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Henry Knox to Samuel Kirkland

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Kirkland 142d

Letter to Samuel Kirkland from Henry Knox , Secretary of War 1785-1794. War
department, 20th December 1791. Sir At a conference held by Colonel
Pickering with the Senecas and all the others of the Six Nations (excepting
the Mohawks) at the Paintedpost, in the month of June last, it was agreed
that certain chief's should repair to Philadelphia, during the time of
Congress being in Session, in order to carry into execution certain
principles tending to the civilization of the said Indians. Colonel
Pickering now writes to those chiefs at Buffalo Creek, and other places
inviting them to repair here. In his invitation, he has included Captain
Brant ; perhaps this may not be a sufficient inducement for him to come -
You will therefore write to him in your own name assuring him, that you
will pledge yourself for his safety and welcome reception. Immediately on
your return to Oneida

Oneida you will send Indian runners to the several chiefs who are named by
Colonel Pickering . You are explicitly to understand, that the presence of
a few of the principal chiefs are desired. You will appoint Geneseo as the
place for you to meet the said chiefs, with whom you will proceed directly
to this city, by way of Tioga and Luzerne county. Your knowledge of the
language and customs of the Indians, a confidence in your character and
integrity, induces me to place an entire reliance in you relatively to this
business. That you will send fruitful and intelligent messengers,
particularly to Captain Brant , from whom you will endeavor to obtain an
explicit answer. That you will meet the said Indians at Geneseo, at the
time you shall appoint, which

which ought to be as soon as convenient. That you will make suitable
provision for them at Geneseo and thence on the route to this city. That
you will take all due care, that they are not insulted on the road, but
kindly received. That you will inform me in due season, of their numbers,
and when they will arrive in this city in order, that suitable
accommodations may be provided for them. That you will keep the accounts of
the expenditures upon the road, in a fair and clear manner, taking receipts
for every expenditure so that, every shilling may have a proper voucher
annexed thereto. In order to enable you to execute this business in a
proper manner, I have directed that the sum of three hundred and fifty
dollars be placed in your hands, for which you will be held accountable.
Besides defraying your necessary expenses while

while in the actual execution of this business, you shall have a reasonable
compensation for your trouble, which shall be settled and paid, upon the
issue of the business in this city. I shall depend upon receiving your
communications upon all necessary occasions, and particularly, I shall wish
to obtain as early information as possible of the effect which the late
defeat of our army, has had upon the minds of the Six Nations, particularly
the Senecas. You will not fail upon all proper occasions to impress on the
minds of all Indians, so that the sentiment may be diffused far and wide,
That the President of the United States and Congress are highly desirous of
being the protectors, friends and ministers of good to all peaceably
disposed Indians; but at the same time they will punish all murderers and
disturbers of the peace of the frontiers. I am Sir with esteem Your most
obedient Servant The Reverend Samuel Kirkland H. Knox Secretary of War