Papers Relating to the


1790 - 1796.

Pennsylvania Archives, Series Two, Volume IV.
Pages 527-652.

Reproduced by Donna Bluemink

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[569] Secondly. On the same day directions were given, that a party of a commissioned officer and thirty-four non-commissioned and privates, should remain at fort Pitt, from two companies, part of which had been stationed at fort Pitt, from the twentieth of October to the fifteenth instant, at which time they were under orders to descend the Ohio. That it is, however, to be expected, that the said two companies may have departed from fort Pitt previously to the receipt of this order, unless prevented by the ice.

Thirdly. That, on this day, will march from this city, a detachment of about one hundred and twenty non-commissioned officers and privates, besides commissioned officers. Part of these will be stationed at fort Pitt, and detachments posted at such other places on the Ohio and upper of the Alleghany, as to be most condusive to the general safety of these parts.

Fourthly. The Lieutenants of the counties of Westmoreland, Alleghany and Washington will be authorized to call out such a number of scouts or patrols, at the expense of the General Government, as they shall judge proper; not, however, exceeding eight in number to each of the said counties. These scouts are to be the best of hunters or woodsmen; and, as an inducement to such to perform the service, they will be allowed the high pay of five-sixths of a dollar per day, the price usually given on the frontiers of Virginia for said service.

I hope, sir, that these arrangements will be satisfactory to your Excellency, and effectually answer the purpose for which they are designed.

I have the honor to be,
your Excellency's ob't Serv't,
H. KNOX, Secretary of War.

To His Excellency's THOMAS MIFFLIN.


Copy of a Letter from Lieut. Jeffers, dated Fort Franklin the 26th Dec'r, 1791, By express to the Commanding officer at Pittsb'gh or Maj'r J. Irwin of the Militia:

SIR:—I have this moment rec'd authentic accounts from the Cornplanter, that an attack on this Garrison will almost immediately take place, for the Indians from below declare that they are determined to reduce this place, shake the Cornplanter by the head & sweep this river from end to end.

Your are most earnestly requested, & if I have any authority [570] possitively ordered to send me, without loss of time, One Subaltern & thirty men as a reinforcement, together with my men who have been left sick at Pitt.

Under this Convoy send me provision to make five months' rations for seventy men. This news is not fictitious nor this letter to be trifled with. I have written to the minister of War, but his orders will come too late.

I am, &c.,

Extract of a Letter from Lt. Jeffers to Mr. Elie Williams, Contractor, of same date above:

"I am happy to inform you that the Cattle and salt arrived safe; the danger in this Country is so great that I sent Soldiers & Indians to escort them.

"I am astonished that Mr. Bond arrived safe; I have every reason to expect that nine times out of ten so small a party will be cut off. No time to be lost in sending five months' provision as one escort will answer for the whole."

Extract from Colo. Geo. McCully, dated Fort Franklin, 26th Dec'r, 1791, To John Wilkins, esq'r:

"By express this moment rec'd from the Cornplanter, he advises that the Women at this Grarrison be immediately sent to Pittsburgh for safety."

The express who was the bearer of these extracts says that a Council of the Hostile Indians was then siting at Buffaloe Creek, and that Cornplanter was summoned to it; how far this information may be depended on, can only be judged of from our late disasters.

N. B.—These extracts arrived here the 28th at 3 o'clock P. M. by Express.


PHILADELPHIA, 29th December, 1791.

SIR:—I have the honor to enclose, for your information, a copy of a second memorial which has been transmitted to me by the inhabitants of the frontier counties of Pennsylvania.

In my communication to the Legislature, upon this subject, I have suggested the propriety of furnishing the militia with an immediate supply of arms and ammunition; and my instruction to the Lieutenants of the several exposed counties will be to co-operate, in case of an emergency, with the officers of the [571] Federal Government, conformably to the plan of defence which the Secretary at War has described to me by your directions.

I am, with perfect respect,
Your most obed't serv't,

To His Excellency the President of the United States.


PITTSBURGH, 21st December, 1791.

To his Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esq., Governor of the State of Pennsylvania:

SIR:—We have the honor to address you, in behalf of the counties of Westmoreland, Fayette and Alleghany respecting the present defenceless state of their frontiers now exposed to the cruel ravages of a powerful and savage foe. The late defeat of the army under General St. Clair, has given rise to the most serious apprehensions to the inhabitants of those counties, who being entirely unprotected, as well as destitute of arms and ammunition for defending themselves, now look up to your Excellency as the Executive arm of the Government to ward off those dangers which threaten them as well the Commonwealth in General.

Your Excellency is well aware of the great extent of our frontier; and when you consider the high degree of spirit which the savages, animated by two successive victories, entertain, you may more easily conceive, than we can describe, the fears which pervade the breasts of those men, women and children, who are more immediately subject to their barbarities and depredations. Had the people a sufficiency of arms in their hands they might, in some measure, defend themselves until the General Government, to whose care the common defence is entrusted, should adopt efficient steps for that purpose. At the same time, we beg leave to state to your Excellency what occurs to us as the most speedy and effectual mode. When the extent of country to be protected is taken into view, we conceive that eight hundred effective men will not be deemed more than sufficient. They should be active partisans, under experienced officers and provided with good rifles, to suit the grand object of meeting the enemy upon equal terms, to scouting and giving the alarm when needful. Such a body should have encouragement proportioned to the price of common labor in this country, which averages at fifty shillings [572] per month, as the pay allowed to the troops of the United States would not be a sufficient inducement to able bodied men, possessing the requisite qualifications. We suggest these general ideas, from our knowledge of local circumstances, which they, who are at a distance, unacquainted with the actual situation of the Western country, cannot so well perceive. It is not our wish to enter into a minute detail, being convinced that your Excellency is not only fully acquainted with, but feelingly alive to, those impressions which a state such as ours must give rise to; nor can we apply to any person more proper than yourself to procure that assistance which it requires.

In the meanwhile, we hope, from your attention, that a quantity of arms and ammunition, of good quality, will be forwarded to the several county lieutenants to be distributed among the most active men of the militia of these counties, who at present can make but a partial and feeble defence if attacked. They have been draughted throughout the last summer, and those of Westmoreland even until now. This is attended with great inconvenience and is particularly harassing to this part of the State; and the officers, as well as men, taking their tour promiscuously, are not as well adapted to an active and hazardous service, as a select corps who have confidence in one another.

If nothing else can be done, we trust your Excellency will give orders for calling out the militia of the other counties, which, at least, may afford a temporary relief.

We have the honor to be, sir, with the greatest respect,
your Excellency's humble and obedient servants,
On behalf of the county of Westmoreland.





WAR DEPARTMENT, 29th December, 1791.

SIR:—The President of the United States having duly considered the present apprehensions of the counties lying upon the Ohio, and the just causes thereof, arising from the late disaster to the troops under Major General St. Clair, is desirous of affording, at the expense of the United States all the protection which the nature of the case may require, and the public means will admit.

A considerable detachment of recruits, for the regular troops, has marched for fort Pitt. These troops will be posted in such a manner on the upper parts of the Ohio as will best conduce to the safety of the inhabitants.

But, in addition to this arrangement, you, as lieutenant of the county of ____, will be permitted to call into service such a number of the most expert hunters or woodsmen to serve as scouts or patrols, in order to alarm the inhabitants on the approach of any danger, not exceeding, however, eight in number, for the county of ____. It will depend upon you to make a proper choice of these scouts, for which you will be both responsible with your character to the people of your county, who may be exposed by an injudicious choice, and to the United States who will pay the money. And, as an inducement for suitable characters to perform the service, the United States will pay such scouts the great pay of five-sixths of a dollar per day, in lieu of all charges or expenses whatever. The service of said men must be proved in the manner hereinafter mentioned, to wit: On their entrance into service they must be mustered in your presence by a justice of the peace, and sworn to the faithful discharge of their duty. In the muster then taken, the ages, names, and residence of the said scouts must be taken, and whether married or single. At the expiration of their services they must be again mustered, and sworn that they have faithfully performed service for the number of days mentioned, and in the district specified.

An account is then to be made by you of the said service, which account must be supported by the muster rolls aforementioned, certified by you, and transmitted to this office for examination and payment, accompanied by a power from you to receive the money.

[574] You will please to acknowledge the receipt of this letter, and transmit me an account of your proceedings thereon.

I have the honor to be,
Yours, &c.,
H. KNOX, Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, 1st January, 1792.

SIR:—The Secretary of War having, in obedience to the orders of the President of the United States, taken into consideration the memorial of the inhabitants of the frontier counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to the Governor thereof, dated the 21st ultimo, together with the letter of the Governor thereon, respectfully reports:

That, in the present case it is unfortunate, and it may be equally or more so in others which may arise, that the United States are destitute of a general militia law. The frontiers require protection, and ought to have it amply imparted to them in the present moment. But no other expedient presents itself in this exigence, but requesting the Executives of the States, that have exposed counties, to call out such numbers of militia as may afford the necessary aid. If the militia, so to be called out, should be for a short period, a considerable portion of the time would be wasted in repairing to and returning from the places to be defended, unless all should be taken from the frontier parts, which would be unequal and oppressive.

It would seem, therefore, most proper then, that the militia to be called out at the general expense, should be for a period of six months, unless discharged sooner, if circumstances should permit. That the existence of these circumstances would depend upon the despatch that regular troops should be raised and marched to the frontiers, and upon other considerations at the time of their arrival, relative to the enemy. That the following arrangement seems necessary for the frontiers of Pennsylvania:

1st. That in addition to the detachments of regular troops now on their march to fort Pitt, and the scouts permitted to the counties of Westmoreland, Washington and Alleghany, it might be proper to add, if the Governor should judge the measure essential, such a number of scouts for the county of Fayette, as he may deem proper, not exceeding the proportion to the [575] other before mentioned counties, their relative situations being duly considered.

2dly. That the Governor be further allowed, if he judge the measure expedient and essentially necessary, to organize and call into service, for a period of six months, a certain number of militia, at the expense of the General Government, in the same manner as the Governor of Virginia has called into service militia, for the protection of the frontiers of said State.

That these militia be paid and subsisted at the expense of the United States, under such regulations as the Secretary of War shall direct, in order to prevent irregularities.

That the number so to be called into service be such as may be equal, on an average, to about one company for each of the frontier counties, so as to correspond as nearly as may be to the defensive protection of Virginia. The increased pay, however, cannot be allowed unless by a special act of Congress; and no good reasons exist for urging a higher pay for mere militia than for the regular troops. Indeed, as the latter have clothing allowed, and the former none, it would appear reasonable that the militia employed under the General Government should have an allowance for this object. But in order thereto, it would be necessary that Congress should first make a law for the purpose. Should they think proper so to do, the monthly cost of clothing for a regular soldier might be added to the pay of the militia, which would increase it to nearly five dollars per month, which, perhaps, is fully sufficient for any species of militia, excepting the scouts. It is presumed that Governor St. Clair will make an arrangement for the protection of the French settlements at Gallipolis. The settlement at Marietta will be protected by a company of regular troops.

All which is humbly submitted to the President of the United States.

H. KNOX, Secretary of War.


PHILADELPHIA, 3d January, 1792.

SIR:—In consequence of the distressed situation of the western counties of this Commonwealth, and with a view to co-operate in the design of the Federal Government, which you observe, in your letter of the 10th of March, 1791, was to make the most effectual provision for the defensive protection of the frontier, by calling into service, at the expense of the United States, such proportions of the Militia as the nature of the case might require, [576] I issued instructions to the lieutenants of the counties of Washington, Westmoreland, Allegheny, Fayette and Huntingdon, for draughting a competent force from the militia under their respective commands, to act as rangers against the hostile Indians. The expense incurred upon this occasion has, in part, been defrayed out of a sum appropriated by an act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. But I think it proper at this time to inquire, how far the State will be reimbursed from the treasury of the Union, as the object seems clearly to be comprehended within the idea of general defence. You will be pleased, therefore, sir, to favor me with an explanation on this ground, that I may be enabled to render an accurate statement to the Legislature, as well respecting the past as future expenditures, in the same service.

I am, sir, your most obedient, &c.

To HENRY KNOX, Esq'r, Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, 3d January, 1792.

SIR:—The President of the United States has received and considered the memorial of the inhabitants of certain western counties, dated Pittsburgh, the 21st ultimo, which you transmitted to him on the 31st of last month.

I am again directed, sir, to assure your Excellency that it is the desire of the President of the United States that all reasonable and effectual protection be afforded the exposed parts of the frontiers, which the nature of the case may require.

That, if it should be your judgment to the measure already ordered, and of which I informed you on the 26th ultimo, that an arrangement of the following description should be added, he will consent thereto in behalf of the United States.

That scouts be permitted to Fayette county, in such proportion to the other exposed counties as you shall judge proper. That a number of such militia of the State, not exceeding two hundred and twenty-eight non-commissioned and privates and commanded by such officers as you shall think proper, be called into service, on the pay and rations established by the United States, and stationed at such places on the Alleghany and Ohio and other parts of the frontiers, so as best to defend the exposed parts, according to your judgment and the county lieutenants. That these militia be organized into three companies, and a captain, lieutenant, and ensign, and four sergeants, four corporals, two music, and sixty-six privates.

[577] That they be engaged for as many months as you shall judge proper, not exceeding six months, to be discharged sooner if circumstances shall permit.

That these militia be under the orders of the respective county lieutenants, being designed for defensive protection only. That such persons as you shall direct furnish the rations, provided the same do not exceed eight cents.

That the proofs, both of the supplies and services, to be such as shall be prescribed by me, in order to prevent either irregularity or abuse.

That for both the services and supplies payment will be made by the United States upon the adjustment of the accounts, according to the forms which may be directed.

I request your Excellency's opinion on this additional arrangement which, if satisfactory, may be carried into immediate execution.

I have the honor to be, &c,
H. KNOX. Secretary 0f War.

His Excellency the Governor of Pennsylvania.


WAR DEPARTMENT, January 3d, 1792.

SIR:—In answer to your Excellency's letter of this date, I have the honor to observe that I conceive the General Government are responsible for the pay and subsistence of the militia called out in pursuance of the authority of the President of the United States, vested in certain county lieutenants of this State by the letter to them of the 10th of last March, provided that the rules therein prescribed, as well for the proofs of the service and the price of the rations, shall have been observed, and the accounts thereof duly settled at the pay office of the Department of War. And as appropriations therefor have been made by Congress, no further delay of payment will take place than may be required for the settlement of the accounts.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
H. KNOX. Secretary of War.

His Excellency the Governor of Pennsylvania.



Gentlemen.—The Governor directs me to acknowledge the Receipt of yours, inclosing Extracts from the Communications made to you by the commanding Officers at Fort Franklin and to asssure you that every Exertion is now making to afford speedy and effectual Relief to the Frontiers. These last Documents will undoubtedly stimulate the Legislature, and I am in great Hopes that by the next Post, if not sooner by Express, the necessary Instructions will be transmitted for carrying into Effect the Plan suggested by the United States, and Information of an adequate Supply of Arms and Ammunition being forwarded. The Governor is pleased with the Confidence which his Fellow Citizens repose in his Desire to discharge the Duties of his station upon the present occasion, and instructs me to assure you that in this Respect, at least, you will not be disappointed.

I am, Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
A. J. DALLAS, Secretary.

To ADAMSON TANNEHILL, JAMES O'HARRA, JNO. McMASTERS, WILLIAN TURNBULL & JNO. WILKINS, Jun'r, Esq'rs, a Committee of the Inhabitants of Pittsburgh.


12th, 1792.

MOST HIGH, POTENT AND WORTHY SIR:—The unhappy situation of this, our western Country, by reason of the hostile alarms daily arriving from so Cruell an Enemy, Engages your Excellency's Most Humble Servant to address you thus:—

As Military Discipline is the soul of all armies, Unless It be established amongst them with Great Prudence and Suported with Unshaken Resolution, they are more burdensome than useful, wether Militia or standing Troops. And whereas, I am of opinion that Discipline is Lost, or at least much neglected in this western Department, I am also of opinion that it will be as much wanted. I therefore beg leave to inform your Excellency, that I Profess an knowledge of Military Discipline, and am Redy to Devote Myself to the service of Public, Either as a [579] Discipliner to train the Militia, or take the field otherwise in Defence of the Country, if thought worthy of an appointment thereto.

I am, Sir, with that Respect,
Due to your Exalted Station,
Your Excellency's Most obedient.
& Most Humble Servant,

N. B. Altho' I am, in this case, My one Representative, I Sincerly Declear it with no other view than to serve the Public, in hope of obtaining that honor that Is Due to Every faithful servant in Defence of a Country.

I am, Sir, as above, yours, &c.,

To His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esq'r., Governor of Pennsylvania.


January 15th, 1792.

SIR:—I Received your Letter Bearing Date the 26th of December 1791. As I have Not yet time to Give you An Exact Account of Amunition and Arms I have At Present on Hand, nor yet time to fill the Vacancies of Millitia Officers, But Will Be Ready in A few days. When the News Arived Here of the Defeat of Our Army, Under the Command of General St. Clair, and then a Letter from Lt. Gephries, at fort Franklin, that the Indians Was Determined to take that Place and sweep the Ohio from End to End. It Hath took Sutch Impression on those Who is Immedeately the froonteer, that I Believe It Will be Allmost Imposible to get them to Make a stand, Unless keeping Men Constantly at the Froonteer Posts, and then the Inhabitants Who Lyeth Immedeately on the froonteer is in danger of the Indians Spying and going Round our Garrisons and Comeing on the Weomen and children and Murdiring them, So that I have Still to Keep out some Men to Guard, Whitch is Very Distressing to Our County to Guard It self and Stand As a Barier for the Interior Parts of the State, when we Were Allways Willing to give Our Assistance when Required. In the time of the Late War With England, our Militia Marched into the State of the Jersey to Asist Our fellow Cittisens, when In distress, And I Would be Of the Opinion, We have the Same Undoubted Right, from those of Our Own State At Least. There was A Law Pased dureing The Late war for Each Company of Millitia Company, In this State, [580] to Have two Men and send to the Assistance Of the froonteers, Whitch Had A good Effect. I Could Wish that Mode of Raising Men Rather than draughting the Militia, as so Mutch of thier Time will Be Spent Before they can Arive At thier Stattion. I Am Persuaded that Westmorland County will Not be Against Finding their Quoto, Although So mutch Harressed By Draughting During the Last Summer, And Untill This Time the Distressed Sittuation of the Inhabitants Causes me to Urge for Asistance, More than I Could Wish for to do, But the Allways Look Up to yuo As thier Guardean for to Grant them Projection.

I am With Esteem,
your Obedient Humble Serv't,

His Excellency THOS. MIFFLIN.


PHILA. , 26th Jan., 1792.

SIR:—I will contract for supplying all rations required by the State for the troops stationed on the western Frontiers at eight cents per Ration. If you find these proposals satisfactory, I am ready to enter into a contract & give security for the performance. I know what I offer for is as low as it can be done for in that country, especially when you take into view the divided situation of the men. Some people who furnished last year, on account of the United States had ten cents a ration.

Am, Sir, your most ob't Hum'l Serv't,

His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Governor of Penn'a.


PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 19th, 1792.

SIR:—I have perused the proposals of John Wilkins, Jun'r, Esquire, for supplying the Rations for the Troops to be raised by authority of the State for the defence of the frontiers, and am of Opinion that it will be best to Accept of his Offer for furnishing the same at Eight Cents per ration, as this is as low or lower than I have heard it estimated at, and as cheap as it can [581] be done, considering the dispersed Stations the Troops will be employed at.

I have the honor to be,
Your mo. obed. Serv.,
CLEMENT BIDDLE, Q. M. Gen. Penn. Militia.

Indorsed: Approved, 19th Jan'y, 1792.


PHILADELPHIA, January 20, 1792.

To the Lieutenants of the counties of Westmoreland, Washington,
Fayette and Alleghany:

GENTLEMEN:—Upon the repeated applications of the inhabitants of the western frontiers of Pennsylvania, the Executive of the Federal Government was induced to propose to me a plan of defensive operation for the protection of the counties which are exposed to immediate danger; and the Legislature having given their sanction to the proposal, agreeably to the terms of the enclosed act, it becomes my duty, as well as disposition, to carry it into to effect with all possible energy and despatch.

You will perceive that the general militia law has been suspended in some respects, in order to answer the present emergency, particularly in the mode of raising the intended force which is by engaging active and experienced riflemen wherever they can be obtained, and not by draughting in classes from the militia of the respective counties; in the mode of appointing the officers, which is immediately by the Executive, and not upon the election of the people; in the period of service, which is for six months, and not for two; and in the rate of pay, which is liberally estimated by the price of labor, and not by the military allowance established for the troops of the Federal Government.

I am desirious, however, that, as far as it is practicable, the men engaged under the authority of this law should still be considered, and act as a select corps of militia, and therefore I shall, from time to time, convey duplicates of my instructions to the commanding officers through the medium of the lieutenants of the several counties comprehended in the description of the western frontiers. As the first step towards organizing the [582] proposed corps, I now transmit commissions for the officers, which you will be pleased immediately to deliver, with instructions to engage seventy-six men, of the description, and upon the terms mentioned in the act, for each of the companies to which they are respectively appointed, making, in the whole, two hundred and twenty-eight active and experienced riflemen of the militia, and to deliver regular weekly returns to the major, (whose commission is likewise transmitted,) until the number of engagements shall be completed.

The men, it is to be observed, must be engaged for the period of six months, unless sooner discharged, commencing on the first day of March next; and it may be stipulated, that each man, armed with his own rifle, such as the Captain of the company may approve, shall be allowed two dollars for the use of it, during the period of his engagement, and a reasonable equivalent if it is lost or destroyed in the public service. The companies being filled, are to be stationed, in the first instance, under the general direction of the Major, at the following places :

1st Company.—The first company shall be stationed at the south-west corner of Washington, between the heads of Wheeling and Duncard creeks, ranging thence to the Ohio.

2d Company. The second company shall be stationed at the mouth of Great Beaver, and ranging thence to fort Crawford, by the heads of Pine Creek.

3d Company.—The third company shall be stationed at the Kittaning, ranging thence up and down the river, Under the inspection and management of Colonel Clement Biddle, who acts on this occasion as quarter master general for the State. A competent supply of arms and ammunition will be immediately forwarded to Pittsburgh, at which place a proportionate distribution will be made and sent to the respective frontier counties. It is expected that great care will be taken to ensure the return of the arms at the expiration of the present service, and to prevent the loss or waste of ammunition.

I have also entered into a contract with John Wilkins, Jun,. for supplying the corps with rations, at the rate of eight cents per ration, and I am pursuaded we will do honor to the confidence which is reposed in him.

You will be pleased, gentlemen, to maintain a punctual correspondence with the commanding officer of the proposed corps, and to render him every aid in your power, consistent with a plan of defensive operation, which you will remember is the sole purpose of these arrangements; though, if any unforseen emergency should occur, they are not to preclude the general exertion of the militia for repelling actual hostilities agreeably to the instructions contained in my letter of the 18th March, 1791.

[583] The proofs that will be sufficient to establish the claim for supplies and services, and the forms that will be required in the adjustment of the accounts at the office of the Secretary of War, will be stated to you in the course of a few days; and, in the mean time, relying upon your zeal, discretion and patriotism, I deem it unnecessary to add more than an earnest wish that you would, by every mens, facilitate the engagements of the men for the present service, and render the interference of the Government honorable and effectual.

I am, gentlemen,
Your most obed't serv't,

List of Officers appointed to command the three defensive companies of active and experienced riflemen of the Militia, agreeably to the act, entitled "An Act to provide for the immediate defence of the frontiers of the Commonwealth."

Major—George McCully.
     First Company.
Captain—James Paul, Fayette.
Lieutenant—Henry Enochs, Washington.
Ensign—Jeremiah Long,           do.
     Second Company.
Captain—Samuel Smith,           do.
Lieutenant—Daniel Hamilton, do.
Ensign—William Jones, Alleghany.
     Third Company.
Captain—John Guthrie, Westmoreland.
Lieutenant—William Cooper, do.
Ensign—Samuel Murphy        do.
Quartermaster General—Clement Biddle.
Contractor of rations—John Wilkins, Jun.


PHILADELPHIA, 23d January, 1792.

SIR:—The General Assembly of this Commonwealth having passed an act for the immediate defence of our western Frontiers, I have enclosed, for the information of the President of the United States, a copy of that law, together with a copy of the instructions which I have transmitted to the lieutenants of certain counties on the subject. As it is my intention, on this occasion, to conform as nearly as possible, to the propositions that are contained in your letter of the 3d instant, and the explantion which you afterwards gave of their meaning and extent, [584] you will be pleased to furnish me with a statement of the proofs which will be sufficient to establish the claim for supplies and services and the forms that will be required in the adjustment of the accounts at your office.

I shall, from time to time, communicate to the executive of the Federal Government any important information that I may receive from the frontiers; and it will afford me sincere pleasure, if, upon a plan, strictly defensive, the corps of militia engaged under the authority of the State shall be found a useful auxiliary to the force employed under the authority of the Union for the General purpose of the war.

I am, sir, Your most obt. serv't,


AN ACT to provide for the immediate defence for the frontiers of this Commonwealth.

WHEREAS, It appears necessary, at this time to make some effectual provision in aid of the measures of the Federal Government, for the protecting of the frontiers of this Commonwealth, which are exposed to imminent danger from the Indians now at war with the United States;

SEC. 1. Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the Governor Shall engage, for the term of six months, unless sooner discharged, a number of active and experienced riflemen of the militia of this Commonwealth, not exceeding two hundred and twenty-eight non-commissioned officers and privates, and station the same at such places and in such proportions as shall, in his judgment, be best calculated to protect and defend the western frontiers of this Commonwealth; and he shall organize the men, so to be engaged, into companies over which he may, if need be, appoint and commission one major; and each company shall consist of one captain, one lieutenant and one ensign, to be appointed and commissioned by the Governor, four sergeants, four corporals, two musicians and sixty-six privates to be engaged as aforesaid.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the pay of the commissioned officers, respectively, shall be the same as the pay allowed to the commissioned officers of corresponding rank in the service of the United States; and there shall he allowed to such of the militia as shall be engaged as aforesaid, a bounty, which, being added to the amount of the [585] pay allowed, or to be allowed by the United States to noncommissioned officers and privates in their service, as shall render the pay of the said militia equal to the sum of sixty shillings per month to each sergeant, fifty-five shillings per month to each corporal and fifty shillings per month to each private and musician.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the sum of four thousand five hundred pounds be appropriated for carrying into effect the foregoing objects of this law, of providing the necessary arms and ammunition and of defraying the other necessary incidental expenses for the defence of the frontiers aforesaid; which sum shall be paid by the State treasurer, upon the warrants of the Governor, out of the funds appropriated by law to pay the expenses of Government; and on account of the disbursements thereof, or of any part thereof shall be laid by the Governor before the General Assembly at the next ensuing session.


SHIPPENSBURGH, Jan'y 24th, 1792.

SIR—I was honoured with your favour of the 13th inst., and atended to the Contents. I spoake with Reed, the waggoner, as he past through this place; he told me he thought he Could Go on, But Should he not be Able when he Got to the mountain, when he returned he would Inform me—and in that Case I will atend to your Instructions.

I have the honour, Sir,
To be, with Due reguard,
your Ob't humble serv't,

CLEMENT BIDLE, Esqr., Q. M. General Militia—Transportation of Stores.


FORT PITT, Jan'y 27th, 1792.

SIR:—In the Secretary's letter of the __ Inst., addressed to the Committee of this place, it is with singular Pleasure, we observe, that a Bill has passed the house of Representatives, for raising three companies of riflemen for six months, for the protection of the Western Frontiers, to be commanded by a Major.

We have therefore taken the Liberty of recommending to [586] Your Excellency James Morrison, Esq'r, as a Gentleman qualified in every respect to fill that Office. He served in the late American Army as an Officer, with the greatest credit, Under Generals Irwin, Morgan and Brodhead; he is particularily well acquainted with the situation of the Western frontiers. Being constantly Employed as a partisan, by Generals Brodhead and Gibson, whilst they commanded at this Place. His influence with the people here is very great, and promises every success in Raising the men.

Permit us to refer Your Excellency to the above mentioned Gentlemen for further information respecting him.

We have the honour to be, with much respect,
Your Excellency's most obedient humble Serv'ts,

Governour MIFFLIN.


PHILA., 27th Jan'y, 1792.

SIR:—I have entered into a contract with Mr. Clem. Biddle for suppling with provisions the State troops which are to be raised for the defence of the western frontiers, & have given a Bond with security for the performance. It is customary to make an advance of money to the Contractors, to enable them to conduct the business more easily. I have, therefore, to beg you would advance me, on account of the Contract, fifteen hundred Dollars.

Your most obt. Hum. Ser.,

His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Governor of Penna.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Feb'y 8th, 1792.

SIR:—I have the honor to transmit your Excellency, herewith, a copy of my letter to the lieutenants of the frontier counties of Pennsylvania, dated the 29th December last.

I am, with great respect and esteem,
Your Excellency's Most obedt. humble servt.,

His Excellency Governor MIFFLIN.

[587] Insert


WASHINGTON COUNTY, February 9th, 1792.

SIR:—Haveing Understood that a number of Commissions vacant in the course destined for the security of the frunteers of this State, by the Resignation of some of those officers whome your excellency were pleased first to appoint, We beg leave to Recommend to your Excellency John Robison, of Pidgeon Creek, in Washington County, as a person well qualified to discharge the duties of a Lieutenant, instead of Danial Hamilton. From his knowen activity, Courage and Capacity he will, [588] we Believe, Render Special Service to his Country, and do honour to his appointment and to himself also.

We have the honour to be, Sir, your
Excellency's Most obediant humble Ser'ts,

To His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esqr., Governor of Pennsylvania.


WASHINGTON, 13th Feb'y, 1792.

SIR:—What appears to me of considerable consequence, induces me to trouble your Excellency at a time when, I presume, you are sufficiently engaged. I have read your letter of information & instruction to the County Lieutenants, on the subject of protection. I find that a considerable gap is left open to the enemy on the North westerly part of the County, and that at a place where, in former wars, ye enemy perpetually made their approach on that quarter—the Settlements on Rackoon, especially about Dilloe's fort, constantly experienced in former times the repeated attacks of the Savages. Capt. Smith's Company will cover Allegheny County, but will be of but little Service to this, unless we consider the enemy as coming across the part of Allegheny County which lies on this Side the Ohio river, and that, too, in a direction by which we have seldom known them to come. In order that your Excellency may the better understand me, I have, with my pen, made a sketch of the River & Country on that side of the County. I have extended the river as far beyond the State line as to Yellow Creek, so that you may discover how narrow Ohio County in Virginia is, and how easy it will be for the enemy, by their usual rout, to come upon us—more especially as I learn the Virginian will not guard the river higher up than to Yellow Creek. I persuade myself that the Sketch will be sufficiently accurate for elucidation at best. I am told that many of our Riffle men decline entering into the Six month Service on this ground. Say they, "why will we go into a Service which appears to be calculated for the protection of Allegheny county, whilst our own friends and fami-

Page 588 Overleaf

[589] lies will continue exposed?" I am of opinion that if the State would advance a month's pay it would greatly facilitate the recruiting Service. Money has magic power. I am told that Mr. Dan'l Hambleton declines accepting his Commission as a Lieutenant, and that Mr. Rob't Stevenson will be recommended to your Excellency to fill the vacancy. I have no doubt of his being a proper person.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
your Excellency's most ob't serv't, DAVID REDICK.


WASHINGTON, Feb'y 7th, 1792.

SIR:—Together with this will be presented to you a Copy of Resolutions entered into at a Very Respectable Meeting of the Inhabitants of this part of the Frontier.

Although we make not the least doubt, Sir, that You, as a man and fellow Citizen, are alive to all the feelings of Humanity for our Dangerous situation, and that, in your publick Capacity, You will use the authority in your hands to the best advantage. Yet fearful of being overlook'd, and Sensible that our immediate Support must Come from Your County, The Meeting thought it advisable to address You on this Occasion. We then, a Committee of said Meeting appointed for that purpose, Beg leave, according to the Resolution of the Meeting, to lay before you a Short Statement of our Situation both with Regard to the Country we live in and the peculiar Circumstances we live under. This part of the County of Ohio which we Inhabit is Stretched along the Ohio River, between that River and the Western Boundary of Pennsylvania, for at least thirty miles from Herman's Creek upwards to Beaver, a Narrow Country, in many places not three miles wide, and not exceeding five where Broadest. To Defend this great extention of frontier, only a few Scattered Settlers present themselves, and numbers of them Without arms. In an open frontier Country such as we have Described, with an Enemy to deal with who carry on war against Women and Children and committ their Murders at our doors and in our houses, a Man's own Safety and that of his family is his first object. For this Reason we are not in a Condition to help ourselves, as no person will turn out for the Common defence when whatever is dear to him is left in so much hazard. An- [590] other Circumstance of our local situation, which has hitherto been very unfavorable to us, is our being frontier to two States. This, one would think, would be productive of contrary effects, but the fact is otherwise, for the Reasons mentioned in our Resolutions. Last Year the Neglect we Suffered was Shamefull. In the most Dangerous and alarming times not a man was Left to defend the River from Raccoon to Buffaloe, a Space, we Suppose, of about forty Miles, and, to add to our Distress, at this very time our men were drafted off to a Distant part of the Country. To whose Misconduct this is to be ascribed We will not pretend to say, but we have thought it our duty, by an early application to you, Sir, on whose help we chiefly depend to prevent for the future, such ungenerous treatment. We therefore, Sir, in the name and by the Order of the Meeting, pray you to take our situation, which we have now laid before you, into Your Consideration, and send us such assistance As You may think our Circumstances require.


Colo. A. BAIRD, L't W. County.


At a Meeting of the Frontier Inhabitants living on the Ohio River in and near Holiday's Cove, held upon Saturday, the fourth day of February, 1792, the following Resolutions were unanimously adopted, Collo. Rich'd Brown, chairman.

We, a Number of the Inhabitants living on the Ohio River, in and near Holiday's Cove, justly alarmed at our Situation in Consequence of the late defeat of the American Army under the Command of Major Gen'l St. Clair, and contemplating the dreadful Prospect before us, if no speedy and Effectual Relief is afforded us—Ourselves, our Families and Property exposed to the Cruelties and Ravages of a subtle and a barbarous Enemy—Relying, however, on the Energy of the General Government, and fully satisfy'd that nothing will be wanting for our Safety which a wise and an active Administration can effect; Yet to show that We are not unworthy of Protection, but are willing and ready by our own Exertions to promote and facilitate the Execution of any Plan which the Wisdom of Government may see best for our Defence, Have entered into the following Resolutions, Viz:

[591] Resolved, That the River Ohio is the safest and easiest maintained Frontier Line on this Side the Mountains, and We bind ourselves by the most sacred Ties of Honor and Good Faith to Keep up, support and defend the same to the last Extremity.

Resolved, That the better to put in execution the foregoing Resolution, and the better to secure our own safety and particularly that of our Women and Children, Places of strength be erected within our Bounds in such convenient Places as may be hereafter fixed upon.

Resolved, That draughting the Frontier Inhabitants to serve upon Militia duty in any other part of the Country but where they reside is equally unjust, oppressive and impolitick; and resolved that an address on this subject be drawn up and presented to the Lieut, of this County, and that Dav'd Bruce and Wm. Sutherland, Esqs., be a Committee to draw up & present the same, together with a Copy of these Resolutions.

Resolved, That every Member of this Meeting shall bind himself, and We do hereby bind ourselves, in the most sacred Bonds of Honour and good Faith, Each of us to Keep in good order at least one Gun, and have always in readiness a sufficient quantity of amunition to be prepared at a Minute's warning to repuls any Attack which may be made on this part of the Frontier where we inhabit.

Resolved, That an Address be drawn up and presented to the Lieut. of Washington County, stating to him the Peculiarity of our local situation, being a Frontier to both States, representing the Neglect we have hitherto experienced from this Circumstance, The one State tending our defence to the other till we have been totally forgot by both, and praying him if drafts from the Militia of his County are ordered down to cover the River, not to forget this part of the Frontier, and ordered that James Campbell, Ritchard Brown, Dav'd Bruce and Wm. Ledley be a Committee to draw up & present s'd Address, together with a Copy of these Resolutions.

Resolved, That the foregoing Resolutions be published in the Pittsburgh Gazette.

Signed by order of the Meeting,


WASHINGTON, February 10 , 1792.

SIR:—A Long acquaintance of that part of Ohio County, mentioned in the within adress, induces me to assure you it is Juste, and am confident that A Company will be wanted to range from the Mingo town to meet those from Beaver. If this is obtained, they will attempt to continue on their farms, if not, they will abandon them, and leave thirty miles of Washington County exposed.

I am, Sir,
your most humble Servant,

Colo. A. BAIRD, L. Washington County.


PITTSBURGH, March 2nd, 1792.

DEAR SIR:—I have the pleasure to inform you, that the waggon with 20 Quarter Casks of powder and 13 Lead, with two Boxes of Rifles, containing only twenty-nine, have arrived. There must be a mistake in the Quantity of Rifles, as your Bill mentions forty-nine. How this could happen, I know not; please inform me the first opportunity, and hurry on the arms, &c., as speedily as possible. I am in hopes to have the men ready before the arms arrive— I can purchise a number of Rifles here, but the price will be high. I could count on 30, but cannot purchise them under £6 00 and £6 10 0. Please to instruct me wheather to purchise or not at that price.

In addition to the list of articles I gave you in Phila'a, I pray you to send me on four pocket Compass's, as that is an article I cannot procure at this place. I will take the Earliest opportunity of making returns of the Rifles that may be brought into Service by the Soldiers, and shall have them duly appraised. Please send on Copies of Muster Rolls, Monthly returns, and every other specious of return that may be necessary—a few Blank Books.

We are recruiting very fast; I pray you hurry on the arms.

I am, Sir, your sincere friend
and very humble Servant,
GEO. MuCULLY, Major 6 Month Militia.

COL. CLEMENT BIDDLE, Q. M. Gen'l Penns'a.


PITTSBURGH, 2d March, 1793.

SIR:—I have the honor of informing your Excellency that I arrived at this place on the ninth day after my departure from Philadelphia. At Greensburgh, on my way, I wrote to Captains Paul and Guthrie, desireing them to meet me at Pittsburgh as Soon as possible to receive Inlistments, money, and my Instructions for the recruiting Service. I also, on my arrival at this place, wrote to Captain Smith, of Washington, to the same Purport. I remained here Several days with much anxiety, none of these Gentlemen attending. I at length determined to proceed to Washington to see Captain Smith, who I found to be very much ingaged in the recruiting business, aided by Mr. Beird, the County Lieutenant, who had given every assistance in his power. At Washington I learned that Mr. Enocks and Hamilton, Lieutenants in the first and second Companies, had refused to accept their Commissions, and in Consequence of their refusal Mr. Beird had nominated John Gray, of Washington County, to serve in the first Company in place of Mr. Enocks, and Robert Stevison in the second Company in place of Mr. Hamilton, who were recruiting with Success. These Gentlemen I am not personally acquainted with, but have no dout but they may answer the purpose. I then returned to Pittsburgh where I met Captains Paul and Guthrie, who had been bussily ingaged in the recruiting service, and from their accounts, two-thirds of the men are inlisted, and I flatter myself we shall have the whole in good time. The Snow is yet deep in this Country. The people in General feel themselves in a State of Security, and feel very thankfull for your Excellency's attention and Care of their lives and property.

Permit me to Observe to your Excellency, that when I was in Washington County, from actual Survey shewen me by Mr. Redick, I find a frontier of Forty Miles on the South west of that County, exclusive of Ninety miles from Yallow Creek to Kittanion on the Ohio and Allegheny. Should it please your Excellency to Order One Company of Melitia to be drafted for the defence of the south west part of Washington County, I would then dispose of my three Companies on the river and would hope to give a good account.

I have the honor to be, with the highest Esteem,
Your most Obedient Hum'l Serv't,
GEO. McCULLY, Major 6 Month Militia.

His Excellency THOS. MIFFLIN, Governor Commonwealth Pennsyl'a.


PITTSBURGH, March 11th, 1792.

DEAR SIR:—I with pleasure acknowledge the receipt of your favor, 28 February; am happy to be informed that those Articles you mention are on the way—am fully sensible you will do everything in your power to forward the Rifles. I mentioned in my last, that I could buy 30 Rifles at this place, but was afraid to give the price without your Instructions; they are good New Rifles, and will be worth the money here at the end of the service.

The Idea of Muskets to the men we have engaged, is a distressing thing—yet shall be obliged to use some of them for a while, until we get a Sufficient number of Rifles. I thought by this time, to have had it in my power to make you a regular return of the Rifles brought into Service by the recruits—but the high waters, I presume, has prevented my geting returns from the recruiting officers, although I had sent Express's as early as the 3rd Instant, for that purpose.

The bullet bags are all ready, and some of the Gun Covers, will have the whole in good time. The Rifles that have arrived, 29, I have put into the hands of the recruits, and sent them out to assist the Scouts in ranging in front of the Most Exposed frontiers, and as soon as those articles you mention arrive, I shall send detachments to the fixed posts.

I am, D'r Sir, with high regard,
your very humble Servant,
GEO. McCULLY, Major 6 M. Militia.

Col.. CLEMENT BIDDLE, Quarter Master Gen'l Pennsylvania.


March 20th, 1792.

SIR:—The time is now come when our Situation is growing every day more Critical; the Indians have already begun their depridations in our Neighbourhood, and it is the opinion of the most experienced Men among us, that they are at this moment lying in Bodies at no great Distance waiting for the Removal of the Snow, which at present is deep in their Country, to make an Invasion upon us. For this Reason, We the Committee of the Inhabitants in and near Holliday's Cove, have [595] again thought it necessary to trouble you on this subject. We formerly Represented to you, Sir, the Manner in which we have been Hitherto neglected, and from every appearance at present (unless relief comes from your County) we will this year be no better protecketed than we have been in years past. The Rangers of your State come down no Lower than Beaver, and the Rangers Raised by the State of Virginia will not come higher up than the Mingo Bottom, so that we are left intirely to our own exertions, which, considering the circumstances of our Country, laid before you in a former address, must be but feeble and enable us to make but a short stand. Let us then, sir, urge you, if consistent with your orders, to draft as many of the Militia of your County (as no other provision is now made) as will serve this part of the frontier. In our opinion, Sixty men would not be more than sufficient for this purpose. We would further Remark, Sir, the more to evince the Necessity of immediate assistance, that from the Dread of the Indians, numbers of People holding no Landed property here, have already moved and are daily Moving off, and we have the greatest Reason to believe, that upon the very first attack, unless encouraged by protection being afforded, the greatest part of the Inhabitants will Remove at the most Convenient places for Stations. Blockhouses are already erected, we mean, Sir, at Yellow Creek, Croxton's Run and Mouth of Herman's Creek. Men placed In these Stations would, in our opinion, be the best mode of disposing them and Most agreeable to the Inhabitants. The Spies now in the Indian Country would likewise be greatly Benefitted by the filling these Block-houses. When a Discovery is made they will have these posts to Repair to, where a Boat can always be had to convey them over the River for the purpose of Warning the Inhabitants. Sir, we submit these hints to your better Judgment, and hope you will do every thing for us that our Dangerous Situation Requires.




MOUTH OF YALLOW CREEK, March 20, 1792.

D'R COL:—I am Glad I have it in my power to Send you a Line, and Likewise happy that I have not as yet made aney Discovery of Indiens, altho' everey Industery Has bean made by myself and brother Spies; but Every Day Expect to have the pleashure of meeting with Some of them. We have bean about twentey miles out from the river, and in the flat Lands the Snow last thursday was at Least ten Inches deep, which, I Expect, is one reason why they have not paid us a Vissit before this time.

I Start to-morrow morning, and make no doubt I Shall mak a Discovery Before I am maney days on the west Side the ohio. The Inhabitants in this Quarter have bean for these Three weeks past, Looking for and Expecting men to fill the Block-house at the mouth of yallow Creek. But this Day, to their Great mortification, they have Heard news Quite the reverce, which is, there are no men from Pennsylvania to Range Lower Down then the mouth of big Beaver. Some families who heard the news before the People at this place heard it, have already Moved of, and the rest are, tho' Contrarey to thier Former Intention, makeing ready; and it is my opinion that if Something is not Done Shortley for thier Safety, there Will be but few people, if aney. Between the mouth of Little beaver and The Cove. I thought it onely my Duty to inform you what I have done, and do declare I much Lement the Sutuation of the Inhabitants in this Quarter.

I am, D'r Sir, with Due Respekt,
your H'l. Servant,



JUNIATA, March the 22d, 1792.

D'R SIR:—I have heard that the Bill providing for the defence of the frontiers has at length pass'd. The Season is advancing fast when the troops Should take the field, & very few are yet enlisted. I fear the Bill has hung too long on its passage to provide effectually for the defence of the frontiers. The Indians do not lie long in Winter Quarters. By a report of the Committee to whom were referred the petitions, &c., respecting [597] roads & inland navigation, it appears that it is recommended that the road from the Mouth of Juniata to David Miller's be reviewed by the Commisioners to be appointed by the Governor. If that measure (which I think a good one) be adopted, I should wish Commisioners to be appointed who live at some distance from that neighborhood, whose only object would be the having a good road the nearest & best way.

I hope you will pay some attention to this matter, as Doctor Smith rightly observes, "'tis a link of the great Chain which connects the Western Country with Philadelphia." If the Commissioners & surv'r are not already appointed, & you think me not an improper person, I will thank you to mention my name to the Governor. 'Tis my wish that an intercourse between the Western Country & Philad'a may be opened as soon as possible by this rout.

Should you have leisure to write, & an opportunity of sending me a line or two, it will be considered as a particular favor by, Sir.

Your friend & Humble Serv't,



GREENSBURGH, 31st March, 1792.

DEAR SIR:—I had the pleasure to receive yours of the 24 Inst, am happy to hear that the Rifles are ready to be sent on. I think 60 Rifles beside those twenty-one that is on the way, will be as many as I shall want.

The Soldiers, being Inlisted for Rifle men, refused to take the muskits, and it had liked to have caused some difficulty; however, the Officers and myself agreed to purchise a number of Rifles, the soldiers agreeing to receive them as their property, and giving a power of Attorney to stop as much of thier pay as would answer the sum.

There is no part of the Camp Equipage yet arrived, nor can I hear when they will. I have been greatly distressed about the Knapsacks, Camp-Kettles, Axes and powder Horns; I have borrowed as many of those articles as I could, and some I have bought.

Captain Paul, with a beautiful Company, March'd from Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, the 28th, to cover the South West frontier of Washington County.

Capt'n Smith, with his Company, (wanting six privates,) are [598] over the Alleganey, scouting with as many as are armed. I cannot send them to their Stations untill the Camp Equipage arrive. Ensign Murphy marched, on Thursday 29th, with twenty-Eight Men, of Captain Guthrie's Company, Completely armed, to join some who had been sent out before to Cover the frontiers of Westmoreland County.

I am now at Greensburgh on my way to the frontiers of Westmoreland, and shall hurry Capt'n Guthrie out with the remainder of his company, with all possible haste.

As soon as the Blank returns arrive, I shall forward them, monthly, to his Excellency Governor Mifflin.

There has not any discovery of Indians been made on the frontier of Pennsylvania—they have made their second appearance near Wheeling, and have taken away four Horses. Please communicate this Information to his Excellency Governor Mifflin.

I am, Sir, with the highest Esteem,
Your most obedient servant,
GEO. McCULLY, Major.



April the 2,1792.

We, the inhabitans of midle wheeling, Now in a distresed and dangros situation Have imboded our selves and we are Tow weak to make a stand without asistens. We, your humble petitioners, do Pray your asistanc in men, arms and amunition, as we gudge william Craig to be the suitable plase for the station. We flater our selves, that you will do Everey thing that is in your Power, and humbley submits to your will In the fair; we your pettitionars do pray.



PITTSBURGH, April 6, 1792.

SIR:—I, with pleasure, acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 24th March, wherein you have mentioned Major lrvin's appointment as muster master to our Corps of Rifle Men.

You will please to communicate to His Excellency Governor Mifflin that it gives me great Concern that no part of our Camp Equipage has yet arrived, and that but twenty-Nine Rifles have came to hand, without any other article except powder and lead. The delay of those articles has prevented my Establishing posts on the fronteers of Alleganey County that would have been done could I have been enabled to Equip the Soldiers fit to march out—the three Companies want but 6 privates to compleet the whole two full Companies. One on the fronteers of Washington County, and one on Westmorland are posted, though not compleetly Armed and Equiped.

I am, sir, with high Esteem,
Your huml. servant,
GEO. McCULLY, Major 6 M. M.

Mr. DALLAS, Sec'y-


April 8th, 1792.

SIR:—Your Letter of the 4th Current is now before us. We observe what you say with regard to fixing a Station at Yellow Creek, and return you our sincere Thanks for your Kindly Regard and generous attention to our Situation. But we must beg Leave for to mention to you, that a Station at Yellow Creek alone will not be sufficient for the Defence of this part of the Frontier which we inhabit. Between Yellow Creek & Holiday's Cove, a space of 15 miles will be uncovered. At present, indeed, we have twelve Men at the Station of Croxton's Run, being a part of 20 Men draughted from the Militia of this County & destined for Holiday's Cove, but by the application of the Inhabitants, so many of them have been got up this far. These alone, are only sufficient barely to Keep the Bl'k House, being too few to render any effectual Service, and we must request of you, Sir, to order as many of the Militia, which you speak of in your [600] letter, to strengthen this Station, as will enable the Post to send out Scouting Parties, without which they can afford no Protection. A Party of Indians have been discovered, last Saturday night, at the Station at Holiday's Cove. The Bearer will inform you more particularly.

We are, sir,
Your mo. Ob't servants,

Coll. ABS'M BAIRD, Lieutenant of Washington.


MORRIS VILL, April 17th, 1792.

SIR:—A party of Indians appeared at this place about noon to-day and intercepted an escort of provisions, &c., which was bound to Lieu. Gray's Station. I was at the Mills when the men were receiving these stores, and left it about the same time they did, and before I reached my house, heard a few guns fired in quick succession near that place. Soon after a cry of alarm was made, & I was informed that the men belonging to Mr. Gray's Post had scarcely departed with their charge when they met & fired upon some Indians, within view of several people who were then about the mill house, which was instantly returned by the Indians. Our men being fewest in number immediately abandoned the horses and Stores, which were carried off by the enemy, except some flour and powder. A party of active men, amounting to fifteen, under the command of Capt. Paul, went in pursuit of them within an hour after this transaction, and we flatter ourselves will over take them.

I was at Capt'n Paul's Post this morning when he received an express from Ensigne Long, acquainting him that a party of thirteen indians had approached very near his Post, and he was that moment setting off with a detachment from his few men after them, their trail & number having been discovered & ascertained by the Dunkard Spies. His letter was dated this morning.

The prospects, indeed, toward the indian country, are more hostile than I have known them since my residence at this place; but an unusual degree of fear and inquietude seems to pervade all our frontier, and although we have the fullest confidence in Capt'n Paul's exertions and prudence for the defence & Protection of this quarter, yet we apprehend this frontier will break unless a few militia should be scattered among the inhabitants [601] at their houses or at such other places as they may think proper to assemble at for their own convenience and common safety. I mean that this protection should be granted to us in addition to the levies which are now on duty here, and I should think it of great moment to the Public weel that the frontier should be kept at as great a distance from the populous settlements as possible.

Capt. Paul has Just now returned (4 o'Cl'k P. M.) from the chase, and desires me to inform you thereof. He came up with the indians in a little while (their number uncertain, five ascertained) and has retaken the horses and stores. He pressed them so close that they lost a Cap, some feathers, a gun case, &c., which are now at the door. As soon as they turned off the horses 'twas impracticable to follow them, as the vegetation is not yet sufficiently forward to pursue a trail with any considerable speed. Besides, Capt. Paul left his Post too weak for the absence of a day or two. He will thank you to make these communications to Major McCully.

Permit me, sir, to conclude with making the request, that if it is consistent with Your powers and opinion of its utility, that you will send some militia hither, as soon as may be convenient, to be placed among the Inhabitants from Capt. Farley's Neighbourhood to my mills.

I am, Sir,
Your most Obed. and very H'ble Serv't,

P. S.—I write at the request of a number of the inhabitants & in haste; you will, therefore, please to make the necessary allowance for inaccuracies, &c. The indians are undoubtedly in many parties on our frontier.

They laid a trap for the party which they expected would follow them for the Stores, &c., having tied the horses in a deep hollow, 1-1/2 miles from the mill. They placed themselves on a hill near them behind a large log where they waited for the pursuers; but Capt. Paul so prudently disposed his men that upon their near approach the indians rose and fled with great precipitation. We lost one of the escort's guns.

T. H. R.

Two of the spies have been out rather too long under particular circumstances, not to be apprehensive for their safety—Baskins & Brady.


PITTSBURGH, April 20th, 1792.

MY DEAR SIR:—Give me leave to take the liberty to request the favor of you to Call on the honorable General Knox, secretary for the war department, and know of him wheather I can hope for an appointment in the Rifle Corps of the Federal Government. The last words he spoke to me he promised that I should be provided for according to my wish, but so many appointments coming up, makes me fear he has forgotten me. I should not take this liberty, only I am sure you are my friend and Intimate with the Secretary of War.

There has nothing hapened since my last, only seven head of horned Cattle drove away from the frontiers, suposed to be Indians—two parties are in quest of them, and I hope will not quit the Chase untill they are over taken. You shall hear in my next.

I am, sir, with high regard,
Your most Obedient Servant,
GEO. McCULLY, Major Rifle Corps.



May 5, 1792.

D'R Sir:—On Examining I find the State of the Arms as follow:

Rifles sent from hence & which had arrived at Pittsburgh early in April . . . . 54
Ditto said to be provided by the men on the Governor's allowance, as mentioned in Major McCully's Letter. . . . 45
Purchased at Pittsburgh, & for which Major McCully has drawn a bill on me, which I paid abo . . . . 30
An Order for the Secretary at War for 100 Stand of Arms compleat, to serve til replaced by Rifles . . . . 100


On the 12th April I sent from here 25 Rifles, procured from Reading, and on the 19th the waggon with the 25 took in 50 more Rifles which I had bespoke at York town, and proceeded with the 75 to Pittsburgh to replace the muskets.

[603] I purchased 50 more Rifles which lay in Virginia, but did not receive them til a few days ago, and thinking they were not now wanted by the State, I appropriated them to the United States.

I am, D'r sir, Your mo. Obed. Serv.,

A. J. DALLAS, Esqr.


OHIO COUNTY, 5 May, '92.

SIR:—Last Evening two Indians Shot at a man within one mile of my house, & Snapt' at another in the night. They have also taken two boys, sons of James Behams, living on middle wheeling, one of which they have kill'd, the other has got in, tho' he is Scalp'd and badly Tomahawk'd. The Spies inform me there is great Sign of them on Captena and Stillwater. We Expect nothing Else but a General onset; our People are Generally moving to the forts, and Seems to be in great Confusion. I Shall give you every Information as early as possible,

and am, with respect,
your Humble Serv't,

Collo. BEARD.


PITTSBURGH, May 12th, 1792

SIR:—I herewith Send you the Muster Rolls and Inspection Returns of the Corps of Riflemen for the Month of March, which you might have had Sooner had it not been for the disappointment in Capt. Guthrie's Inspection Return. However, the fatigue, danger, time and Expense of obtaining these Rolls and Returns you may not perhaps have thought of. I am obliged to travel about Three hundred and fifty Miles Each Month to Compleat this business. The troops are divided into Eight parties or Stations, and placed at proper distances on an Extensive frontier, So that Visiting and returning from each makes up the number of Miles above mentioned; and two-thirds of the distance in a Country where a man might with propriety wish himself at home, least he might be deprived of his Scalp. In [604] your letter with the Governor's Warent, you have no doubt, a proper Compensation will be allowed for performing this business. I would be Sorry to Suspect the Generosity of the State; but Still more so if my family Should Reflect that I had deprived them of my Savings at home without knowing for what. It would be as easy and perhaps much Safer to Muster 5,000 Men than this handfull of Rangers Scattered in the Manner they are. The Rolls and returns for the mouth of Aprile you may expect Soon as possible, which will be at the end of this or early in the month of June. You may probably by that time, on Consulting with the Governor, be able to give me Some Idea of the Compensation, and whither he wishes the Muster and Inspection to be Continued Monthly. If so, it might not be amiss to forward a little Cash for Contingent Expenses, As it might perhaps be more Convenient for Government to advance on this occation than an Individual. The returns now forwarded may not be so Correct as I could wish; any errors you may observe, inform me, and I will endeavor to put them Right in future; have Sent you two Muster Rolls for each Company, As it is the practice in the Federal troops. Let me know whether it is necessary or not.

Your Most Obedient Humble Serv't,
JOHN IRWIN, M. M. C. R. Men.

CLEMENT BIDDLE, Esq., Q. M'str C. W. M. P.


PITTSBURGH, May 14th, 1792.

DEAR SIR:—The Bearer, General Gibson, having furnished us with ten New Rifles, which the men have received as their Own property, I have taken the liberty to draw for the amount to be stoped out of the first pay—proper Vouchers shall be produced to Justify the Measure. I will refer you to General Gibson for news and the State of the frontiers, as he is a Gentleman may be relied on.

I am, Sir, with high Esteem,
Your most Obed't Servant,
GEO McCULLY, Major R. Corps.


P. S.—The seventy-five Rifles have not yet arrived.


PITTSBURGH, May ye 26th, 1792.

SIR:—On tuesday Morning a party of Indians, said to be about forty in number, attacked Reed's Station, on the Allegheny River, four Miles below the Keskemenetas. They kill'd one man and a child, wounded a Soldier of McCully's Corps, and took a woman and some children Prisoners. This account came by Express from Ensign Murphy of that Corps, who was stationed near the spot. A small party of Indians were seen the same day within twelve Miles of this Town, on the Vinango Path, which were no doubt, a lookout party from those who did the Mischief. Exclusive of a Detachment of the Regulars, consisting of thirty men sent by Maj'r Smith, at my Request, there are several Parties in pursuit of those Indians, both of Militia and McCully's Rangers. I hope to inform your Excellency of their Success by next Post.

I rec'd a few days ago a Letter from Mr. Dallas, mentioning the Mistake in the dates of the Militia Commissions of this County, (which I had not before heard of,) and desiring me to collect the Sentiments of the County, whether to hold Elections or to renew the Commissions to the present officers for one year; the latter is prefered, because it can be sooner done in the present period of danger, and the Priviledge of the Law is urged, directing that the officers be elected for three years. I have the honor to be, with great Respect & attachment,

y'r Excellency's
Ob't hum'l. Serv't,
PRESLEY NEVILLE, L't Alle'y County.

His Excellency THOS. MIFFLIN, Esq'r.


BLAK LICK, May 28th, 1792.

SIR:—I am Under the Necesesity of Informing you of the Distressed Sittuation of the froonteers of Westmoreland County. That on the twenty-second Inst., the Indians Came to L't William Cooper Stattion, Near the Mouth of Tiscumenitis River, and attacted It; the Killed one man and Wounded one. The did not Stay Any Longer than the Took and Murdered a family With in about three Hundred yards of the Block-house. The than [606] Penetrated Into The Settlement About fifteen Miles; the Killed, Wounded and Took Prisoners Eleven Persons; Took About Thirty Horses; Burned a Number of Houses. The Stayed in the Settlement five or Six Days; the Whole of the froonteers is In a Distressed Sittuation, as the Came In Sutch A Large Party that the Small Stattons, that the froonteers is Gathered into, Will Not be Able to Stand them, without Getting Assistance, Maj'r M'Cully Hath Took All his men away from Green's and Reed's Stattion, Except a Few to Keep Up Green's.

Capt. Smith's and Gutherie's Companies is to be stattioned all together at the Mouth of Puckety, which is our County Line; and I Will, in a few Days have to Give up the Cetlemen or Send Millitia there, as Maj'r McCully Hath Requested me to suply It With the Millitia. If you Could have Green's and Reed's Stattion Suplyed With the Contine'l Troops, as It Is Distressing to Call on the Millitia of the one County to Guard so Extensive a froonteer; and if there is Not a sufficient Number of Men Kept out, the froonteers will Break up as the Cannot suport themselves Without Raising Some Crops. It is Hard that We must Stand as a Barier to the Enterior Parts, and Defend our Selves. I Intend a Plying to Fyate for Asistance. But I Would Wish It was Agreeable that you Would Send An Order to Coll. Torrance to Give Us Assistance and Let me Know if I May Aply to him.

I am, Sir, your obedient Humble Serv't,

His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN.

N. B.—Mr. John Deneston is to furnish the Millitia the Same as Last year with Rations.
C. C.
N. B.—I this Moment Received an Express that there Was one Hundred Indians Had Crossed the Allegany River, and there Was fifty More Seen yesterday In the Inhabitant, And one Man Was Killed. I Expect Every Moment to Hear of Our to be Mutch Destroyed. C. C.


PITTSBURGH, May 29th 1792.

DEAR SIR:—I had the pleasure of your letter of the 18th May; am happy that my letters arrived in time to remove the anxiety that such false representation would naturaly give Government and you, also a reflection on me. The fifty Rifles arrived from little York yesterday. I think it would be treating Mr. Dunn- [607] woody well not to pay him for the Carriage, as he delayed them so Long. He lost three pair of the Bullit moles on the way; they were scattered through the waggon when they arrived here.

I refer you to my letter to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for News.

Am, Sir, with high Esteem,
Your most Obid't Servant,
GEO. McCULLY, Major R. Corps.



PITTSBURGH, May 30th, 1792.

SIR:—You will be pleased to lay before His Excellency the Governor the Inclosed letter from Capt'n Smith, signifying his resignation, also my letter of the same date, stating the present and former arrangements of the Corps under my command.

Doctor Bedford reports Captain Smith unfit for service to me. I think Mr. Stevenson, Captain Smith's Lieutenant, will do to Command the Company. If the Governor's intention is to promote by Companies, Ensign Jones, Lieut., and a Mr. William Brown, Ensign, who is acting at present as first Sergeant, will make a good Ensign.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
GEO. McCULLY, Major Rifle Corps.

P. S.—Brown is of Allegany County.

A. J. DALLAS, Secretary.


31st May, 1792.

SIR:—Haveing been so unfortunate as to receive a hurt on the 11th Day of April last, on a march from Pittsburgh to the falls of Big Bevour Creek by which I became ruptered, and finding that the active Service required on this Campaign has increased my Complants, and in the opinion of the Doctor, not only renders me unfit for presant Duty, but may tirmenate fataly unless a state of quietude is preserved. I Do hereby request you to receive my Resignation as Captain of the Second Company of Six months' Livie of this Commonwelth.

I am, Sir, your Obt. Serv't,
SAM. SMITH. Capt'n 2d Comp'y Riflemen.



PITTSBURGH, May 30th 1792.

DEAR SIR:—Experiance has provid to me that the Manner in which the Corps, under my command, are disposed of is not the best for the protection of the frontiers; they men are so much scattered that it is impossible to collect them in time to appose or persue any considerable Body of Enemy. I have, therefore, determined to draw to one place Captains Smith's and Guthrie's Companies, where I can be with them myself, and if Indians appears in force, as they have lately done, I will be able to meet them on the Shortest notice.

It may be Necessary for you to send a detachment of Militia to man the Block-house at yallow Creek, as I must remove Mr. Stevenson's command. Mr. Stevison will remain there untill the tenth of June, to give you time to forward the Militia. There is a considerable quantity of provisions at that post that will be ready for your men when they march out.

I am, Sir, with high regard,
Your most Obedient Servent,
GEO. McCULLY, Major R. Corps.


P. S.—The high opinion I have of Captain Paul's abilities will make my visits to his posts fewer than I first Intended.


June 1st, 1792.

DEAR SIR:— I was but a few days at home untill the Indians broke into the settlement by Reed's Station. It was garrisoned by Rangers under Cooper. They had never scouted any. They had been frolicking and were Surprized, in want of Amunition, and the officer was absent from the station. However, the Indians fired only a few rounds upon the Block-house, with which they killed one man and wounded Another, and went away without any exertions being made by the Rangers. They then killed and took Harbison's family, in sight of the station. Harbison was one of the spies, and was reported to have relaxed a little in his duty. Indeed, the duties of the spies in this County is too hard, and they are not assisted by the troops as was designed at laying the plan. The alarm was quickly spread; indeed, they [609] themselves promoted the News of their coming by burning some of the first houses they came to. This occasioned the Country to fly before them with the greatest rapidity, and they being about 40 in number took the Country before them, keeping nearly the Course of the Kiskeminty, going in small parties, from 5 to 7, as far as has been observed. They do not seem to be so anxious to kill as to plunder and destroy.

However, several remarkable escapes have been made. For Instance, two families, belonging to Messrs. Feal's and Millars' were surrounded in a Bottom, and only two of them taken. Two Men and woman were wounded, and are likely to live. One of their sons who escaped, saved two other families, who were Just entering the bottom. Their ardent desire to get Horses seems to divert their attention from shedding Blood. They greedily seize every kind of plunder. After some of them had been so closely pushed in recrossing the Allegenny as to leave some of the Horses, Hopes were entertained that they were gone off, when, however, they appeared at different places much further in the settlement. At one plantation as far up above the mouth of Loyalhanna they went boldly to the stable and fields, and took out the Horses, killing a stallion which proved unruly, and taking of the rest without disturbing the family, who were trembling within. Perhaps they were afraid that some of them would fall in attempting the House. About the same time they killed a man with a load of dry meat, going to the station, and took the Horse and load. Two days ago one of them was wounded by a young man who perceived three of them waylaying his father's and another family, carry off some grain, &c., to a place of safety. This was on the course towards Hannahstown.

By a Letter from Col. Campbell I am Just informed that a Scout has pursued the party of Indians that appeared as high up the north side of Kiskeminty as the mouth of Black Leg's Creek down to Allegenny, where, though they saw them different times, the ground was so unfavorable they could not get a shot at them, but had recovered ten Horses. Another Scout goes out there to day. A Scout is also out from the Neighbourhead where I live. Though there was sufficient matter for alarm and terror, without telling lies to promote it, nevertheless, I believe more have fled on the account of false alarms, mischievously contrived within this two or three days past than formerly. Hannastown is now the frontier, and they have erected block Houses at Greensburg, North of Loyalhanning. Dennison's is the frontier. You will perceive by the Map that Westmoreland is now Desolate to near the Center, and the rest much disturbed. At the first alarm Col. Campbell called upon [610] two Battalions of Militia to turn out a Company each, but before the day of Rendezvous, these two Battalions were chiefly broken up. He has since ordered out from two other Battalions, and is advised to call for assistance from Fayette County.

The Scarcity of Arms among the people is a distressing circumstance. Voluntary exertions are prevented, and the flight of many familes promoted from that cause. The people were so Confident that they never would see war again, and in such Necessity for Money to repair their desolate places when peace was obtained, that they sold their guns to people going down the River. I hear from Pittsburgh that Mrs. Harbison has escaped from the Indians, and has discovered some treacherous persons among us. I also understood that a private expedition is on foot; but I expect you will receive more perfect account from Pittsburgh than I am possessed of. My House and many of the Neighbouring Houses being crowded with families that have fled, and frequent consulations being necessary, I have not been far abroad Since this distressing Scene commenced; therefore my information is necessarily local.

If it was possible to get more Arms into the Hands of the County Lieut's by borrowing at Pittsburgh, or otherwise, it would answer a good purpose. All the public exertions against the Hostile Indians having been hitherto unfortunate, the destresses of the people have consequently encreased instead of being removed, and the people themselves appear to have lost Heart, and not to be capable of those exertions which they made the last war; my endeavours to encourage them I find has much Less effect this year than it had the last. Though the Army is Slow of raising yet its perminancy gaves ground to hope that this Season is more critical than any that is to follow. I am, with great respect.

D'r Sir,
Your most obedient Humble Servant,

A. DALLAS, Esq'r.

P. S.—If a more accurate account is not come to hand be pleased to gave this to Mr. Dunlap, with suppressing what you think proper, but particularly Cooper's Name, for though much more is said against him, it is not fair to censure him in a Newspaper at such a distance before examination.


Second Series, Volume IV, Index.

USGenWeb Pennsylvania Archives.