felt; foundations of all new empires are laid in blood; gradually & speedily lose the habits of subordination in society; restraints of law & government; means of education & religion; adopt the habits of savages; harder to civilize than the present inhabitants; proceed no faster than they can carry the arts of civilization; wise ordering of providence; thousands would spread themselves of that boundless region from the lakes to he Mississippi; so many attempts had been made to conciliate the hostile tribes as I find by your public declaration had been made; affords the mind some consolation when we can deduce good out of evil; calamity of the indian war I think productive of one great good of the negative kind; prevention of a too extensive emigration over the western territory; write you again and should write you oftener if you were more at leisure; your thoughts and time I am sensible have been very busily engaged in the great and arduous affairs which are entrusted to you; ability and integrity in the management of them; felt with you for the unfortunate events relative to our common defence against a savage enemy; pacific measures which I wished ardently at first are now probably too late; ;
Key Phrases changes in this mutable world are many and frequent; inclose two discourses on the death of worthy friends; pledge of affectionate remembrance; master of a ship; promising boys that I saw with you; lost a leg in the war; frontier people of the southern states now experience the calamities that the first settlers of New England felt; foundations of all new empires are laid in blood; gradually & speedily lose the habits of subordination in society; restraints of law & government; means of education & religion; adopt the habits of savages; harder to civilize than the present inhabitants; proceed no faster than they can carry the arts of civilization; wise ordering of providence; thousands would spread themselves of that boundless region from the lakes to he Mississippi; so many attempts had been made to conciliate the hostile tribes as I find by your public declaration had been made; affords the mind some consolation when we can deduce good out of evil; calamity of the indian war I think productive of one great good of the negative kind; prevention of a too extensive emigration over the western territory; write you again and should write you oftener if you were more at leisure; your thoughts and time I am sensible have been very busily engaged in the great and arduous affairs which are entrusted to you; ability and integrity in the management of them; felt with you for the unfortunate events relative to our common defence against a savage enemy; pacific measures which I wished ardently at first are now probably too late;
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