Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, Vol. IV.
Reprinted under direction of Charles Warren Stone,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Edited by John B. Linn and Wm. H. Egle, M. D.
Harrisburg: E. K. Meyers, State Printer, 1890.

File: s2v4f

Short bios: Clement Biddle, Tench Francis, James Ross, William Bradford


PHILA., 12th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—The Governor directs me to give the following answer to the inquiries contained in your letter of the 10 inst. :

1. As dispatch is essential to the present service, in case any persons noticed for duty from the first class, should not serve or furnish a substitute, you will elect the most expeditious mode of supplying the deficiency, either by drafts from the second class, or by volunteers. Both measures may, perhaps, be advantageously pursued at the same time.

2. The Governor cannot authorize, at present, the promise of an extraordinary compensation for the services of volunteers, but a bill is now depending before the Legislature which, it is thought, will pass into a law, in the course of a few days, providing for that measure; and it will, probably, make a distinction in the pay and bounty, whether the Militia attend by drafts or voluntary enrollments.

3. The Governor is of opinion, that the field officers should serve in the same rotation that is prescribed by the law in the case of Companies; and you will please to notify them accordingly.

4. The Drummers and Fifers will be allowed, independent of their pay, a reasonable compensation out of any contingent fund that may be appropriated for the present service; and the necessary standards will be provided by the Q. M. Gen.

5. The compensation for your services will be regularly allowed, as an unavoidable contingent expense; and you will be pleased to consult the adjutant general upon the necessity of your attendance at camp.

6. Wednesday is the day intended for a general muster of the quotas of the City & County Brigades; but it is expected that they will be ready immediately afterwards to take up the line of march, agreebly to the General Orders upon that subject.

You will be pleased, Sir, to provide a proper book for entering the voluntary enrollments, with a heading declaratory of an engagement to serve for the same time & upon the same terms, as in the case of those who shall muster in pursuance of regular drafts.

It will be proper, likewise, from time to time, to notify in writing to the Maj. Generals, Brig. Generals, & Brigade Inspectors, all General Orders that shall be issued.

I am, Sir,
Y'r most obed't,
A. J. DALLAS, Secretary.

To Mr. JAMES REES, Acting Dep. Adj. Gen'l.


PHILADELPHIA, 12th Sept'r,1794.
SIR:—The Secretary of the Treasury, on behalf of the Secretary at war, has communicated to me your request that I would immediately cause the quota of the Militia of this State to be assembled, for the purpose expressed in your requisition of the seventh ultimo.

It is only necessary to assure you, that I shall comply with the utmost dispatch and alacrity.

I am, Sir,
Your Excellency's Most Obed. H'ble Serv't,

To the President of the United States.


PITTSBURGH, 12th Sept., 1794.
The present disturbances in this country have a good deal subsided, but are yet far from having lost their original spirit. Yesterday the people of the different counties were to meet in district and townships to sign the submission to the laws. At this district it was conducted and ended with great moderation—the people almost all signed the submission; but in the other districts of this county, I am afraid, it has not terminated so favorably. In one district, the two parties, one for peace, the other for war, separated, when the war party appeared the most numerous, and the peace party were intimidated from signing.

Almost all the leaders in exciting the present disturbances are now for peace and a submission to the laws, but they have no longer influence when they become peaceable citizens, which establishes a melancholy truth, that men can raise an insurrection when they cannot conduct it.


PHILAD'A, Sept. 13th, 1794.
SIR:—I herewith inclose, for your acceptance, my Commission; in doing this, I think it a duty I owe myself, as well as those who give me the appointment, to state my reasons. When I accepted of this post, I considered myself bound to execute the [251] duties thereof with fidelity and punctuality. Having received orders to hold myself in readiness to March with my fellow Citizens, for the purpose of securing obedience to the laws of my country, I accordingly, at some expense, prepared myself for the expedition, with a full determination of faithfully discharging the trust committed to me. I have, however, been frustrated in this design by hearing that there are a variety of reports, injurious to my Character, circulating thro' the City respecting the Western disturbances; that in consequence of those reports, some of my fellow Citizens, who are to march on this occation, have expressed an unwillingness to serve under me. With regard to my opinion of the excise Law, which I have no doubt, has given birth to those reports, I have never yet concealed it; but odious as this system of taxation is to me, I do not advocate an unconstitutional opposition to any existing Law of my country. And it is, & has been my opinion, with respect to the present disturbances, that after Pacific means have been found ineffectual to re-claim the People, coersive Measures on the part of Government should take place.

Thus Circumstanced, you will readily perceive the Propriety of my resignation at this time, as it is essentially necessary in Miletary expeditions that all officers should posses the Confidence of their fellow Soldiers.


The Governor of the State of Pennsylvania.


We the subscribers, members of the committee who met at Parkinson's Ferry on the 14th August last, and justices of the peace of the different townships in Washington county, met this 13th day of September, 1794, do find ourselves under great embarrassment to express our sentiments and opinions, whether there be such a general submission of the people as that an office of inspection may be immediately and safely established in this county; yet we are free to declare that no opposition shall arise from us, the undersigned, to the excise law or to any officer appointed under it, and we believe and are of opinion that a large majority of the inhabitants of the respective townships in this county will acquiesce and submit to the said law, under a hope and firm belief that the Congress of the United States will repeal said law.

Given under our hands, at Washington court house, the 13th of September, 1794.

DAVID BRADFORD and 27 others.


We, the subscribers, judges of a general election, held in the several townships of the county of Westmoreland, for the purpose of ascertaining certain assurance required of the citizens by the commissioners on the part of the Government and agreed to on the part of the delegates, having met this day and taken into consideration the returns from said townships, (true copies of which have been returned to one of the commissioners,) and finding that some gave only general assurances of their submission and disposition for peace, without individually signing the same and others, in numbers according to the returns by them respectively made, do certify, that, in our opinion, as ill-disposed lawless persons could suddenly assemble and offer violence, it would not be safe in immediately establishing an office of inspection therein.

Given under our hands, at the court house in Greensburg, this 13th day of September, 1794.



UNIONTOWN, September 16, 1794.
We, the subscribers, having, according to resolutions of the committee of townships for the county of Fayette, acted as judges on the 11th instant, at the meetings of the people of the said county, respectively convened at the places in the first, second and third election districts, where the general elections are usually held, (no judge or member of the committee attending from the fourth and last district, which consists of the townships of Tyrone and Bullskin,) do hereby certify that five hundred and sixty of the people thus convened on the day aforesaid, did then and there declare their determination to submit to the laws of the United States in the manner expressed by the commissioners on the part of the Union, in their letter dated the 22d day of August last; the total number of those who attended on that occasion being only seven hundred and twenty-one, that [253] is to say, something less than one-third of the number of citizens of the said three districts. And we do further certify, that from our previous knowledge of the disposition of the general body of the people, and from the anxiety since discovered by many, (who, either from not having had notice, or from not having under stood the importance of the question did not attend.) To give similar assurance of submission, we are of opinion that the great majority of those citizens who did not attend are disposed to behave peaceably, and with due submission to the laws.



At a meeting of the Majors of the Chester County Brigade on the 15th day of Sept., 1794, it was determined by ballot that Major Shippen & Major Hughes, should be the Marching Majors against the Western insurgents for the Reg't to be raised in Chester County.

Major Shippen, . . . having 9 votes.
Major Hughes . . . 5 votes.

JACOB HUMPHREYS, President of Meeting.


CARLISLE, 15th Sept., 1794.
SIR:—In the night of the eighth instant, a pole was erected in the public square of town with "Liberty and no excise, O, Whiskey," inscribed thereon. On the morning following a few of the friends to good government, met and cut it down, which caused a great agitation; And runners were dispatched in every direction to inflame the minds of the country people, and persuade them to assist in putting up a second pole.

[254] On Thursday, in the afternoon, a number, perhaps two hundred, of the people from the country came in, some with fire arms, and erected a much larger pole, with "Liberty and equality" thereon; very few men of property appeared among them. Our treasurer was a very busybody in this business, making use of all his small abilities to increase the flame, and threw out money to the insurgents to procure whiskey: he is now at Philadelphia, and I have no doubt will pretend to be in favor of government.

The people who appeared on Thursday seemed to shun the conversation of any person who they thought was opposed to their proceeding, and it was thought advisable to say but little to them, as we could not tell how far the inflamation had spread through the country. A guard has patroled the streets every night since, to take care of the pole, or to prevent the peaceable inhabitants from sleeping by the firing of guns and other noise, which has been hard to bear; and persons in pursuit of their business have been stopped at the point of the bayonet and money extorted from them to procure whiskey.

On Thursday evening, as Col. Blane was conducting his sister, Mrs. Lyon, out of town, three of those desperadoes fired their guns at him and pursued him two miles, firing several shots at him as they ran. Happily no injury was done, except the lady being very much frightened. Several farmers, who have expressed their abhorrence of their proceedings, have been threatened with destruction of property.

Perhaps the government may from the accounts it may receive of the situation of this country, think proper to order out a detachment of troops now in readiness to take post at this place; it might have a good tendency in spiriting up the young people to turn out as volunteers; every artifice has been used to prevent the militia of this county from turning out on this service, and even threats have been thrown out against those who shew an inclination to go.


PITTSBURGH, Sept. 15th, 1794.
SIR:—Suppressing your name, I have just given your letter to the printer of the Gazette, of this place, conceiving that it will be of service in composing the minds of the people of this country.

It is an elegant and sensible essay, but would be entirely lost upon me, as inculcating sentiments with which I have no need to be more impressed than I am.

[255] In some expressions I had used in my letter, you have understood me as speaking of the excise law. Review it, and you will find it was of the funding system in general. Of that system, I have been an adversary from the commencement, in all its principles and effects. At the same time, I have never charged the Secretary, who was said to be the author of it, with anything more than an error in judgment. A scale ought to have been applied to certificates in the market and redeemed at that rate. The case of the Continental money was an example. I would refer you to a famous letter of John Adams to the Count De Vergennes, containing reasonings in the case of the Continental money, that would equally have applied in the ease of certificates. But at all events, the assumption of the State debts was unnecessary and impolitic.

Were it possible that we could be freed from this system by a revolution without greater mischief, it is possible I might be brought to think of it. But that is impossible. The remedy would be worse than the malady; honest creditors would suffer, and we should lose the advantages of a general union of the States. These advantages are inimence, and far outweigh all other considerations.

Though in a country of insurgency, you see I write freely, because I am not the most distantly involved in the insurrection, but reserve the credit of contributing to disorganize and reduce it.

From paragraphs in the papers, I find it is otherwise understood with you, but time will explain all things.

The arrival of commissioners from the government was announced to the delegates of the 14th at Parkinson's Ferry, when actually convened, and superseded what was contemplated, the sending commissioners from hence.

You will have heard the result. By the measures taken, the spirit of the insurrection was broken. The government has now nothing to fear. The militia may advance, but will meet with nothing considerable to oppose them, but had it not been for the pacific measure on the part of the President, and in internal arrangements made by the friends of order here, which I cannot in a few words develope, affairs would have worn a different aspect, and the standard of the insurrection would have been by this time in the neighborhood of Carlisle; but I hope that this will always remain matter of opinion, and have no experiment in the like case to ascertain the event.

My not writing you at first was owing to my having received a letter from you on an indifferent subject, and it struck me that through you government might receive information that might be useful, and if published, which was left to your discretion, it [256] might operate as an apology for the government with the people in adopting pacific measures, representing in strong terms the magnitude and extent of the danger, for it was not the force of this country that I had in view, but the communicability to other parts of the Union, the like inflamable causes of discontent existing elsewhere. I am told my letter has been considered as intending to intimidate the government, and gain time until the insurrection should gain strength.

It might have been with that view, but that it was not so, will be proved by my conduct and sentiments here. No, from the tenor of my life, I expect and demand to be considered as the advocate of liberty, a greater injury to which could not be than by the most distant means endangering the existence or infringing the structure of the noblest monument which it ever had or ever will have in the world—the United States of America.

You will do me the justice to communicate this letter to the same extent with the first.

I have further to observe that I am in the meantime not without apprehension for the town of Pittsburgh. The moment of danger will be on the advance of the militia, if the insurgents should embody to meet them, they will in the first instance probably turn round and give a stroke here for the purpose of obtaining arms and ammunition, and if resisted, and perhaps whether or not, will plunder the stores and set on fire all or some of the buildings.

Yours, with respect,

P. S.—Since writing the within, which was two or three days ago, apprehension of danger, with ourselves or opposition of force, considerably vanishes or diminishes.

I have received your publications. They are ingenious and useful. At present our papers are filled with our political affairs. In due time they will be inserted.

As an instance of order gaining ground, I am just informed from the town of Washington that the liberty tree was cut down, and none came forward to erect another, or revenge the affront.

I have the honor to be,
Your obed't Se't,

To Tench Coxe, Esq., Philadelphia.


PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 16, 1749 [1794].
SIR:—I have paid the troops, in service at Fort Mifflin, to the 1st of this present month, & directed them to be paid monthly during my absence, and have also provided for their supplies daring that time, to meet which, and any Demand for the defence of the Frontiers during my service in the field, I request that you will direct a warrant to issue in my favor for six thousand Dollars, under the Act of Assembly passed the late session, "for more effectually securing the Trade, peace and safety of the port of Philadelphia, and defending the western Frontiers of the Commonwealth," to be by me accounted for.

I have the honor to, be Sir,
Y'r mo. Obed. Serv.


PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 16, 1794.
The Militia, now preparing to assemble at the different places, appointed by the Governor's orders, of the 13th instant, will

* Clement Biddle was born in Philadelphia, May 10,1740. He was a descendant of one of the early Quaker settlers and proprietaries of New Jersey, and retained his connection with the Society of Friends until the outset of the Revolution. He was early engaged in commercial pursuits, and with his brother Owen signed the celebrated non-importation resolutions of October 25, 1765. He embarked early in the defence of the Colonies and assisted in forming the Quaker company of volunteers raised in Philadelphia in 1775, of which he was an officer. July 8, 1776, he was appointed by Congress Deputy Quarter Master General of the Flying Camp. Col. Biddle was at the battle of "Trenton, and was one of the officers selected by Washington to receive the swords of the Hessian commanders. He was also engaged at Princeton, Brandywine and Germantown, and during the winter of 1777-8, shared the privations of the army at the encampment at Valley Forge. He was subsequently in action at Monmouth. He served as Quarter Master General of Pennsylvania in the expedition of 1794. Upon the organization of the Federal government under the Constitution of 1787, Col. Biddle was appointed United States Marshal for Pennsylvania. He preserved the friendship and enjoyed the intimacy of Washington until the close of the life of that great man. He closed his distinguished and useful career at Philadelphia on the 14th of July, 1814, in the seventy fifth year of his age.

[258] have to furnish themselves with provisions for their march to the respective places of rendezvous, for which they will be paid the price allowed for rations by the United States. On their arrival at the said places appointed for assembling rations will be furnished them.

Arms, Accoutrements, Tents and Camp Kettles, will be furnished by the U. States to the several corps, at the respective places appointed for them to assemble, on their commanding officers making return of the officers and men composing their corps, as they may arrive, for which purpose the greatest expedition will be used to forward the necessary supplies.

Forage will also be provided for the cavalry and officers' horses which are entitled to forage, and the same will be paid for at the established price, from the time of their collecting in their respective counties until their arrival at the several places appointed for assembling.

Each complete company will be allowed a four horse wagon to carry their camp equipage; and the same for the field officers of each regiment, which the several commanding officers are requested to engage to serve for the expedition, and they will be paid at the rate of thirty-five shillings per day for each four horse wagon, and driver furnishing their own subsistence. To accommodate them, in which, as far as possible, forage will be laid in at the different places appointed for assembling, and be delivered at the prime cost to such as choose to apply for it; and in case the general arrangements should make it necessary to furnish them with forage after they leave Carlisle, an equitable rate will be settled in establishing the price of hire then to be allowed.

As the tents, with their poles, camp kettles and equipage must, in all events, be conveyed in the wagons allowed to each corps, it will be necessary to restrict the loading wagons allowed to companies with baggage, as much as possible.




By His Excellency, Richard Howell, Esq., Governor, Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief, in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging, Chancellor and Ordinary in the same.

[259] WHEREAS, An open and violent opposition to a law of the Union has unfortunately taken place in a few western counties of the State of Pennsylvania, which the Supreme Executive and that of their State, are at present engaged to suppress:

And whereas, It is discovered that, whilst the good people of this State are anxiously employed in completing their proportion of troops destined against the insurgents, certain strangers, in contempt of their own duty, the authority of the Union, and the laws and dignity of this State, are mingling with our citizens and endeavoring to seduce them—shewing seditious letters—spreading false intelligence—urging disobedience to the constituted authorities—embracing the ill-judged and illegal motives of the insurgents—disseminating their prejudices—extolling their force and resources, and falsely asserting, "that good citizens are not bound, and ought not to take up arms against them, struggling, as they pretend, against oppression," though they are evidently revolting against their own interest, and the honor and security of the Union:

And whereas, In the most regulated and best informed state of society, intrigue may insinuate improper influence over even ingenuous minds, unguarded by experience, especially, by exciting a mistaken compassion for criminality concealed under the pretence of patriotism. I have, therefore, by and with the consent and concurrence of the honorable, the Privy Council, thought it proper to require and enjoin, by Proclamation, all civil officers and others of this State, to cause to be apprehended by legal means, and to be speedily brought to justice, such emissaries and others, if any such citizens we have, who shall presume to counteract, indirectly or otherwise, the measures of the Executive of the United States, the laws of the Union or the laws and authority of this State. Upon compliant of such offences against government, founded upon sufficient evidence, the magistracy are requested to issue proper process for such offenders of every distinction, and bind them in recognizances or commit them to prison, as the case may require, so that they may appear at the next court having cognizance thereof, and answer to charges then and there to be exhibited against them in due form of law. That intruders from a distance should propose to themselves success among the citizens of Jersey, must arise from an unfair comparison of virtues which they know not how to value, with their own innate baseness and infamous depravity; but if there is an inhabitant of this State so lost to discernment and duty, as to harbor or countenance incendiaries who wish to reduce others to the level of their own crimes, it is not doubted, but that the vigilance of the magistracy will convince them, that although [260] the balance of justice is held even, yet her sword is not lifted up in vain.

Given under my hand and seal at arms at Trenton, the 16th day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety-four, and of our Independence the 19th.


By his Excellency's command,


CAMP, TRENTON, Sept. 16, 1794.

To his excellency, Richard Howell, Esquire, Commander-in- Chief of New Jersey:

SIR:—The citizen soldiers of the Cavalry of New Jersey, cannot omit the present opportunity of tendering their acknowledgments to your excellency, for your exertions in Support of the honour of this State and the dignity of the Union; but, above all, accept, sir, the grateful effusions of our hearts, duly penetrated with a sense of the honour you have reflected on us by accepting an active command and drawing your sword against our internal enemies; be assured, sir, that, with such an example, we shall consider all our hardships as necessary, and all danger as honorable. It is, sir, our decided opinion, that law ought to be the supreme rule of our conduct, and not the will of a few unprincipled individuals, who are neither awed by shame, checked by conscience, or confined to truth. Penetrated with this opinion, we cheerfully obey the calls of our country, in this tender of our services, to support an established government—a government framed upon principles best calculated to secure to us every blessing; and however painful it must be to a feeling mind to draw the sword against a fellow citizen, yet sentiments of compassion on this critical occasion, we solemnly believe, should yield to the more powerful emotions of duty; emotions which no one can suppress without avowing himself an enemy to our country, and ready to introduce the horrors of anarchy. To avoid these evils and to support the authority of the law, we now, sir, under the banners of freedom, pledge our sacred honours to your excellency, that while we consider our swords the swords of justice, we will never sheath them till we have subdued or extirpated the hydra discord from among us.

ANT. W. WHITE. Brigadier General of the New Jersey Cavalry.


TRENTON, September 16, 1794.

To the Address of Brigadier General White and the Officers of the Jersey Cavalry:

GENTLEMEN AND FELLOW SOLDIERS:—Honoured with the command of citizens in arms, who feel the cause they were engaged in, I confess, I am not unconscious of the dignity of my station; but, at the same time, I recollect with anxiety, how much should be done to deserve it. Devoted, with you, to the best interests of the Union, no part was left for me but that which I have taken; and when freemen, who have sentiments and courage to maintain them, thus join me in opinion and promise their support, I feel a pleasing confidence which triumphs over doubt. The occasion of our appeal to arms I join you in lamenting, and hope that a proper sense of duty will yet penetrate the gloom which invelopes our misguided countrymen; yet, even compassion, which adorns the soldier's heart, must, at last, frown on obstinate offenders.

Your sacred pledge of honour I accept gentlemen. It stands indelibly recorded in my bosom, and under the same banner (Here the governor advanced and embraced the commander of the cavalry.) and for the same generous purpose, I pledge you my honour in return. Our glorious constitution is the standard by which we rally; surrounded by a band of brothers, it waves terror to internal enemies and discord shall shrink at the eight. The honour of the state, gentlemen, is committed to our care, and, like you, I wear it on my sword; but accept if you please, my sensations of your affectionate address without particular expression, and rest assured that I shall consider your future satisfaction as my dearest, my best earned reward.

R'D HOWELL, Commander-in-Chief the Jersey Militia.


CAMP, TRENTON, Sept. 16, 1794.

To his excellency Richard, Howell, Esq., Commander-in-Chief of New Jersey;

At a time we were pleasing ourselves with the most happy consequences of the late embassy to the Court of Great Britain, [262] by which not only the commercial but the agricultural interests of our country would have been in the most flourishing situation—when we were feeling the blessed effects of the most blessed constitution in the universe—what a cloud has been cast on our happy prospects; what a shock has been given to our political fabric, by a band of vile abandoned traitors and incendiaries, who, at the same moment that they were receiving every advantage and emolument that could possibly arise out of their local situation are endeavoring to undermine the very government which pours its favors into their laps. Men so unprincipled deserve not the blessings of a Republic; they should be driven into the jaws of some devouring despot and leave the soil of America to be cultivated by a more deserving people. The Freemen of New Jersey, roused by such an outrageous attempt to trample on the law of the land, and desirous of supporting that freedom and independence they acquired by their blood in the late revolution, come forward, with their wonted zeal, in the line of their duty, to accompany your Excellency on the present expedition, and flatter themselves that the former military fame of New Jersey will not be tarnished in their lawful exertions to suppress rebellion.

By unanimous desire of the officers of the infantry and artillery composing the the Jersey brigade.



TRENTON, Sept. 16, 1794.

To the Address of Brigadier General Bloomfield and the Infantry and Artillery of Jersey;

GENTLEMEN AND BROTHER SOLDIERS:—The address of your respectable corps calls for my full assent to the painful truths it contains.

At a moment the most important to the Union, when collected in our own internal unanimity, we were viewed with envy by conflicting powers, and even rapine, overawed by firmness, began to listen to our claims; discord and folly began their mad career. Deluded men, unconscious of the boon that Heaven accords, with parricidal hands would plunge a dagger into the bosom of their country—but ours is the glorious task to interpose a shield. Though painful the task, yet it is ours, my fellow soldiers united in one common purpose, to drive home confusion[263] to their hearts, who, with polluted hands, profane the best of Constitutions; but let us hope that returning reason will heal the breach, and their complete submission slacken the arm of vengeance. I consider myself as fortunate to be, at this time, called to the command, and feel the nearest interest in your military reputation; but I was conscious that you knew and dare defend your rights; & therefore looked for these exertions.

Accept, gentlemen, my warmest acknowledgments for this honor, and be assured that, with your co-operation, of which I have the liveliest certainty, I despair not to keep unsullied our military reputation.

R'D. HOWELL, Commander-in-Chief the New Jersey Militia.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Sept. 17, 1794.
SIR:—Major Stagg has informed me that you wished an explanation in writing of the letter which I had the honor of writing to you this Morning, on this point, to wit: whether the corps were to be equipped previous to their march or not?

I answer, that it is intended they should be provided previous to their march with a competent supply of essential articles. But that they ought not to be retarded on account of a partial deficiency of articles, the want of which might not be material, as these can be sent after them to Carlisle, where it is interesting there should be a good collection of force without delay, & where there will necessarily be some halt.

Your military experience must guide your discretion in drawing the line.

If anything more precise is desired from me, it will best be obtained by directing a return of deficient articles of each corps, & I will give an opinion on each case in detail. With perfect respect,

I have the honor to be
your obed. hum. serv.,

His Excellency Governor Mifflin.


PHILADELPHIA, 17th September, 1794

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

GENTLEMEN:—I have the pleasure to inform you that I have found our fellow citizens, in the counties of Chester and Dela- [264] ware, eager to support the honor of our government, and the authority of the laws, against the violence of the present lawless combination. The defects in the militia system, the mistakes of the Brigade Inspectors, relative to the extent of their orders, the Insufficiency of the pay, and a want of information respecting the necessity and justice of the expedition against the insurgents, occasioned some difficulty and delay—but the moment the circumstances, which have produced the existing crisis in our public affairs, were stated and explained; the sentiments of patriotism pervaded every breast, and a determination to aid the measures of government was unanimously expressed. The only question anywhere proposed was, whether the insurgents had refused to listen to reason—and the answer was everywhere satisfactory, that if they would listen to reason it never was intended to subdue them by force.

Permit me, gentlemen, to observe, that the non-execution of the President's requisition, in the other counties to which it extends, is probably owing to the same causes, and may be obviated by the same means. I shall, therefore, think it my duty to prosecute the tour which I mentioned to you in a late message, and entreat the favor of any accommodation in transacting our Legislative business that can be granted, consistently with your duty and conveniency.



PHILADELPHIA, September 17, 1794.


The Governor takes the earliest opportunity of expressing his sincere thanks to the quotas of the brigades of the city and county of Philadelphia military for their punctual and general attendence at the camp this day. In a particular manner he acknowledges his obligations to Col. Gurney and his regiment; to Captains Dunlap, Singer, and McConnell and the cavalry under their command; to the several corps of Grenadiers and light infantry, attached on this occasion to Col. Gurney's regiment; to the volunteer company of light infantry under the command of Major McPherson, and to the corps from Southwark. A conduct so honorable, and so spirited, cannot fail to excite a patriotic emulation throughout the State; and the Governor, with heartfelt satisfaction, anticipates a correspondent effect in protecting our constitution and laws from the threatened violation and subversion. Wherever the question, that occasions the present armament, has been explained and understood, the citizens of [265] Pennsylvania have manifested their zeal to maintain the public peace and order, and every enemy of the Republic, internal, as well as external, will eventually find, that those who have sought to obtain a free government, will as cheerfully fight to preserve it.

In addressing citizens, who have advanced under a sense of duty, for the purpose of restoring the violated authority of the laws, it is superfluous to recommend a constant attention to sobriety and order, a strict respect to the rights of persons and of private property, in the course of the march. The Governor is confident that the conduct of his fellow citizens, will in that, as well as in every other respect command the esteem, conciliate the dispositions, and invite the assistance and friendship of the country through which they pass.

The commanding officers of the respective corps, are requested immediately to report to the adjutant general, a roll of their officers, men and equipments; and likewise, to prepare and furnish the advance & pay rolls. Such of the militia, as wish any part of their advance or pay be given to their families during their absence, will please to state the same to the commanding officer of the proper corps, who will make a report to the adjutant general, and provisions will accordingly be made for ensuring a compliance.

The following order of march is to be observed by the quotas of the city and county of Philadelphia Brigade:

1. Capt. Dunlap's, 2. Capt. McConnell's, 3. Capt. Singer's: Troop of Light Horse,

to assemble on Friday morning, in Market street, east of twelfth street, and to march with the baggage in the rear by the way of Norristown, Reading and Harrisburgh, to Carlisle.

Capt. Scott's light infantry Corps is to join the artillery, and march with them from the present encampment on Friday morning at 8 o'clock, and proceed by the middle ferry bridge to the ridge road, and thence by Norristown, Reading and Harrisburgh, to Carlisle.

On Saturday morning, at 8 o'clock.
1. The light infantry corps.
2. The grenadier,.
3. The baggage of the infantry, grenadiers and battalion.
4. The governor's staff and wagons with Stores.
5. The battalion.

To march from their present encampment by the middle ferry bridge to the ridge road, and thence by Norristown, Reading and Harrisburgh, to Carlisle.

JOSIAH HARMAR, Adjutant General of the militia of Pennsylvania.


TRENTON, Sept. 17, 1794.
SIR:—I had the honor to receive, by Capt'n Sedam, at a very early hour, your Excellency's Intimation of a Wish that the Jersey Cavalry should take up their Line of March through the City of Philad'a. Nothing would be more pleasing to the Troops, & I should be delighted to have the opportunity of shewing you my respect by a ready compliance with your desire, but I am precluded by repeated Orders to take a different Route. I even signified to the War department, after those Orders, a regret that I could not pass through the City, but that I felt myself bound by the orders received. The Route by Norristown has been decided upon & purchases of Forage are made, therefore a change is become impracticable. I shall confide to you, Sir, that on the Evening of to-morrow I shall encamp at Newtown & the next night at Norristown, where I shall be happy to see your Excellency if agreeable & convenient. I have to excuse my not writing you yesterday, as I held then a privy Council, besides my military engagements, for which your Excellency well knows how to make the proper allowance.

I have the honor to be,
your Excellency's friend
& humble serv't,

His Excellency Governor MIFFLIN.


At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Pittsburgh, held 17th September, 1794, for the purpose of considering the proscription of certain citizens, during the late disturbances, in which necessity and policy led to a temporary acquiesence on the part of the town.

It was unanimously resolved, That the said citizens were unjustly exiled, and the said proscriptions are no longer regarded by the inhabitants of the town of Pittsburgh, and that this resolution be published for the purpose of communicating these sentiments to those who were the subjects of the proscriptions.

By order,
A. TANNEHILL, Chairman.


UNIONTOWN, 17th Sept'ber, 1794.
SIR:—I am directed by the Committee of townships, for the County of Fayette, to transmit to you a copy of the declarations agreed upon by them on the 10th instant, which were read on the following day, to the people convened in their respective Election districts, and the return of the sense of the people of this County, on the question of submission, so far as we have yet been able to ascertain it. We have, through every step, in this unfortunate business, taken those measures which from our knowledge of the sentiments of the people and of the heat which prevailed amongst them, appeared to us best calculated to allay by degrees the flame, to promote peace and submission to the laws, and to preserve this Country and Pennsylvania from the disgraceful necessity of a recourse to military coercion, and we are happy to be able to inform you, that the present appearances are as favorable as we had any right to expect. It was an effort too great, perhaps, to be expected from human nature, that a people should at once pass from an avowed intention of resisting, to the signing a test of absolute submission, & to a promise of giving active support to the Laws. The change would be operated only by degrees, and after having convinced the understanding of the more enlightened, it was not so easy a task to persuade those whose prejudices were more deeply rooted and means of information less extensive. The great body of the people, which consists of moderate men, were also, for a time, from a want of knowledge of their own strength, afraid to discover their sentiements, & were, in fact, kept in awe by the few violent men. This was one of the principal reasons which prevented so many from attending the general meeting on the day on which the sense of the people was taken, to which may be added, in this County, the unconcern of a great number of moderate men, who having followed peaceably their occupations during the whole time of the disturbances, did not think themselves interested in the event, & were not sufficiently aware of the importance of the question to the whole County. Although, however, all the warmest persons attended; we had a very large & decided majority amongst the voters, & great many of those who had come with an intention of testifying their intention to resist, were convinced by the Arguments made use of, though their pride would not suffer them to make a public retractation on the moment, and they went off without giving any vote.

[268] A very favorable & decisive change has taken place since, & has, indeed, been the result of the event of that day. The general disposition now seems to be to submit, & a great many are now signing the proposals of the Commissioners, not only in the neighboring Counties, but even in this, where we had not thought it necessary. We have, therefore, thought the moment was come for the people to act, with more vigour and to show something more than mere passive obedience to the laws, & we have, in consequence, (by the Resolutions of this day, herein inclosed, & which we hope, will be attended with salutary effects,) recommended associations for the purpose of preserving order and of supporting the civil authority, as whatever heat existed in this County, was chiefly owing to what had passed in the neighbouring Counties.

We have no doubt of peace being fully re-established and a perfect submission taking place here, provided it is not interrupted by some new acts of violence elsewhere! It is well known, that from sundry local causes which we have not now time to detail, the heat was much greater there than amongst us, but there also, it was confined to a certain number, & we have the best information of its daily subsiding. Still, however, a certain degree does exist, both here & in all the other western Counties, and sometime will still be necessary to operate a compleat restoration of order & a perfect submission to the laws. The great question now is, whether there are sufficient assurances of that submission and of its sincerity, to justify Government in not making use of military coercion.

Mr. James Lang, one of our number, (& whose efforts for the restoration of peace have been unremitted during the whole course of the late disturbance,) has undertaken to deliver this letter, and we must beg leave to refer you to him for a full communication of our sentiments on that head. We will only observe, that punishment of past offences cannot be now the design of Government, since all those who might have been proper objects of resentment, have taken advantage of the proposals of the Commissioners, by signing the declarations required & that, if the submission is not sincere now, military coercion, although it may, by operating on the fears of the people, cause a general, but temporary acquiescence, will, so far from rendering it more sincere, encrease the discontents, embitter the minds & disgust many good citizens, so that, if there be any danger of new outrages being again committed, that danger will be the greatest, the moment the military force is withdrawn. When, to that observation, we add the consideration of the possibility of tumults & riots breaking out on the approach of an army, (even if its march did not again promote actual resistance,) of [269] the danger to which those Citizens who have taken an active part in restoring peace, will be then exposed; of the difficulty the officers will find in restraining a militia, but newly organized & enflamed by exaggerated representations, from committing outrages against the innocent citizens. When we reflect on the necessity of cultivating harmony between the different States and between the different parts of the same State, and on the local reasons which enjoin that duty still more forcibly in regard to the Western Country. When, finally, we recollect the peculiar situation of this Country, once claimed by Virginia, and the danger of old broils & intestine dissentions being again renewed, we cannot, too explicitly, express our opinion, that, nothing less than a conviction that submission cannot be obtained through any other means, and that every conciliatory measure would prove abortive, can justify Government in adopting that test & desperate resource.

Under those impressions, we have, we trust, fulfilled our duty as Citizens by taking the most active part in trying to compose the disturbances, & we mean to persevere in our endeavours to the last, be the event what it will. We are also fully sensible of the propriety of the measures heretofore adopted, and of the paternal indulgence shown by the President and by yourself in everything relative to this unfortunate business; and the confidence we have, both in the State and the general Government, convince us that nothing but dire necessity will induce them to embrace a measure which must, unavoidably, be attended with great mischiefs, and that, if they think themselves bound in duty to do it, they will use every method to lessen the evil, by not sending troops from another State, unless those of this State are found insufficient, by subjecting them to the strictest discipline, by rendering them altogether subservient to the civil authority alone, and by putting them under the command of an officer who, as a man, as a citizen, and as a friend to the laws, to order & to discipline, may (as far as it is possible to do it with such a commission) attract the confidence of the people amongst whom he shall be obliged to act.

Signed by order of the Committee,

THOMAS MIFFLIN, Governor of Pennsylvania.


At a meeting of the Committee of townships for the county of Fayette, held in Uniontown on the 17th September, 1794, [270] the following resolutions were taken into consideration and adopted:

WHEREAS, The inhabitants of this county have, by a large majority, determined to submit to the laws of the United States and of the State of Pennsylvania:

And whereas, The general committees of the Western counties, held at Parkinson's ferry, entered into resolutions for the purpose of protecting the persons and properties of every individual;

And whereas, It is necessary to shew to our fellow citizens, throughout the United States, that the character of the inhabitants of the Western country is not such as may have been represented to them, but that, on the contrary, they are disposed to behave in a peaceable manner and can preserve good order among themselves without the assistance of a military force;

Resolved, That it be recommended to the inhabitants of the several townships to take such measures as in their opinion will be best calculated to preserve peace and order among themselves, and that the members of this committee be requested to promote such associations among the body of the people as may be necessary for the protection of persons and property of all citizens, and for the support of civil authority.

Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the neighboring counties and that they be invited to take similar measures.

Signed by order of the Committee.
EDWARD COOK, Chairman.



PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18, 1794.
SIR:—The Variety of calls for money and unnecessary advance of bounty to the Artillery, Scott's Infantry & the Cavalry before they march, will require that I should be furnished with a warrant for Twelve thousand Dollars on the act for surpressing an Insurrection in the western Counties of this Commonwealth.

I am, very respectfully,
Your Obed. Serv.,



PHILAD'A, 18th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—In compliance with the request of the Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic, as well as upon principles of justice & humanity to the unfortunate Emigrants, who have sought a temporary assylum in this Country, I think it proper to direct that no enrolment, for the Western expedition, shall be admitted or enforced in the case of those French Citizens, who are possessed of a Certificate from the Consul of the Republic of France, stating that they are casual and transient Residents in this State. You will be pleased, therefore, to communicate these instructions to the pr per officers of the several Corps, and request that particular attention may be paid to ensure a full compliance with them.

I am, Sir, Y'r most obed. serv't,

To JOS. HARMAR, Esq., Adj. Gen. of the Militia of Penn'a.


September 18, 1794.
SIR:—I have the honor to inform your Excellency that a detachment of the Troops of the United States, under the command of Lieut. Daniel Bissell, is to march from this City as an escort to a train of Artillery and Military Stores, intended for the Maryland and Virginia Militia called out against the Western Insurgents. This detachment will march through Lancaster and York Town and from thence to Williamsport in Maryland. I have to request that your Excellency would be pleased to give instructions to the commanding Officer of the Militia at York to furnish a reinforcement from his Militia to the said escort, if Lieut. Bissell should think it necessary, for the protection of his important charge.

I have the honor to be, with great respect,
Your Excellency's obedient Servant,

His Excellency Governor MIFFLIN.


CARLISLE, September 18, 1794.
SIR:—I am happy to have it in my power to inform your excellency of the good effects of the orders of the 8th inst. By the assistance of a few of the well disposed people of this place, I set on foot two or three volunteer parties; and this day I am informed, by one of the parties, that they have enrolled twenty-eight men.

I am persuaded, if the bounty was known, (which 'tis said the Legislature is about giving,) our quota would soon be complete.

I must inform your excellency, that the active persons in raising the volunteers will expect to be commissioned; I have been obliged rather to encourage that hope, as I could not find such willingness among the officers already commissioned; and as men, sir, I hope they (if successful,) will meet your excellency's approbation.

I have ordered our troops to rendezvous at this place, Friday the 26th inst., with the expectation that the equipments and camp equipage, will arrive by that time.

I have the honor to be,
Your Excellency's
Most obedient humble servant,

His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN.


CARLISLE, September 18th, 1794.
SIR:—I have executed the orders of the 8th inst., by express to the different captains, and will communicate to you by next post the prospects of its success.

I have this moment received the general order of the 11th inst., accompanied by the order of the 12th, and shall have the officers notified agreeably to its contents.

I am happy in having it in my power to inform you that the spirit of patriotism is still reviving in this place. I have great hopes from the volunteer enrollments going forward, and have a better appearance of success than when I wrote you last. We are not ascertained of the bounty to be given to them, which prevents several from joining, not being able to equip themselves.

I have the honor to be, Dear General,
Your very humble servant,

JOSIAH HARMAR, Adj. Gen. Pennsylvania Militia.


CARLISLE, Sep'r 18th, 1794.
SIR:—A newspaper notification has reached this place announcing that it is the place determined on for the general rendezvous, but as nothing official has arrived, nor any sort of preparation making to lay in provision or forage, nor provision made for camp equipage, I begin to doubt the authenticity of the publication.

I also saw a newspaper account some weeks ago giving the detail in which I was named as the Major General to Command, that I expected, being my tour as the oldest officer. I cannot persuade myself but that some other communication has been intended, and miscarried, as sundry arrangements are necessary to be made on all such occasions with the principal officers.

I know you must be hurried and perplexed, but surely this is a matter of first importance. I have already been called upon for orders & instructions respecting the quota of this County. The Brigade Inspector informs me that several Companies have proposed to him to assemble immediately and encamp, which would encourage the business, but he cannot advise it not knowing how they are to be supplied.

I observe there is great exertions making in and about the City to get out the quota; exertions are equally, if not more, necessary here, yet I doubt not if the officers had proper instructions and arrangements were made, but the quota would soon be raised but they are all depending on rumors and at last newspaper account, which tends rather to embarrass than stimulate to action. I have reason to fear this is the case in all the Counties west of Susquehanna. Some persons in this part of the Country are undoubtedly ill-disposed, and it is too true that scandalous things have been done, yet I am certain that the reports of a general disaffection are not true, but on the contrary a vast majority of the people are well-disposed, at least so well as not to think of arming against government, it is nevertheless true that they generally abominate an excise law and I believe never will sit easy under one.

I have had thoughts of taking a ride to Franklin County, as I doubt little is doing there, but did not like to be out of the way, being momentarily in expectation of receiving authentic advice from you. I have advised Col'l Alexander, to send by express, his report as called for by the general order, published in Dunlap's paper of last Saturday, altho' that is all the com- [274] munication he has received since the 8th of August, as I understand him.

I have the honor to be
with great respect, Sir,
Your Most Obed't Servant,


P. S.—The moment I was about to close this, the Inspector informed me, by a note, that he had this morning received the order of the 11th instant, but no communication for me. The Express went round by Franklin County & returns this way, which occasioned the delay.

Please to inform Col. Biddle that there is at this place a Mr. Jno. Hughes, who was a very good Brigade Quartermaster last war, he is willing to be employed in field duty—he is very capable.

It would be œconomy to have every man and article on this side the river, ready on the ground a day before the troops from below arrive, that the whole may soon take up the line of march. Militia will not lie idle in Camp.


PHILADELPHIA, 18th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—Agreeably to your request, I have inclosed a letter of instructions to the Brigade Inspector of York county, for the purpose of furnishing any reinforcement that Lieutenant Bissel may require on his march to Williamsport, in Maryland.

I am, with great esteem, Sir,
Your most obed. serv.,



PHILADELPHIA, 18th September, 1794.
SIR:—This letter will be delivered to you by Lieutenant Daniel Bissel, who commands a detachment of the Troops of the United states, escorting a Train of Artillery and Military Stores, intended for the Maryland and Virginia Militia, called out against [275] the western Insurgents. The detachment will march through Lancaster and Yorktown, and thence to Williamsport, in Maryland. Should Lieut. Bissel think it necessary for the protection of his important charge, you will, upon his application, furnish such a reinforcement from the Militia of York county, drafted for the same service, as that officer shall deem adequate to the emergency. In executing these instructions, you will manifest the utmost alacrity and despatch; and in all other respects, facilitate Lieutenant Bissel's march.

I am, Sir,
Your Most obed. Serv.,

To ALEXANDER RUSSELL, Esq., Brigade Inspector of the county of York.


An act to provide for suppressing an insurrection in the Western Counties of this Commonwealth.

WHEREAS, It appears, by various well authenticated accounts, that, in pursuance of combinations to defeat the laws of the Union, many persons in the western parts of this State have been so hardy as to commit the most flagrant and destructive acts of hostility to the Constitution and laws of the United States, as well as to the property of individual citizens:

And whereas, The President of the United States, by virtue of the power vested in him by law, has called forth a number of the militia of this commonwealth to restore peace and order among the citizens, and enforce due obedience to the laws;

And whereas, It is of the utmost importance to the security of the liberty and property of the citizens, that the constitution and laws of the United States should be supported, and those wanton and outrageous violators of peace, order and good government, be compelled to submit to the legitimate authority of their country;

In order, therefore, to enable the Governor to carry into prompt effect, the patriotic and beneficial intentions of the President of the United States:

SECT. 1. Be it 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 be authorized to engage, for a term of four months, unless sooner discharged, the number of the militia of this commonwealth, required by the President of the United [276] States, for the purpose of restoring peace and order in this State, or so many thereof as may be sufficient to complete the quota required as aforesaid; and the Governor shall organize the men so engaged, into companies and battalions, or regiments, in such manner as he shall deem expedient, over which he may appoint the necessary officers; any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

SECT. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the militia, thus engaged, shall be subject to the same duty, and to the like rules and regulations, as if they were called to perform a tour of duty in the manner prescribed by the act, entitled "An Act for the regulation of the militia, of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania," passed the eleventh day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.

SECT. 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the pay of the commissioned officers, so as aforesaid appointed, shall be the same as the pay of officers of corresponding rank under the military establishment of the United States, and there shall be allowed to such of the militia as shall be engaged as aforesaid the sum of eight dollars per month to each Sergeant, seven dollars per month to each Corporal, six dollars and sixty-seven cents per month to each Private and Musician, and there shall be allowed to each of them, at the time of entering into the service aforesaid, in advance as an addition to their pay, the sum of six dollars, which pay to the Officers and Privates, shall be in lieu of the pay allowed by the United States.

SECT. 4. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be allowed to the militia who shall be drafted and perform their tour of duty, the same monthly pay and additional allowance, as those who are engaged by the Governor in pursuance of this act.

Sect. 5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the Governor to appoint a Surgeon and Quarter-Master for each volunteer troop of horse who may offer their service in the militia, engaged for the suppression of the aforesaid insurrection, if he shall deem it necessary, and the said Surgeons and Quarter-Masters shall be entitled to the same pay and rations as Surgeons and Quarter-Masters in the service of the United States.

SECT. 6. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand dollars be appropriated for providing the necessary arms and ammunition, and of defraying the other necessary incidental expenses, for carrying into effect the objects of this act, which sums shall be paid by the State Treasurer, upon the warrant of the Governor, out of the funds appropriated by law to pay the expenses of government, and an account of the disbursements thereof, or [277] of any part thereof, shall be exhibited to the officers of account, for examination and settlement, as in other cases, with like appeals as directed by an act of the General Assembly, entitled "An Act to provide for the settlement 'of public accounts, and for other purposes therein mentioned,'" and the Governor shall cause a statement thereof to be laid before the General Assembly at the next ensuing session.

GEORGE LATIMER, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
ANTHONY MORRIS, Speaker of the Senate.

Approved—September the nineteenth, 1794.
THOMAS MIFFLIN, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


PHILADELPHIA, 19th September, 1794.
SIR:—I have made Contracts with a number of Sadlers and Cedar Coopers for a Variety of Articles to equip the Troops now about to march against the Insurgents in our Western Countys, and they all tell me that it is impossible for them to comply unless their Journeymen and apprentices, who have been drafted, are returned to them. Your know, Sir, what is proper to be done in this Business, therefore, I shall take the Liberty to inform you that—

Mr. Craig, a Sadler in Market Street has lost 4, viz.: Andrew Campbell, Benjamin Wallis, Joseph Lawson, Samuel Dillon.

Mr. Kinsey, do. in front street 1: William Brown.

Mr. Anders, do. in Second Street 2: Philip Taylor, Elijah Tingle.

Mr. Martin, do. in Second Street 1: Thomas Comb.

Mr. Camper, Cedar Cooper 1: Jacob Camper, his son, an apprentice.

I am, Sir, with the most Sincere Respect,
Y'r Most ob. serv.,

His Exc'y THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esq., Gov. of Pennsylvania.

* TENCH FRANCIS was a native of Philadelphia. His father was Attorney General of the Province. Mr. Francis was, for many years, agent of the Penn family in Philadelphia, and was the first cashier of the bank of North America, which office he retained until his death May 1, 1800, in his sixty-ninth year.


PHILAD'A, 19th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—It has been represented to the Governor, by Mr. Hamilton, who acts for General Knox in the War Department, that Samuel Owner, of Captain Guy's Artillery, has been employed in an important work for the United States; and that it is very material to the public service, that he should not be included in the drafts for the western expedition. Under these circumstances, the Governor requests that you will confer with the commanding officer of the Corps, in which Samuel Owner serves, and signify his request and approbation that the man should be discharged.

I am, Sir,
Your Most obed. Serv.,
A. J. DALLAS, Secretary.

To JOSIAH HARMAR, Esq., Adjutant General of the Militia of Penns'a.


PHILADELPHIA, 20th Sept., 1794.
The New Jersey Militia, having taken the route by the way of Norristown, Pottsgrove & Reading, the Governor, for the purpose of ensuring supplies of provisions and forage, directs that the Detachment of Pennsylvania militia, under orders to march from the camp at Peters' Farm, at 5 o'clock, on Monday morning next, shall proceed by the way of Downingtown, Lancaster & Harrisburgh to Carlisle.

The Governor being solicitous for the reputation of the militia that the utmost order should be observed on the march, he trusts that he shall be excused in repeating his earnest desire that the strictest attention may be paid to sobriety and regularity of conduct. To the officers, in particular, he confides the important trust of inculcating the principles of good behaviour, and of checking every symptom of a riotous or refractory disposition. The object of the present service being of the most serious as well as the most dignified nature, to protect the government & laws of a free people from violence, the deportment of every man, who is engaged in it ought, and on this occasion, [279] the Governor is confident, will be equally firm and patriotic.

The Governor expects to meet the Detachment at Reading, on Wednesday next.

By order of the Governor,
JOSIAH HARMAR, Adj. Gen. Mil. of Penn'a.


PHILA., 20th Sept'r, 1794
SIR:—As the Governor is engaged in the performance of some important Executive duties, relative to the expedition against the insurgents in the Western counties, I deem it incumbent upon me to communicate to you a copy of a letter which has been received from the War Department on that subject for the information of the Legislature. I take this opportunity, likewise, to enclose a statement of the Route intended to be pursued by the Governor, in order to insure a satisfactory compliance with the President's requisition.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your Most Obed. Serv.,
A. J. DALLAS, Secretary.

To ANTHONY MORRIS, Esq., Speaker of the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Penns'a.

[A similar letter was written to George Latimer, esquire, Speaker of the House of Representatives.]

N. B.—This letter with the documents therein mentioned, is entered in the Legislative Communications.


PHILADELPHIA, 20th Septem'r, 1794.
SIR:—As my Executive duties, in compliance with the President's requisition, for embodying the Militia against the Western Insurgents, will require my absence for some time from the City, I have informed the Mayor, that should any emergency arise, you will cheerfully comply with any lawful application which he shall make for supporting the civil authority, by competent [280] drafts from the Militia of your Division. You will be pleased, therefore, Sir, to pay a proper attention to the subject, and I am confident, that your exertions, in concert with the Mayor's to ensure the peace and order of the City, will be a source of great consolation to our Fellow Citizens, who have left their property and families, to vindicate the laws of their Country.

I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed. H'ble Serv.,



PHILADELPHIA, 20th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—My Executive duties, under the President's requisition, for embodying the Militia in opposition to the Western Insurgents, will require my absence for some time from Philadelphia. Permit me to request particular attention to the Rules prescribed for preserving the peace and neutrality of the Port. Should you at any time be at a loss for authority or instructions, it may be advisable to consult the Mayor or Recorder of the City. Be pleased to communicate this letter to the Board.

I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed. Serv't,

To NATHANIEL FALCONER, esq., Master Warden of the Port of Philadelphia.


PHILADELPHIA, 20th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—The State of our public affairs renders it necessary, that no gunpowder should be delivered from the Magazine, without some satisfactory proof that it is not intended to be used in an unlawful manner. I have, therefore, requested the Mayor of the City to examine every application, and without his approbation, you will be pleased to suspend a compliance with any application for the delivery of gunpowder.

I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed. Serv't,

To The Superintendent of the Gunpowder Magazine or his Deputy.


PHILADELPHIA, 20th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—The attention to my Executive duties, under the President's requisition, for embodying the Militia against the Western Insurgents unavoidably compels me to be absent sometime from Philadelphia, and as some unexpected emergency may arise during that period, I have thought it proper to direct Major Gen'l Stewart to comply with any lawful request which you shall make, as Chief Magistrate of the City, for the aid of the Militia of his Division to support the Civil authority. Lest any supply of ammunition should be clandestinely transported to the Insurgents, I have, likewise, instructed the Superintendent of the Gunpowder Magazine to deliver no powder without your previous approbation.

These arrangements being made with a view to the peace and safety of the Commonwealth, will, I am persuaded, receive all the sanction that you can officially give them.

I am with great esteem, Sir,
Your Most Obed. Serv.,

To MATTHEW CLARKSON, esq., Mayor of the City of Philad'a.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Sept'r 20th, 1794.
SIR:—The Intelligence received from the Western Counties of Pennsylvania, which comes down to the 13th inst., and announces as far as it was then known, the result of the meetings of the people in the several townships and Districts, to express their sense on the question of submission or resistance to the laws— while it shews a great proportion of the Inhabitants of those Counties disposed to pursue the path of Duty, shews, also, that there is a large and violent Party, which can only be controuled by the application of Force. This being the result, it is become the more indispensable and urgent to press forward the forces destined to act against the Insurgents with all possible activity and energy. The advanced season leaves no time to spare, and it is extremely important to afford speedy protection to the well disposed, and to prevent the preparation and accumulation of greater means of Resistance, and the extension of combinations [282] to abet the Insurrection. The President counts upon every exertion on your part, which so serious and eventful an emergency demands.

With perfect respect,
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obed. Serv.,

His Excellency, THOMAS MIFFLIN, Governor of Pennsylvania.


20th Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—The engagements of the Governor preventing his immediate attention to some of the details for the Western expedition, permit me, on his behalf, to enquire whether it is understood to be within the Province of the State Executive to appoint a Surgeon General for the State of Pennsylvania. The object is of considerable importance; and I have requested Doct'r Dorsey to do me the favor to wait on you for an answer to this letter. The Militia acts of the United States and of this State leave the matter in some degree doubtful.

I take this opportunity to inform you, that upon the receipt of your letter of the 20th instant, I called on the Master Warden, with instructions to send off an Express to Fort Mifflin for the purpose of stopping and detaining any vessel of the description which you mention. The answer of the officer commanding at the Fort is inclosed for your perusal.

I am, Sir,
Your Most obed. Serv.,
A. J. DALLAS, Secretary.



ROBINHOOD, Sept. 21, 1794.
DEAR SIR:—About sunrise I visited the Artillery Camp at Robinson's mill & called the Captains together (as major Fisher had gone to town, on their disputing his right to command) to know if they could march agreeably to General Orders, & which was expected from them. They expressed so many Doubts of their being able to move, that I do not expect they will, in the Course of the Day, tho' I urged the necessity even if they could [283] be ready by noon, & I requested a return of what was deficient, as well in the military Stores as any other Line, and they should be sent on.

I am greatly embarrassed in my situation, with respect to Mr. E. Fox. I first appointed Wm. Miller, who, after near two days' consideration, declined. I next appointed Geo. Eddy, who, after two days' consideration, also declined; altho' both had requested the appointment. Mr. Fox just then Offered & I appointed him from his known Capacity for business, & his holding respectable Office under our State Government. He has been very assiduous in his attention to his Duty, & has taken great pains to acquire some knowledge of the nature of the department, and I had made arrangements for his moving with the Brigade to which he was appointed as Brigade Quarter Master. To remove him would be destroying his character as a citizen; but if you, my Friend, are of opinion that the objections to him are such as will make it necessary for the good of the service, (which alone should be the object we have in view,) I will remove him. I beg you candidly to give me your advice; or if the Governor will, under this state of facts, suggest to me his wish, I shall immediately comply with it.

Believe me, with sincere regard,
Y'r very hum. serv.,

Pray let me know what arrangements you made last night—I am very busy in making mine.


NEWTOWN, Sept. 21st, 1794.
SIR:—Yesterday, as you know, We had the honor of a visit from the Governor and in an address made to a very numerous body of Militia officers and Citezens, well calculated to animate every Patriotic Citezen to Step forward on the Present Occation, has had a very beneficial effect and has roused the Citezens of this County Who have been hitherto slothfull in the Business. Immediately after the departure of the Governor We had a meeting of the Officers, at which a very free and confidential Communication took place, and altho' the most zealous Spirit to advocate the Cause was Shewn by the Officers, yet they expressed their fears that it would be impracticable to Supply the Quota of the County without the advance on the Spot. They [284] also are of opinion, and it's ours, that the men will March with much more elacrity if the Arms & other Camp equipage could be sent to this Place which is appointed the Rendevous for the Troops of the County. If they are not gone on to Reading, We are confident that their being sent here will have a very good effect, and have no Doubt but the Business will be efected Satisfactorily on the terms proposed

A number of Officers and private Citezens have opened their purses and the Bounty has been paid to Recruits, but this fund We find will not last. It's, therefore, absolutely necessary to success that a supply, as well as a Reimbursment, Should be made. We have Personally engaged payment to those Who have advanced. In the Absence of the Governor, Who informed Us he intended to March this Day, We hope you will Use every indeavour in your Power to enable us to come forward in a respectable way. Orders given for compleating the Quota in the County are Issued and now executing with Vigure, but in full expectation that the bounty will be paid on their arrival at Newtown. A Few of the Real Friends of Government have Committed themselves as ansurable. I hope We will not be disgraced—on your Patriotism and Friendship we rely. Maj'r Murray, Who can be very ill Spared from his Duty, is requested to go to Town on the express purpose. He will communicate every thing more particularly, but if possible, let us have 2,000 dollars and We will be answerable for the money.

Yours with Respect,
JAS. HANNA, Lt. Col.


PHILA., 22nd Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—During my absence from the city, on the necessary Executive duties connected with the Western expedition, you will be pleased to comply with such instructions as you shall from time to time receive from the Master Warden of the Port, for the purpose of preserving peace and neutrality.

Should any emergency arise, Gen'l Stewart will reinforce your Garrison with a Competent draft from the Militia. To him, therefore, in such an event, you will apply.

I am, Sir,
Your most Obed't Serv't,

To Capt'n RICE, or The Officer Commanding at Fort Mifflin.


PHILAD'A, 22d Sept'r, 1794.
DEAR SIR:—The Governor received your letter of the 18th instant. By the Militia law, it is made the duty of the Adjutant General to distribute all orders from the Governor, as Commander-in-Chief of the Militia, to the several Corps, and it is the duty of the Brigade Inspectors to notify those who are called into actual service. But besides these regulations, the Governor gave express instructions to the Adjutant General to communicate the General Orders of the 8th ult., to the Majors Gen'l and Brigadier Generals included in the requisition. You will, therefore, perceive at once, that any omission in notifying you, must be the effect of accident, and, at all events, cannot be imputed to the Governor. The Brigade Inspector of Cumberland ought certainly to have laid his Orders before you, and he received them as soon after they were issued, as an Express could carry them.

This Explanation will, I am convinced, be satisfactory to you, and the Governor confidently relies upon the full exertion of your influence and talents at this important crisis. The Militia of the other States, and of the Counties in our neighbourhood, are all in motion. It has been hitherto, however, a matter of great fatigue to the Governor, to inform the minds of the inhabitants of the Counties, so as to remove prejudices and establish the necessity of immediate exertion on behalf of the citizens. With that view, he again takes up his Route through the Counties to-morrow, and will be in Carlisle on Thursday, the 2nd of October. The Legislature will probably adjourn this evening. I enclose you a copy of the Law which they have passed, respecting the Insurrection. They will, I think, suspend the Presqu' isle surveys, but continue the Fort at Le Bœuf.

It is rumoured that the President will join the Militia at Carlisle.

I am, D'r Sir,
with Great regard & esteem, Yours,

To Maj. Gen'l IRVINE, Carlisle.


BUCK TAVERN, 22d Sep'r, 1794.
DEAR GENERAL:—We design to encamp this evening one and-a-half miles above this Tavern which is commonly called [286] "Miller's." The Artillery are expected to encamp here also, their Commissary is already here and made provision for them.

I learn with much regret that there is yet a doubt of receiving a sufficiency of knapsacks, which will be productive of very disagreeable measures on the part of those who are without. Cusack's Company are determined not to march in the morning without. For God sake have this thing attended to, for one revolt will I fear encourage others. My best exertions shall not be wanting to reconcile every disagreeable occurrance, but this one wear the appearance of being insurmountable.

I am with the greatest respect, Sir,
Your most obed't H'ble Serv't,
JAMES REES, D'y Adj't Gen'l.

JOSIAH HARMAR, Esq., Adjutant General of Pennsylvania Militia.


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Sept'r 22d, 1794.
SIR:—I left Philadelphia on the tenth instant and returned to this place by the way of Baltimore. On the 16th I arrived in Chambersburgh, and to my great astonishment found the Rabble had raised, what they Caled, a Liberty pole. Some of the most active of the inhabitants was at the time absent, and upon the whole, perhaps it was best, as matters has Since taken a violent Change. When I came hear I found the magistrates had opposed the Sitting of the pole up, to the utmost of their power, but was not Supported by the majority of the Cittyzens. They wished to have the Royators Subject to Law, and (Mr. Justice John Riddle, John Scott and Christian Oyster) the Magistrates of this place informed me of their zealous wish to have them brought to Justice. I advised them to Call a meeting of the inhabitants of the town on the next morning, and we would have the matter opened to them and Shew the necessity of Soporting Government, Contrassed with the destruction of one of the best governments in the wourld.

The Justices Shewed a very Spiritted disposition on the occasion, and immediately Issued Orders for the inhabitants to meet in the Coorthous at 8 o'clock the next morning. That Evening the Justices drew up a very animating address to the people, which was delivered by Justice John Riddle, and a number of Resolves was likewise formed for the people to Sign, in order to be assured who would Step forward and Support the Justices [287] in the Execution of their office, as they have determined to bring the Royators to Justice, which I Strongly pressed them to put to the tryal. I was determined to Inform them of the Speach made by His Exelency, the Govanour, to the Millittia officers of the Citty and County of Philadelphia, as far as my recollection would Serve me, but mentioning the matter to Judge Riddle, he informed me the Govanour's Speach was in the paper which had come to hand the day before. I then mentioned to Judge Riddle that I would be happy if he would Open the business and read the Govanour's Speach. He with Chearfulness Undertook the business, and in a very Masterly manner Shewed the nature of Government and the necessity of supporting it and the Evil that must ensue on the overturning or giving assistance to the operation of the laws made in fact by the people themselves, as they were made by the Representatives of their own Choice. I then informed the Audience of the Exertions making by Government, and that the Good Cittyzens of the lower part of this State, and in General of all the States north of Pennsylvania, would by Unanimous in Quelling the inserection. Then the Resolves was read, and I found was Generally aproven of by all present and they were Generally Signed. I am now happy in having it in my power to request you, Sir, to inform his Excelency, the Govanour, that these Exertions has worked the desired Change. The Magistrates has Sent for the men, the very Same that Errected the pole, and I had the pleasure of Seeing them on Saturday Evening Cut it down; and with the Same waggon that brought it into town, they were obliged to draw the remains of it out of town again. The Circumstance was mortifying and they behaived very well. They Seem very penetant and no person on offered them any insult. It has worked Such a Change. I believe we will be able Shortly to Send our Quota to Carlisle.

Pleas to make my Most Respectfull Compliments to the Govanour, and believe me to be with due

Respect, Your very
Hum'l Serv't,

N. B.—I wrote you from the head of Elk, requesting that I might have written orders forwarded, but the General Orders Appearing will perhaps Supersced the Greatness of the necessity at this time as when I last had the pleasure of Seeing you. I was desired to Exert my Self in bringing forward the quota of Franklin, but that order was Verbal which is not Millatare.

I am, &c,

A. J. DALLAS, Esq'r.


GREENSBURGH, Sept'r 22d, 1794.
SIR:—I think it my duty to transmit your Excellency an account of the situation of this County at the present crisis, and the motives which induced me to call into service a small corps of Militia, to assist in preserving Peace, and warding off any attack on the County Town, Where the public Records are kept, and in which the adjoining Counties are interested as well as this.

Untill the Disturbances took place, soon after the arrival of the Federal Marshall, the people of this County, altho' generally averse to the Duty on Spirits, thought very little about it, and I have reason to presum many of the principal Distillars would have entered rather than subjected themselves to a prosecution, the flame was soon communicated, and many from different views rather encouraged opposition than otherwise, whilst those who failed of other reasons made use of threats, to accomplish their views. The enclosed paper, sent to a Distiller in this county, shows the mode of Invitation from Washington; but there is reason to suppose that open as well as deseguised menaces of burning, &c, had the greatest effect in collecting the small number that went from Westmoreland to Braddock's field.

The vigorous measures proposed by Government, as well as the just fears of all good citizens, and the danger to persons and property, all had their effect in allaying the ferment. The people, however, revolted at the Idea of submitting to the Law complained of, as settled with the commissioners met at Pittsburgh. Considerable pains was used at this place to procure the signing required, and I firmly believe but for the steady countenance and determination of a few among us, no signing at all would have taken place. The Germans who are thick settled in this Neighborhood, being from ignorance of our Language, more easily imposed upon, were extreamly unwilling, and even shewed a disposition which I did not expect from those habits of Industry to which they are used.

On the 11th inst., the day fixed, only about 80 came forward to sign out of several hundreds met; frequent attempts were made by some to intimidate and create mischief; at length some of the ringleaders attempted to snatch the papers in order to destroy them, but were prevented. Those who were known to have signed have been more or less threatened ever since, by a set of worthless fellows.

An association was set on foot in the Town, the 13th Instant, for protection and mutual safety, and was generally agreed to, [289] even by some of those who did not like the declaration, to submit to the Laws. On the 16th, being assured of an attempt, set on foot by a Lieut. Straw, to raise a party to come to Town with the pretense of getting the papers, I thought it most advisable to issue a Warrant, and Committed him to Goal.

Being joined by a Number of friends to peace from the country, I went with a party of about 50 men to a House where the said Straw's party was to collect, about a mile from Town, Where we found about thirty persons who Declared in favour of peace, and not finding some of those among them who had been the most active, we thought it best to be satisfied with their assurances.

To put a Check to further Combinations of this kind, it was deemed expedient (on a consulation among the citizens of the Town, and some who had come from the country, Particularly Mr. Findley and Mr. Porter) to have a party raised to be ready on any Emergency. In consequence I have given Instructions for calling out a Lieut, and 30 Volunteers Militia to rendevouze here this week. The number to be augmented, if occasion requires; but I hope this will not be necessary—the more especially as the Troops ordered by the Executive are now supposed to be on their March.

For your Excellency's satisfaction I transmit you a copy of the Letter from the Citizens to me, and at the same time request your sanction to the measure I have undertaken.

I am, Sir, your Excellency's Most obed. Humble Serv't.,


PHILADELPHIA, 22d Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—Should any emergency arise, I have directed the commanding officer at Fort Mifflin to apply to you for a reinforcement of his Garrison, by such drafts from the Militia as shall, from time to time, be necessary to preserve the peace and neutrality of the Port. You will be pleased, therefore, to attend to any applications of that kind: but, if the service will admit of it, I wish the drafts to be made from the Militia of Delaware county, whose quota for the western expedition, has, with that view, been made proportionally small. In case you shall find that arrangement proper and practicable, you will suggest it to General Humpton, who commands the Division of Militia that includes the Delaware Brigade.

I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed. Serv't,

To Maj'r Gen'l STEWART.


PHILADELPHIA, 22nd Sept'r, 1794.
SIR:—I have left the quota of Delaware County for the Western expedition, proportionally small, with a view to draw from the Militia of that Brigade, any reinforcement that may be necessary to enable the Garrison at Fort Mifflin, to preserve effectually the peace and neutrality of the Port. In the first instance, however, the nature of the service will require an application to Maj. Gen'l Stewart, the Commander of the First Division, and if he finds it proper and practicable to draft any force, which an emergency may require, from your Division, he is requested to refer the subject to you with all possible dispatch.

The discharge of some important Executive duties will require my absence, for some time, from the seat of Government; but I have made such arrangements as will, I am persuaded, prevent any impediment or injury in transacting the public business. As far as rests with you, I rely upon a prompt and faithful assistance.

I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed. Serv't,

To Maj'r General HUMPTON.


PHILAD'A, Sept'r 23rd, 1794.
SIR:—Last evening I informed the Governor, by letter, that I had notified my company, and should meet this morning to propose to my men a voluntary offer of their services, in consequences of the governor's request that another comp. of artillery might be voluntarily furnished, and that I would wait upon him this morning previously to the meeting, and receive his instructions.

As I was on my way to the State House this morning, and before I waited upon the governor, it ocurred to me that as my company was the 6th in rotine of duty, and the officers of the Reg't of artillery, at a full meeting, had agreed to do duty by companies, and in their proper tours, that the captains of the 3d & 5th companies mignt consider my turning out upon this request as a violation of that agreement, I suggested this idea to the Governor; but that gentleman was so hurried in preparation for his departure, that he could not well hear me upon a point [291] which I esteemed of some delicacy; and as I considered myself competent to judge what was proper to be done in this case, I waited upon the captains whose tour preceded mine, determined with submission to divine providence, if they declined, that I would take prompt measures to recruit & equip my Company, & be ready to march as soon as possible.

Not seeing Capt. Skerret of the 3d in the first instance, I called upon Capt. Hanse of the 5th Comp., who declined, assuring me that his business was in such a state that he could not leave it without the greatest injury. There remained nothing in the way of my turning out, but the declension of Capt. Skerret, in company with whom I waited upon the Governor, who asked me if I was ready. My reply was, my men were then assembling, that no doubt numbers would march as volunteers, and that any deficiency might be made up by other volunteers, but that it now lay with Capt. Skerret to say whether I was to march or not, as my regard to order and our agreement led me to put the business at his option; for if he would not go, I would be ready to march with all possible expedition.

The Governor knows the result; and as Capt. Skerret has undertaken to march his company, I only wait to know if mine shall be wanted, and will endeavour to evidence a promptitude in equipment when necessary, and a readiness to march as volunteers when directed. Till which time we shall be in waiting, but not proceed to uniforming the men, as that adopted is only temporary and Regimental, which we shall nevertheless conform to if called upon this emergency. I have thought proper to trouble you, Sir, with this statement of facts, as my letter of last evening, and my not marching, cannot be reconciled without this explanation.

I am, Sir,
With due regard, your obed't Serv't,
JNO. WOODSIDE, Capt. 6th Comp. of Artillery.

A. J. DALLAS, Secretary, &c., &c.


23d September, 1794.
SIR:—Wheile I was preparing to join the volontairs in the City, pursuant to your Proclamation, I became informed by a Respectable character of the Legislature for our County, that a Certain [292] Character of influence in this County was obstructing the views of our Government. On the 19th instant I Left the City and hastened to the Spot to Conteract an Sinister impression his influence might have occasioned. As I proceeded farther in the County, I had the pleasure of being aggreably disappointed, and the satisfaction of finding a People chiefly impressed with one mind reddy to Support Government. I come home the 21, where I found one of my children very Sick, & wheile I am attending her, have ordered my Son Francis Alex'dre to equip him Self immediatly in order to join your Excellency's Standard, having been Lately an officer in An Hungharian Reg't of Hussars, in which he obtained a Cap't's Commission. I can't have the Least doubt but what he is acquainted with military Subordination, and I Do indulge the hope that the Same Spirit, which induced him to hunt a Father in America, will actuate him in Support of a Government whose Laws he has cheerfully embraced & Sworn to Support. As he objected against Serving in the Northampton County troop of horse for particular Reason; I have advised him to join Suche troop of Volontairs as Your Excellency will be pleased to Direct. I flatter my Self, that by his Conduct, he will endeavour to Deserve particularly Your Excellency's Esteem, and that of his Superior officers, to whom I Could have wished to introduce him as he is yet a Stranger in this Country. For my part, I Shall hold my Self in readiness to execute Suche orders your Excellency will be pleased to impose on me. If there Should be Occasion for an experiencd officer of artillery, I take the freedom to propose to Your Excellency, Monsieur Vannier, former Commandant of Artillery of St. Domingo, Major of artillery under the Late King, who Liveth with me. If need I shall endeavour to prevail on him to join me, or if woodsmen Should be thought wanting I shall exert my Self in promoting Suche instructions as your Excellency will be pleased to charge me with. I have the honour of Subscribing my Self with as much Esteem as Respect,

Your Excellency's Most obed't
& humble Servant,

THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esquire, Governor & Commander-in-Chief of the State of Pennsylvania.


PHILADELPHIA, September 24, 1794.
The commissioners appointed to confer with the citizens in the Western counties of Pennsylvania, in order to induce them to submit peaceably to the laws, and to prevent the necessity of using coercion to enforce their execution, respectfully report to the President of the United States:

That in pursuance of their instructions they repaired to the Western counties, and, on their arrival there, found that the spirit of disaffection had pervaded other parts of the fourth survey of Pennsylvania besides those counties declared to be in a state of insurrection; that all the officers of inspection established therein had lately been violently suppressed, and that a meeting of persons, chosen by most of the townships, was assembled at Parkinson's ferry, for the purpose of taking into consideration the situation of the Western country. This assembly, composed of citizens coming from every part of the fourth survey, would have furnished a favorable opportunity for a conference and mutual explanation; but as they met in the open fields, and were exposed to the impressions of a number of rash and violent men (some of them armed) who surrounded them, an immediate communication with the whole body would have been inconvenient and hazardous. The meeting was probably of that opinion also: for, soon after the appointment of commissioners was announced to them, they resolved that a committee, to consist of three persons from each county, should be appointed to meet any commissioners that might have been or might be appointed by the Government; and that they should report the result of their conference to the standing committee, which was to be composed of one person from each township. As soon as this committee of conference were nominated they agreed to meet at Pittsburgh, on the 20th of the same month.

The underwritten accordingly repaired to that place, and were soon after joined by the Honorable Thomas McKean and William Irvine, esquires, who had been appointed commissioners on the part of the Executive of Pennsylvania. A full and free communication was immediately had with those gentlemen, as to the powers delegated, and the measures proper to be pursued at the expected conference.

On the day appointed, a sub-committee of the conferees waited on the commissioners, and arranged with them the time, place and manner of conference. It was agreed that it should be had [294] the next morning at the house of John McMasters, in Pittsburgh, and should be private.

On the 21st, all the commissioners met the conferees at the place appointed. Of the latter, there were present John Kirkpatrick, George Smith and John Powers, from Westmoreland county; David Bradford, James Marshall and James Edgar, from Washington county; Edward Cook, Albert Gallatin and James Lang, from Fayette county; Thomas Morton, John Lucas, H. H. Brackenridge, from Allegheny county; together with William McKinley, William Sutherland and Robert Stevenson, who were inhabitants of Ohio county, in Virginia.

The conference was begun by the underwritten, who expressed the concern they felt at the events which had occasioned that meeting, but declared their intention to avoid any unnecessary observations upon them, since it was their business to endeavor to compose the disturbances which prevailed, and to restore the authority of the laws by measures wholly of a conciliatory nature.

It was then stated, that the formal resistance which had lately been given to the laws of the United States, violated the great principle on which republican Government is founded; that every such Government must, at all hazards, enforce obedience to the general will, and that, so long as they admitted themselves to be a part of the nation, it was manifestly absurd to oppose the national authority.

The underwritten then proceeded to state the obligations which lay on the President of the United States, to cause the laws to be executed; the measures he had taken for that purpose; his desire to avoid the necessity of coercion; and the general nature of the powers he had vested in them; and, finally, requested to know whether the conferees could give any assurances of a disposition in the people to submit to the laws or would recommend such submission to them.

The commissioners on the part of the State of Pennsylvania, then addressed the conferees on the subject of the late disturbances in that country; forcibly represented the mischievous consequences of such conduct; explained the nature of their mission, and declared they were ready to promise, in behalf of the executive authority of the State, a full pardon and indemnity for all that was past on condition of an entire submission to the laws.

On the part of the conferees, a narrative was given of those causes of discontent and uneasiness, which, very generally, prevailed in the minds of the people in the Western counties, and which had discovered themselves in the late transactions.

[295] Many of these, they said, had long existed, and some of them from the settlement of that country. Among other causes of discontent, they complained of the decisions of the State courts, which discountenanced improvement titles, and gave preference to paper titles, of the war which had so long vexed the frontiers, and of the manner in which that war had been conducted. They complained that they had been continually harassed by militia duty, in being called out by the State Government to repel incursions, &c.; the General Government had been inattentive to the execution of the treaty of peace respecting the western posts, and remiss in asserting the claim to the navigation of the Mississippi; that the acts for raising a revenue on distilled spirits were unequal and oppressive, in consequence of their local circumstances; that Congress had neglected their remonstrances and petitions, and that there was great hardship in being summoned to answer for penalties in the courts of the United States at a distance from the vicinage. They also mentioned the suspension of the settlement at Presqu' isle, the engrossing of large quantities of land in the State by individuals, the killing of certain persons at General Neville's house, and the sending of soldiers from the garrison at Pittsburgh to defend his house, as causes of irritation among the people. To these they added the appointment of General Neville as inspector of the survey, whose former popularity had made his acceptance of that office particularly offensive.

They said they were persuaded that the persons who were the actors in the late disturbances had not originally intended to have gone so far as they had gone, but were led to it from the obstinacy of those who refuse to do what was demanded of them; that the forcible opposition which had been made to the law was owing to the pressures the grievance, but if there was any prospect of redress, no people would be more willing to show themselves good citizens.

The commissioners expressed their surprise at the extent of these complaints, and intimated that if all these matters were really causes of uneasiness and disaffection in the minds of the people it would be impossible for any Government to satisfy them. But as some of these complaints were of a nature more serious than others, though they could not speak officially, they stated what was generally understood as to the conduct, measures, and expectations of Government respecting the Mississippi navigation; the treaty of peace; the suspension of the settlement at Presqu' isle, &c.; that as to the acts of Congress which had been forcibly opposed, if it were proper they should be repealed, Congress alone could do it; but that while they were laws, they must be carried into execution; that the petitions of the Western [296] counties had not been neglected, nor their interests over-looked; that, in fact, the local interests of those counties were better represented than those of any other part of the State; they having no less than three gentlemen in the House of Representatives, when it appeared by the census that their numbers would not entitle them to two; that the acts in question had been often under the consideration of Congress; that they had always been supported by a considerable majority, in which they would find the names of several gentlemen, considered, in those counties, as the firmest friends of their country; that, although the general interests of the Union did not admit of a repeal, modifications had been made in the law, and some favorable alterations in consequence of their representations; and that, at the last session, the State courts had been vested with a jurisdiction over offenses against those acts, which would enable the President to remove one of their principal complaints; that the convenience of the people had been, and would always be, consulted by the Government; and the conferees were desired to say if there was anything in the power of the Executive that yet remained to be done, to make the execution of the acts convenient and agreeable to the people.

One of the conferees then inquired whether the President could not suspend the execution of the excise acts until the meeting of Congress; but he was interrupted by others, who declared that they considered such a measure as impracticable. The commissioners expressed their same opinion; and the conversation then became more particular, respecting the powers the commissioners possessed; the propriety and necessity of the conferees expressing their sense upon the proposals to be made, and of their calling the standing committee together before the 1st of September. But as it was agreed that the propositions and answers should be reduced to writing, the result is contained in the documents annexed, and it appears unnecessary to detail the conference further.

The underwritten accordingly presented to the conferees a letter, (of which a copy marked No. 1 is annexed;) and the following day they received an answer from them, in which they declare that they are satisfied that the Executive had, in its proposals, gone as far as could be expected; that, in their opinion, it was the interest of the country to accede to the law; and that they would endeavor to conciliate not only the committee to whom they were to report, but the public mind in general to their sense of the subject. (A copy of this letter also is annexed, No. 2.)

The underwritten then proceeded to state, in writing, what assurances of submission would be deemed full and satisfac- [297] tory, and to detail more particularly the engagements they had power to make. This detail was submitted to the inspection of a sub-committee of the conferees, who candidly suggested such alterations as appeared to them necessary to render the proposals acceptable. From a desire to accommodate, most of the alterations suggested by those gentlemen were adopted; and though some of them were rejected, the reasons given appeared to be satisfactory, and no further objections remained. —(A copy of this detail is marked No. 3.)

The conferees, on the following day, explicitly approved of the detail thus settled, engaged to recommend the proposals to the people, and added that however it might be received, they were persuaded nothing more could be done by the commissioners; or them, to bring the business to an accommodation.— (No. 4, is a copy of their letter.)

So far as this letter respects the gentlemen from Ohio county, in Virginia, a reply was made, and some arrangements entered into with them, the nature and extent of which appear by the correspondence. — (Copies of which are annexed, numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8.)

The hopes excited by the favorable issue of this conference were not realized by a correspondent conduct in the citizens who composed what was called "the standing committee." They assembled at Brownsville (Redstone Old Fort) on the 28th August.and broke up on the 29th, and, on the following day, a letter was received from Edward Cook, their chairman, announcing that difficulties had arisen, and that anew committee of conference was appointed; and although the resolve which is annexed was passed, it did not appear that the assurances of submission which had been demanded had been given.— (Copies of this letter and resolve are marked Nos. 9 and 10.)

The underwritten were informed by several of the members of that meeting, as well as other citizens who were present at it, that the report of the committee of conference, and the proposals of the commissioners were unfavorably received, that rebellion and hostile resistance against the United States were publicly recommended by some of the members, and that so excessive a spirit prevailed that it was not thought prudent or safe to urge a compliance with the terms and preliminaries prescribed by the underwritten or the commissioners from the Governor of Pennsylvania. All that could be obtained was the resolve already mentioned, the question upon it being decided by ballot, by which means each member had an opportunity of concealing his opinion and of sheltering himself from the resentment of those from whom violence was apprehended. But notwithstanding this caution, the opinion was so far from being unani- [298] mous, that out of fifty-seven votes, there were twenty-three nays, leaving a majority of only eleven, and the underwritten have been repeatedly assured by different members of that meeting that if the question had been publicly put, it would have been carried in the negative by a considerable majority.

With a view of counteracting the arts and influence of the violent, the underwritten, on the 27th August, addressed a letter to the late conferees authorizing them to assure the friends of order, who might be disposed to exert themselves to restore the authority of the laws, that they might rely on the protection of Government and that measures would be taken to suppress and punish the violence of those individuals who might dissent from the general sentiment. This letter (a copy of which is marked No. 11) was delivered to one of the conferees going to Brownsville, but he afterwards informed the underwritten that the gentlemen to whom it was addressed did not "think it prudent to make any use of it, as the temper which prevailed was such that it would probably have done more harm than good."

The conduct of the meeting at Brownsville, notwithstanding the thin veil thrown over it by the resolve already mentioned, was said to be considered by many and especially by the violent party as a rejection of the terms. It was certainly a partial rejection of those proposed by the underwritten, and a total one of the preliminaries prescribed by the State commissioners who had required assurances from the members of that meeting only and not from the people themselves.

Having, therefore, no longer any hopes of a universal or even general submission, it was deemed necessary, by a solemn appeal to the people, to ascertain as clearly as possible the determination of every individual to encourage and oblige the friends of order to declare themselves, to re-call as many of the disaffected as possible to their duty by assurances of pardon dependent on their individual conduct, and to learn with certainty what opposition Government might expect if military coercion should be finally unavoidable.

To secure, these advantages, the underwritten were of opinion that the assurances of submission required of the people ought not only to be publicly given, but ought also to be reduced to writing; and that the state of each county should be certified by those who were to superintend the meetings at which the disposition of the people was to be ascertained.

On the 1st instant, nine of the gentlemen appointed by the meeting at Brownsville, assembled at Pittsburgh, and in the afternoon requested a conference with the commissioners, which was agreed to. They produced the resolves by which they were appointed, and entered into some explanation of the nature of [299] their visit; but being desired to communicate it in writing, they withdrew, and soon after sent a letter addressed to the commissioners of the United States and of the State of Pennsylvania; to which an answer was immediately written. — (Copies of these letters are annexed, Nos. 12 and 13.)

As no part of their letter, although addressed to the commissioners from Pennsylvania, related to the preliminaries prescribed by them, they made no answer in writing, but in a conference held the next morning with those nine gentlemen, they verbally declared to them their entire concurrence in the sentiments contained in the letter from the underwritten; and they expressed, at some length, their surprise and regret at the conduct of the meeting at Brownsville. The conferees declared themselves satisfied with the answer they had received; avowed an entire conviction of the necessity and propriety of an early submission in the manner proposed, and offered immediately to enter into the detail for setting the time, place and manner of taking the sense of the people. (A copy of their letter, which also expresses these sentiments, is annexed No. 14.)

It was accordingly agreed between the commissioners on the one part and these gentlemen on the other, that the people should assemble for the purpose of expressing their determination and giving the assurances required, on the 11th instant, and the mode of ascertaining the public sentiments of the citizens resident in the fourth survey of Pennsylvania, was clearly and definitely prescribed by the unanimous consent of all who were present at the conference. It was evident that circumstances might arise to prevent the real disposition of the citizens from being fully ascertained at these meetings, and that even arts might be used to procure such an expression of the public mind, that, while it held up an appearance of submission, might be in reality, a false and delusive representation of it. It was, therefore, necessary that persons of character from every township or district, (who might be able, from their own knowledge or the comparison of all circumstances, justly to appreciate the public opinion,) should assemble and jointly certify their opinion whether there was such a general submission in their respective counties or not, that the laws could be peaceably carried into execution. For the same purpose, it was agreed to be proper, that the number of those who openly refused, as well as of those who promised to submit, in their respective townships or districts, should be reported to the commissioners. (A copy of this agreement, marked No. 15, is annexed.)

It appears that meetings were held in the several counties in pursuance of this agreement; but the underwritten, with extreme regret, find themselves obliged to report, that in the returns made [300] to them, no opinions are certified that there is so general a submission in any one of the counties, that an office of inspection can be immediately and safely established therein, on the contrary, the report of those who superintended the meeting in Westmoreland, states their opinion to be, that such a measure would not be safe.

From Allegheny county no report whatever has been received; and although it is understood that a very great majority of those assembled in the Pittsburgh district actually subscribed the declarations required, yet there is no reason to believe that there was a favorable issue in any other district. Information has been received that great violence prevailed in one of them, and that in another the majority declared their determination not to submit to the laws of the United States.

From Washington county a general return was duly transmitted to one of the commissioners at Uniontown, signed by twenty-eight of the superintendents of the meeting; they do not, however, state the number of the yeas and nays on the question for submission; they decline giving any opinion whether there is such a general submission that an office of inspection may be established therein, but certify their opinion and belief "that a large majority of the inhabitants will acquiesce and submit to the said law, under a hope and firm belief that the Congress of the United States will repeal the law."

The report from the superintendents in Westmoreland county, is equally defective, in not stating the numbers as required; but it certifies their opinion that as ill-disposed lawless persons could suddenly assemble and offer violence, it would not be safe immediately to establish an office of inspection in that county.

The county of Fayette rejected the mode of ascertaining the sense of the people, which had been settled between the underwritten and the last committee of conference at Pittsburgh. The standing committee of that county directed those qualified by the laws of the State for voting at elections, to assemble in their election districts, and vote by ballot whether they would accede to the proposals made by the commissioners of the United States, on the 22d of August, or not. The superintendents of these election districts, report that five hundred and sixty of the people thus convened, had voted for submission, and that one hundred and sixty-one had voted against it; that no judge or member of their committee had attended from the fourth district of the county, to report the state of the votes there, and that they are of opinion that a great majority of the citizens who did not attend, are disposed to behave peaceably and with due submission to the laws. But it is proper to mention, that credible and certain information has been received, that in the fourth district of that [301] county, (composed of the townsips of Tyrone and Bullskin,) of which the standing committee have given no account, six-sevenths of those who voted were for resistance (Copies of the reports stated are annexed, and numbered 16, 17, and 18.)

From that part of Bedford county which is comprehended within the fourth survey of Pennsylvania, no report or returns have been sent forward nor has any information been received that the citizens assembled there for the purpose of declaring their opinions upon questions proposed.

The written assurances of submission which have been received by the commissioners are not numerous, nor were they given by all those who expressed a willingness to obey the laws. In Fayette county a different plan being pursued, no written assurances were given in the manner required. In the three other counties, which, from the census taken under the laws of the State, appear to contain above eleven thousand taxable inhabitants, (in which none under the age of twenty-one are included,) the names subscribed to the papers received barely exceed two thousand seven hundred and of those a very considerable part have not been subscribed in the mode agreed on, being either signed at a different day, unattested by any person or wilfully varied from the settled form.

From credible information received it appears to the underwritten that in some townships, the majority, and in one of them, the whole of the persons assembled publicly, declared themselves for resistance; in some, although the sense of the majority was not known, yet the party for resistance was sufficiently strong to prevent any declarations of submission being openly made, and in others the majority were intimidated or opposed by a violent minority. But notwithstanding these circumstances, the underwritten firmly believe that there is a considerable majority of the inhabitants of the fourth survey who are now disposed to submit to the execution of the laws, at the same time they conceive it their duty explicity to declare their opinion that such is the state of things in that survey, that there is no probability that the acts for raising a revenue on distilled spirits and stills can at present be enforced by the usual course of civil authority, and that some more competent force is necessary to cause the laws to be duly executed, and to ensure to the officers and well-disposed citizens that protection which it is the duty of Government to afford.

This opinion is founded on the facts already stated, and it is confirmed by that which is entertained by many intelligent and influential persons, officers of justice and others resident in the western counties, who have lately informed one of the commissioners that whatever assurances might be given, it was, in [302] their judgment, absolutely necessary that the civil authority should be aided by a military force in order to secure a due execution of the laws.


[The documents referred to in the foregoing, have been given in chronological order, without number.]

* JAMES ROSS was born in York county, July 12, 1762. Educated at Pequea, under Rev. Dr. Robert Smith, taught at Canonsburg, the first classical school opened in the West. Studied law in Philadelphia, and admitted to the bar in 1784. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1790, and an able defender of the Federal Constitution. He was United States Senator from 1794 to 1803, and a commissioner from the United States to the Western Insurgents. He died at Pittsburgh, November 27, 1847. He published "Speech on the Free Navigation of the Mississippi," 1803.

† William Bradford was born in Philadelphia, September 14, 1755. He graduated at Princeton, in 1772. During the Revolution, major of brigade under Gen. Roberdeau; in 1776, a captain in Humpton's regiment, and from April, 1777, to April, 1779, was deputy muster-master general with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Studied law under Edward Shippen, and admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in 1779. He was appointed Attorney General of Pennsylvania, August, 1780; a judge of the Supreme Court, August 22, 1791, and Attorney General of the United States, January 28, 1794. During this year he was one of the U. S. commissioners to confer with the insurgents of the Western counties. He died at Philadelphia, August 23, 1795. In 1793, Mr. Bradford published "An Inquiry how far the Punishment of Death is Necessary in Pennsylvania," and succeeded in effecting beneficent modifications in the penal code of that day.


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