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


Short bios: Henry Purviance * * George Turner


1. Major General Mifflin and Family.
2. Major General Irvine and family.
3. Brigadier General Proctor and family.
4. Brigadier General Chambers and family.
5. Brigadier General Murray and family.
6. Adjutant General and family.
7. Quarter Master General Biddle and Assistant Evans.
8. Brigade Majors.
9. Hospital Department.

The Secretary having thus elucidated the documents relating to the conduct of the Executive, in order to satisfy as far as that conduct is concerned, an enquiry into the causes of the Militia not turning out promptly on the requisition of the President of the United States, begs leave to subjoin a short digest of those causes, which according to the official reports and other sources of information, appear to have operated in producing delay and difficulty upon the late occasion.

1st. The nature of the service was at first represented by some of the Brigade Inspectors as a ground of objection, but this, if it ever existed in fact, was soon removed by the good sense and patriotism of the Citizens.

2nd. The nature of the General Orders for calling the Militia into actual service, and for holding them in readiness to march at a moment's warning, seems in some instances to have been misunderstood by the Brigade Inspectors, for it appears, by several of the returns, that the requisition was barely repeated, without taking any active measures to class the Corps and draft the respective quotas.

3rd. The disorganized state of the militia must have produced considerable embarrassment. The Militia Act has not been long in existence, and the system which it introduced was not only difficult to be executed on account of its novelty, but likewise on account of the indisposition to Militia duties which the old system had created and encouraged. Hence it appears that at the time of the requisition some corps had not elected their officers, others had not made the returns of their elections, and many had never been formed into classes.

4th. The imperfections of the Militia law appear to have been the principal causes of delay and difficulty in executing the President's requisition, and indeed, they had excited discontent and complaints almost as soon as the law passed. Of these imperfections, the following have been considered as particularly detrimental:

[438] (a.) The want of an efficient rule for enrolling the Militia, for making the official returns of such enrollments, and for obtaining an accurate list of delinquents.

(b.) The want of an adequate fine to compel the militia to arm and equip themselves, and of some regulation to circumscribe the discretion of the officers in exonerating paupers from that duty.

(c.) The want of a sufficient number of training days; the present number being too few either to produce a habit of attending to Militia duties or a knowledge of field discipline.

(d.) The want of energy by fines or other adequate means to enforce the duties imposed on particular officers, to induce officers elected to serve, and to secure the collection of fines incurred by delinquents.

(e.) The want of an adequate compensation to the Brigade Inspectors and other officers actively employed in executing the Militia law, and the want of a proper distribution of duties among those officers so that they shall not be required (as in the case of a Brigade Inspector who is also Brigade Major,) to perform distinct service possibly at the same time and at distant places.

(f.) The want of productive fund, independent of the Militia fines, to pay the salaries and compensations of Militia officers and the contingent expenses, which are unavoidably incurred in executing the various provisions of the law.

(g.) The want of a public magazine of arms and Military stores, to supply on emergencies, the neglect or incapacity of individuals to arm and equip themselves.

(h.) The want of a Legislative provision to describe the emergency, and the evidence by which the emergency may be proved, that shall justify the executive in embodying the Militia for the support of the civil authority.

All of which the secretary respectfully submits.

A. J. DALLAS, Secretary of the Commonwealth.


January 18, 1795.
SIR:—I have been pursuing the plan for robbing the mail, and can trace it no higher than Bradford. It was proposed by him to Marshall on their way to Mingo meeting-house. Baldwin and David Hamilton were in company, and it was put on them [439] to execute it. The object to be obtained, was to know the opinions of the people on the business carried on. The post to be robbed was the post from Washington to Pittsburgh, and it was only when Baldwin and Hamilton sent word that they could not perform their part, and when it was then too late to intercept the mail to Pittsburgh, that the plan was changed to what was really executed. Bradford sent his cousin William, and David Hamilton, I believe, sent John Mitchell, who executed the bu[s]iness. My information is from a good source, and may be depended on. The matter, I believe, was not talked of at the Mingo Creek meeting-house, nor did Edward Cook know anything of it.



PHILADELPHIA, 27th January, 1795.
SIR:—The Attorney General having given his opinion on several questions proposed to him, in relation to the Militia law, I have thought proper that it should be communicated to the several Brigade Inspectors, and I enclose a copy of it to you that you may take the necessary steps upon the subject.

You will be pleased, likewise, to instruct the Brigade Inspectors to pursue, with the utmost dispatch, every lawful measure for collecting the fines due from the delinquents, under the requisition for suppressing the late Insurrection; a measure that appears to be particularly enforced by the regard due to the patriotic citizens who marched on that important occasion.

I am, Sir,
Your Most Obed't H'ble Servant,

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


N. B.—The opinion of the attorney General upon some doubtful points in the Militia Law, and the several letters connected with the subject, are as follow:

[440] "SIR:—The enclosed queries, &c. having appeared essential, are respectfully submitted for your answer thereto.

I remain your very H'ble Serv.,
JOSEPH KER, Brigade Inspector, Philad'a County.

"ALEXANDER JAMES DALLAS, Esquire, Secretary of the Commonwealth".

November 17, 1794.
"Section. 1 Requires that each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of this or any other of the United States, residing in this Commonwealth, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years, except as is hereinafter excepted, shall be enrolled, &c.

"Quere. What constitutes a citizen under the Militia Law? and whether all residents, who are not citizens, are exempt?

"Section 2 of Act of Congress of 8th May, 1792, exempts all Custom House officers with their Clerks.

"Quere. Are the characters of Inspectors of the Customs included in said exemption?

"Section 2 of State Law exempts all young men under the age of twenty-one years, and servants purchased bonafide and for a valuable consideration, except in cases of rebellion or actual or threatened invasion, &c.

"Quere. Does the last call embrace either of those terms?

"Section 10 says, that every person refusing or neglecting to perform his tour of duty, in person or by substitute, shall pay Twelve dollars for every such neglect or refusal; If the tour was to be for a term not exceeding one month, and in proportion if the tour was to be for any longer term.

"Quere. As the last call was for a tour of duty, but no time specified, but generally understood for three months, can the fine be now ascertained? and if so, what is the amount?

"Addi'on to Quere on Section 10.

"Section 20 lays a fine of twelve dollars for non-attendance.

"The Attorney General has given his opinion that tho' the duty is but for one day, the fine of Twelve dollars is incurred, the law is, and in proportion if the tour was to be for any longer term.

"Quere 1. If the tour be for some days in the second month is the fine to be a part of the Twelve dollars proportioned to the number of days.

"Quere 2. The law of the United States as I am informed, specifies ,that Militia called on by the United States, are to serve three months. Are the citizens of this State to be fined for more than two months on the present occasion?

[441] "Section 22 Seems to give a general power to courts of Appeal; and afterwards rather confines to two reasons only.

"Quere. Does this section give to Courts of Appeal power to afford relief to those who appeal on any other terms than Inability of body and unavoidable absence?

'''Quere. If Minors and servants were liable to last call, and delinquency took place, from whom are the fines to be recovered?"

Endorsement by Mr. Dallas.

The Governor requests the Attorney General's assistance in answering the within queries.

A. J. D. Sec'y.

"Dear Sir:—In answer to the questions proposed by Major Kerr, I beg leave to make the following observations:

"1. I do not consider the word "Citizen," in the first section of the Militia Law, as used by the Legislature in its legal and constitutional sense, but every person who has a permanent residence here (Ambassadors, Members and Officers of Congress and those expressly exempted by law, only excepted) are liable to be called upon to perform Militia duty.

"2. Inspectors of the Customs, are undoubtedly comprehended in the second section of the Act of Congress, 8th May, 1792, which exempts Custom House Officers from Militia duty.

"3. The last call does embrace Minors and servants purchased bona fide.

"4. As the last call was for a tour of duty, but no time specified the law ascertains it to have been for two months.

"5. The Courts of Appeal are to hear and redress any grievances, without being restricted to the instances of 'inability of body and unavoidable absence,' otherwise one part of the 22nd section would be inconsistent with the other.

"The proceedings must be the same against Minors and servants who are fined, as against others,

"When the Militia are called to perform a tour of duty, and notified by the inspector in the usual way, the fine for not performing a tour of duty is at the rate of Twelve dollars per month; but if the Governor, in case of rebellion or invasion, calls the Militia into immediate and actual service, the fine is sixteen dollars per month.

"How the fact was, in this particular, at the last call, the Secretary of the Commonwealth can best inform.

"I do not recollect that I have given any opinion, what fine is to be imposed, where the duty called for it is but for one day. It is not the time the Militia served, but the time for which they were called out, that regulates the fine.

[442] "I know nothing of the law of the United States, which is said to specify, that when the militia are called on service by the United States, they are to serve four months; but, in the present instance, I am clearly of opinion, they can be fined for a neglect of performing a tour of duty of two months only.

"By permanent residence, in my answer to the first question. I mean the residence of persons who are settled here, in exclusion of those who merely sojourn with an intention to depart.

"I am, D'r Sir, Y'rs,

"ALEXANDER DALLAS, Esq'r, "Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

The call for suppressing the late Insurrection was made under the seventeenth section of the Militia Act; and, therefore, in conformity to the Attorney General's Opinion, the fine on Delinquents is sixteen dollars.

The Insurrection Act does not alter the General Militia Law relative to the period for which the drafted Militia should serve, and, of course, it is only for two months.


January 10th, 1795.


PHILADA, 7th April, 1795.
SIR:—Gen. Chambers has communicated to me your letter of the 10th of March, in answer to which I have made the following remarks:

1. It is not in my power to grant any relief in the case of Mr. Paul Morrow or Dr. Sam'l Kerr. The pay-rolls have been stated and settled; and those gentlemen are allowed the pay of their respective appointments, from the time of their actually entering upon duty as Regimental Quarter Master and Surgeon's mate.

2. The pay of the deranged officers of Franklin quota will be allowed; but Pay-Roll must be made out and regularly certified, according to the form established in other cases. The sooner this is done the more satisfactory it will be, as I am about to close my accounts with the United States.

3. It seems reasonable that the officers, who were employed in calling out the militia should be allowed a compensation for their services; and I am persuaded the Brigade Inspector would be permitted to make it a charge in his accounts; The Governor, however, cannot issue an order upon this subject, as it depends entirely upon the department of accounts.

I am, with great regard, Sir,
Your most obed. Serv.,

Major AND'W RALSTON, of Franklin county.


Pittsburgh, 7th April, 1795.
SIR:—You desire me to detail the circumstances which led to the expulsion of the citizens of Pittsburgh by the committee of battalions on Braddock's Field. As far as it came within my knowledge, I shall do it with pleasure. David Bradford who seemed to have all the power and to exercise it in a very tyrannical manner, opened the business by relating the preceding conduct of the people, the robbing the mail and read and commented on the more obnoxious letters. He charged the writers with having misstated the facts and to have misrepresented his conduct, and the conduct of the people to government. He was warmly supported by many present, who were calling out for liberty, whilst they were violently disposed to exercise great tyranny against those who thought different from themselves.

The writers of the letters had, most of them, mentioned Mr. Bradford's name in an unfavorable manner which was the cause of his immediate resentment, and their banishment was the consequence. The popular fury was sure to be directed against any man who offended him during his reign. A motion was made to expel Colonel Neville and General Gibson, whose letters had been interrupted in the mail, against whom Bradford had previously declaimed with great vehemence. It was thought by many people present, friendly to those two gentlemen, that they might be saved by the question of their banishment being postponed until the meeting which was to be soon after at Parkinson's Ferry.

To accomplish this object, a motion was made to refer the case of General Gibson to that place. The motion was supported

* HENRY PURVIANCE was a native of Pennsylvania, born about 1769. He was a lawyer by profession and resided at Washington during the Insurrection. He was a Federalist and a friend of government, exerting himself on all occasions, says Brackenridge, to prevent the discontents of the people from breaking out into open violence; when it did, he was one of the most active in restoring order and submission. In Addison's reports, he is alluded to in several cases of prominence. He subsequently removed to Butler, where he died.

[444] by you, but opposed and overruled by Bradford and others. David Bradford moved in addition to these two that Major Craig should be expelled, saying it was reported that he had offered his house for an office of inspection should another not be found. Bradford called on the Pittsburgh members to know if this was true. You answered it was not true; and stated some circumstances tending to show the falsehood of the report. But notwithstanding, Bradford and others pressed for his banishment which in order to obviate, you mentioned that it would be an injury to the expedition then carrying on against the Indians as he had charge of the stores for the use of the troops, and proposed that the committee should address the Secretary at War to remove him which I considered as management on your part to save Major Craig.

It was determined that the people should march to Pittsburgh. Every person belonging to the town was under great anxiety for their families and property. The town had every thing to fear from a violent mob of armed men led by a few inconsiderate fools. Previous to the rising of the committee, some of the most violent exclaimed that Major Kirkpatrick, and Mr. Brison, and Mr. Day, had not gone away; or if they had, it was only for a day or two, and that they would return. The Pittsburgh members alarmed lest the suspicions might induce the mob when they came to town to search for these gentlemen not knowing what the consequence of such a search might be, pledged themselves that they were gone and would not return. I never heard you express a wish for the banishment of any individual. I have often heard you say that the people had essentially served those that had been banished; that, government would consider them as martyrs and reward them.

I remember it was arranged previous to the election of delegates for the meeting at Parkinson's Ferry to choose those that were most friendly to government. You mentioned to me that you meant to propose at the meeting, the sending commissioners to the Executive to consult means to compose the disturbances. You expressed a wish of being one of the commissioners yourself. You showed me an address you had drawn up, to be proposed to the meeting, to be sent to the President of the United States. You often declared to me that if the violence continued you were determined to leave the country and go to Philadelphia. I had daily opportunities of observing your conduct, and conversing with you, and never had a doubt but that you were influenced by the purest motives and was anxious for the restoration of order and the laws.

I am, Sir, &c.,


PHILAD'A, April 10, 1795.
SIR:—In respect to the recognizances, I apprehend that pursuant to the 33d section of the judiciary bill, the recognizances themselves, and not copies, should be produced, but although Judge Peters preferred the mode you state, during the Western expedition for several motives, and I believe has continued the practice, (whether he did so before, I cannot tell), yet as the signature of the party is not essential to the effect of the recognizance and is not generally practiced by the State magistrates, I cannot suppose it would be deemed necessary in the courts of the United States. While the law stands as it is, my duty (whatever may be my opinion) is to conform to it and that duty being to prosecute every legal step conducive to a proper termination of such prosecution is to be pursued by me.




WASHINGTON, 22d April, 1795.
DEAR SIR:—I was favoured with yours inclosing a copy of the paper which I wanted. I had no design to take any notice of it, but I could not understand the grounds of the suspicion and ill opinion of me, and conceived I should find the whole there. The words "constitutional resistance" in my letter to the Governor were certainly very ill chosen, and have been very ingeniously twisted. The fact is, that I meant that I had done what he recommended in the circular letter, inculcated obedience and remonstrance. If I had done any such thing as the statement exhibits, I surely should not have published it in a letter to the Governor. I shall keep the paper in strict confidence, but I entirely agree with you that any answer to it would be improper, and I shall be content if I can pass through life with nothing worse to be said of me than is said there.

You will much oblige me if you take some pains to procure my certificate for my Bank share and send it by Mr. Hoge. I do not think I shall be down in July, as last year there was no sort of business, and it looks foolish to go more than three hundred miles for nothing.

[446] I had like to lose my wife lately of the child bed fever. She is however perfectly recovered and joins with me in sincere good wishes to you, Mrs. Dallas, &c.

Truly yours,

P. S.—I find I have mislaid my notes on the trial of Bell for murder in Washington county. If you could send me a copy of my statement of the evidence and charge to the jury in that case, which I transmitted to the Governor, you will oblige me. I do not mean to include the opinion of the court on the motion in arrest of judgement. I have that. Don't forget this.


CINCINNATI, May 17, 1795.
SIR:—After an absence of fifty-three weeks on the Western circuit, I landed yesterday at this place, and found here your two letters of the 3d of Jan. and 22d of April. This must be my apology for not having answered the former at least before this time.

I have made some inquiries into the case of Cunningham, who is recognized, it seems, to appear before our general court, on the charge you last mentioned. The offence being committed against the United States alone, (of which the territory is no part but only a dependency,) our inferior court was wrong in binding Cunningham's appearance to the general court where the offence is not triable. It was imposing upon the accused a hardship not admissible in law, since his appearance could answer no other end than to extend his recognizance to the proper court within the United States, and to which the inferior court was competent in the first instance.

If, therefore, you will forward hither a certificate that Cunningham has entered into a fresh recognizance for that purpose, I shall take care to lay it before the general court whenever his

* GEORGE TURNER was born in England, about 1750, coming to America early in life. At the breaking out of the Revolution he entered the service as Captain in the southern department. He distinguished himself in several severe engagements especially in the affair of the "Slaughter Pens." He was the personal friend of President Washington, who appointed him judge of the North-Western Territory September 12, 1789. In 1833 he returned to Philadelphia, where he died, March 16, 1843.

[447] case shall come up officially before it, so that he may be discharged from his present recognizance.

I am with respect, yours,
Indorsed. G. TURNER.

Took recognizance, June 19, 1795, and transmitted to Judge Turner.


PHILADELPHIA, May 26, 1795.
DEAR SIR:—Sept. 19, 1794, the Act passed for raising Volunteers.

Mr. Dallas not having then received a farthing of the public money, pledges his own personal credit to Mr. Downing or such advances as he should make to the troops; this is done the day but one after the Act passed, the intervening day being Sunday.

Mr. Downing writes on the 26 of Sept. that he could not advance any more money, but did not draw on Mr. Dallas, in consequence of which omission, it being the Mode in which Mr. Dallas had directed the business should be conducted, Mr. Mifflin, his Agent, he being then absent with the Governor, would not furnish money, but security being given; the next day, however, the 27 Sept., Mr. Brown, the Deputy of Mr. Dallas, replaces the money to wit:

2,484 D.

Mr. Dallas had no connection with Mr. Downing but to supply Bounty money.

I find that on or before the 27 Sept. Mr. Dallas had paid for the bounty of the Delaware and Chester county Militia, as follows:

By Mr. Downing . . . . . . .912 D
To Gen'l Humpton . . . 2,484
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,396

The amount of the bounty money exclusive of Capt. Graham's Company was but 3,048 D, remains in the hands of Gen'l Humpton, 248 D. which he paid for wagon hire, &c., not provided for by the Law of the State.

I cannot see any foundation of complaint in this business against Mr. Dallas.

I am, respectfully yours,



PHILADELPHIA, July 17, 1795.
DEAR SIR:—In the expectation of seeing you at the court of errors and appeal this week, I postponed answering your letter longer than I should otherwise have done.

Gen. Morgan was not very correct in the names he furnished; only the three last in the list came within the request, viz: Ewing, Paton and M'Call.

Arthur Gardner, George Parker, John Holcroft, having proved their signatures to submission and accounted for their absence, are bound over as witnesses.

John Mitchell is under sentence; Patrick Jack appeared upon inquiry not a fit object of prosecution, and no bill has been sent against him. Ebenezer Gallagher and Daniel Hamilton are indicted.

Benjamin Parkinson surrendered himself; he continued however to avoid confinement, and the marshal has not yet been able to apprehend him—he is also indicted.

The marshal's officer who is the bearer of this, has instructions to apply to you and to the magistrates where recourse cannot be had to you for advice if necessary, in the execution of the duties he is going to perform.

Your active and able exertions in support of the laws (which have received so much public approbation,) give me reason to hope you will not think this trouble too much. The event of Cunningham's case is, I flatter myself, conformable to your wishes,

I am with great respect and esteem,
Your most obedient humble servant,

[See letter of December 24, 1794, on the same subject.].


PHILADELPHIA, July 18, 1795.
DEAR SIR:—A Letter from the Comptroller General to the Governor, of the 16 of April, has been transmitted to me for my opinion.

The difficulties stated by the Comptroller General in carrying into effect the Act of 11 April, 1793, for regulating the Militia of this State, are very obvious.

[449] It does not appear to me, that the 29th Section appropriating the Fines as a Fund for the carrying the Law into effect, can authorise an allowance to the officers of Regiments & Companies for enrolling the Citizens.

Nor can I see that the same discretionary powers that were exercised by former Lieutenants of Counties, are invested in the Brigade Inspectors to determine the Quantum of Pay.

The Evil, I conceive, can be redressed only by the Legislature; these services ought to be compensated, but it requires a legislative provision.

I am, D'r S'r, Y'rs,

Mr. Dallas.


CINCINNATI, July 24 1795.
SIR:—I was honored a few days ago with your letter, inclosing proper certificate concerning Cunningham's recognizance, and shall in consequence take care by placing it on the files of the general court that no inconvenience shall arise to him in this quarter.

Either you have mistaken my meaning, or, what is more probable, I have not expressed myself clearly in my answer to your former communications. My letter-files are not this moment at hand. It was certainly not my intention to leave the matter open to the general court, because it was and yet is my decided opinion, that the offence is not properly triable here.

We have lately had some expresses from head-quarters. It appears that a treaty of some sort will at length be the result; but how long this will last may easily be conjectured. It assuredly cannot be founded upon any decisive battle; for notwithstanding accounts respecting the last action wore a very florid complexion, that doubtless was little if any more than a skirmish in which the enemy lost seven and twenty men. I beg you to believe me to be,

With perfect and respectful esteem,
Your very, very obedient servant,


PHILADELPHIA, August 15, 1795.
DEAR SIR:—I must take the liberty of intruding once more upon a portion of your time on account of the trials yet to take [450] place, of persons charged with treasonable practices from your part of the State.

At the last sitting of the circuit court, it was discovered that a great unwillingness to say too much against their fellow citizens, a reluctance in the jury to convict the smaller engine on the testimony of their ringleaders, and a natural repugnance to capital convictions, occasioned some unexpected acquitals; and in some instances, bills were returned ignoramus, equally contrary to what appeared a grounded expectation. Something particularly on the latter score must, I think, be attributed to the difficult distinction necessary to be made between the different jurisdictions. There now remain to be tried upon bills found, Edward Wright, James Stuart and Daniel Bolton, whose presence is not doubtful; and bills are found against David Bradford, Daniel Hamilton, William Miller, Benjamin Parkinson, Ebenzer Gallagher, William Hanna, Richard Holcroft, David Lock, Alexander Fulton, Peter Lisle, Thomas Spiers and Samuel Hanna, some of whom may perhaps surrender themselves.

After the pains already taken to discover and produce testimony establishing the offence charged, I do not know that it would be reasonable to expect greater success from further inquiry.

But if, in the course of your judicial proceedings, any matters relative to and explanatory of the conduct of the persons before mentioned should occur, you will oblige me much by forwarding such information thereon as may appear to you likely to be useful, A circumstance not very pleasing occurred during the trial of Robert Porter. James Parker, when before you at Washington, stating in his affidavit the persons who had been at the destruction of Gen. Neville's house, included the name of Robert Porter, yet on the trial he denied that he saw him elswhere than at Couch's, before, and at Col. D. Phillip's after the attack. It appeared improper to avoid taking notice of this variance, as in one or the other case he must be foresworn. I was under the necessity of having him bound over to be prosecuted for perjury, to wit: on the false oath taken before you, and this, I fear, will render your attendance at Yorktown necessary, unless you can point out any means to do the business otherwise; I earnestly wish to terminate the whole of this business before next October, that the inhabitants of so remote a place may not again suffer the inconvenience of attending the federal court.

I am, with great respect and esteem,
Your obedient humble servant,



WEDNESDAY, August 26th, 1795.
The President of the United States having by his Proclamation, dated the day of August, instant, thought proper to extend the Pardon of the Government of the United States to all persons who have been guilty of the Treasons or Misprisons of Treason in his said Proclamation Mentioned, or who have been otherwise concerned in the late Insurrection within the four Western Counties of this State, who have not since been indicted or convicted thereof: The Governor this day, took the same into consideration, and being desirous of his part to pursue a like policy, as well on account of its humanity as for the sake of preserving uniformity in the proceedings of the General and State Governments in relation to the same important object, accordingly issued his Proclamation in the words following, to wit:

Pennsylvania, ss:
In the Name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, By THOMAS MIFFLIN, Governor of the said Commonwealth.


Whereas, At the commencement of the late insurrection in the Western part of this State, constituting the fourth survey thereof, I deemed it expedient to attempt a vindication of the violated authority of the laws and a restoration of peace, harmony and order by the influence of reason and lenity upon the minds of the deluded and refractory Insurgents:

And whereas, The better to promote so desirable an object, I appointed, authorized and employed the Honorable Thomas McKean, Chief Justice of this Commonwealth, and Major General William Irvine, (with full confidence in their wisdom, prudence and patriotism,) as Commissioners, to confer with the said insurgents, and on behalf of the Government of Pennsylvania, to promise to them and every of them, an act of Pardon and oblivion for all past transgressions upon receiving a satisfactory assurance of a future submission to the laws:

And Whereas, The said Commissioners in pursuance of the trust thus reposed in them, did by an Instrument under their hands bearing date the twenty-fourth day of August, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, promise upon certain terms and conditions of submission to the law of this State and of the United States, to be made in the manner and within the time in the said Instrument specified, that if [452] the people of the said Western Counties should keep Peace and be of good behaviour until the first day of June, now last past, an act of free and General Pardon and oblivion of all treasons, insurrections, arson, riots, and other offences inferior to riots, committed, perpetrated, counselled or suffered by any person or persons complying with the terms and conditions aforesaid, within the Counties by the said Commissioners specified, since the fourteenth day of July, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four, should be granted, so far as the said offences concerned the State of Pennsylvania or the Government thereof:

And whereas, It appears by a Proclamation heretofore issued by the President of the United States, that he has thought proper to extend the pardon of the Government of the United States to all Persons who have been guilty of the Treason in his said Proclamation specified, or who have been otherwise concerned in the said insurrection within the said Survey, but who have not since been indicted or convicted thereof. And I am desirous, on my part, to pursue a like policy, as well on account of its humanity as for the sake of preserving uniformity in the proceedings of the General and State Governments, in relation to the same important object. Therefore, I, Thomas Mifflin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have granted and by these Presents do grant a full, free and entire Pardon to all persons (not included in the exception hereinafter declared,) of all treasons, insurrections, arsons, riots and other offences inferior to riots, committed within the said fourth Survey, between the said fourteenth day of July and the twenty-second day of August, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four and which may have been and are indictable offences against the said State of Pennsylvania, together with a free and entire remission and release of all fines, forfeitures and penalties consequent thereon; excepting and excluding always, nevertheless, from all the benefit and advantage or any claim to the benefit and advantage of the pardon hereby granted, every person who has either refused to give the assurance of submission stipulated and required as aforesaid, or who having given the same, shall afterwards have deviated therefrom, and now actually stands indicted or convicted of any offence against the State of Pennsylvania.

Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of the State, at Philadelphia, the twenty-sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, and of the Commonwealth the Twentieth.


By the Governor.
A. J. DALLAS, Secretary of the Commonwealth.


PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 29, 1795.
DEAR SIR:—Joseph Dorsey may rest easy as to his recognizance. The event of the trials at York fully verified your observation as to the impediments to conviction created by distance.

You have doubtless by this time been informed of the material circumstances, which I, therefore, will not encroach upon your time by repeating.

I consider the business as now nearly ended. It is not probable that many, if any of those who have fled will return. My information in respect to Bradford was, I find, eroneous. The witnesses are, however, generally held under recognizance and to be ready in any case of surrender.

I am, with respect and esteem,

To Judge Addison.


December 11th, 1795.
SIR:—I understand that Mr. Hagner, one of the Clerks in this office, has been furnished with a notice to pay a fine as a delinquent for not turning out in the Militia employed against the Insurgents in the late Insurrection in the State of Pennsylvania.

It was understood at the time the militia were called upon, that all Clerks in the War Department) of which Mr. H. was one, and whose duty it must be considered was greatly increased by that event (were exempt from Military Duty, and even those who applied to my Predecessor for permission to go out with the Troops were actually refused in consequence of the encreasing business from that source. As I know of no appeal those gentlemen have, I have to request, Sir, that you will be pleased to give me your opinion whether the Clerks in the War Department will have to pay the fine; if not how they are to proceed to be exonorated therefrom?

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your Mo. Obd. Serv't,
WM. SIMMONS, Accountant for the Department of War.


[454] Mr. Simmons presents his compliments to Mr. Dallas, and will thank him for his opinion to the questions asked by his letter of 11th Inst. If it is improper for Mr. D. to answer them in his Official capacity, Mr. S. will thank him to inform him who the proper person is to be applied to.

Thursday Morning, December 17th, 1795.


PHILAD'A 29 Aug. 1796
SIR:—The Bearer informs me he is called on to pay a fine for non-attendance with the late Militia army The following facts will enable your Excellency to judge whether he is a subject of Militia Law. In May, 1794, I engaged him on a low salary to make such labratory preparations as the United States magazine might from time to time require. On the first intimation of the necessity of collecting an Army, he was fully employed with more than Twenty People in preparing the ordnance & amunition ordered to be got in readiness, & continued to be thus employed day & night until the close of the year. He is yet a salary Officer of the United States for the same purpose.

With respect & esteem, I am, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,

His Excellency THOMAS MIFFLIN, Esq.

If the Bearer, Jacob Sober, had not any notice that he was called out to serve in the Militia, it seems reasonable that he should be excused paying his Fine.

1796, Sept. 2d.


WASHINGTON. 23d Febr'y, 1797.
SIR:— I understand the sheriff of this county has received your pardon to James Chambers and others, who were indicted, fined and imprisoned, at a Court of Quarter Sessions here, for outrages during the insurrection.

I trust, Sir, that what I am about to state will not appear to you as impertinent interference beyond my personal or official concerns, and will be candidly viewed as coupled with a just respect to your person and your station.

[455] It is not to inform you, but to explain myself, that I beg leave to express my opinion, that the discretion vested in the executive of pardoning delinquents, is of a judicial nature, not to be swayed by importunity, but exercised on full and certain information of the nature of the case drawn from an official and responsible source, and that it does not appear to me, that this evidence can otherwise be obtained, than by a certificate from the Clerk of the Court, of the nature of the indictment, and from the Court or some of the Judges, of the nature of the evidence or the circumstances attending the trial.

Members of assembly have no official responsibility to restrain them in their recommendations, from misleading the executive, and are under temptations to recommend, not what is right, but what may be popular in their particular neighbourhood, and promote their next election. In all things touching the insurrection, this is more particularly the case, while to have countenanced the actors in it is a sure claim to popular favour, and to have shown any desire so to correct them by law, as to bring them to a sense of duty, remains a settled ground of resentment.

Peculiarly in this case, therefore, and generally in all cases, the administration of criminal justice is a cause of odium to those intrusted with it, and the power of pardoning is a source of favour. Viewing them as an improper interference and bias of the Executive, I have never practised nor approved judicial recommendations for pardon; but I consider judicial information of the case as a necessary ground for the decision of the Executive. And if the Executive so consider and require it, this degree of co-operation in mercy may somewhat counteract the odium of their co-operation in justice, and the energy and respect of each branch may be promoted.

It may be, Sir, that after you have heard all I shall say, you will still approve of the pardon you have granted to those men. If the information before you had been perfect, and with the precedents before you, were it my part to judge, I know not that I could censure what you have done. But, because I feel myself somewhat interested in it, I hope you will excuse me if I trouble you with stating something respecting James Chambers which I dare say, your informers did not state.

As he was one of the most outrageous during the insurrection, so he is neither softened nor reformed. Ignorant, savage and malignant, if he can confound pardon with general impunity, and believe himself free from punishment, the life of no man whom he hates is safe. A leader in raising the liberty pole here; he insulted me in the most indecent and threatened me in the most violent manner, for refusing him whiskey to drink at it. After sentence was passed, and while in jail, he was ex- [456] tremely contumelious to the court in general and especially to me, and threatened revenge. Very soon after he was out of jail, the posts of an old gallows were raised in the night time and laid against my door, with "Addison's gallows" written with chalk on them. Soon after that, fire was set to cord-wood I had in an out-lot. The suspicion of every one fell on him, but I had no proof. He continued to abuse me wherever he went, and at last, insulted me to my face in the open street. Finding no time nor patience would correct him, a regard to my station, and even to my safety, compelled me to proceed to punishment. I applied to a magistrate, had him bound over and indicted, and removed the indictment into the Supreme Court, where it now depends. He has been told, I believe, that it is not likely that I want any revenge, but only such concessions and declarations as may satisfy me, that I shall be free from any further injury or insult from him. But these he has never deigned to make. In this situation he has received your pardon of the remainder of a punishment, the whole he attributes not to the law, but to me.

On these facts and opinions, with your candid construction, I must rely for an apology of the statement, with which I have now troubled you, and I am, with much respect,

Your most obed't Serv't,

The Governor of Pennsylvania.


PHILADELPHIA, 6th July, 1798.
SIR:—In the present state of the Governor's health, it is not likely that I shall have so convenient an opportunity of seeing the Governor as you will have; I therefore, beg leave to trouble you with some information of which I request you to make the proper use.

I have understood that the Governor intends to give a commission of the Peace to Absalom Baird, of the town of Washington, and William Irwin, of Williamsport. In the present alarming state of our country, too much care cannot be taken in selecting for public approbation, those characters who are to be honored with commissions. Dr. Baird has been uniformly among the strenuous opponents and censurers of our government, and has been and yet is of what is called the French party. He was of a party who at midnight and for some hours after in a noisy manner raised a May pole in the town of Washington, [457] and to the American colours annexed red, blue and white-ribbons. At such a time to give a commission to a man of his sentiments, would indeed be giving a sanction to the opinion of the Directory, that they have a party even among more than the people here. I consider this appointment as altogether improper and I know it to be useless. In our little town we have already two attentive and active justices of the Peace fully adequate to far more business than is to be done, and there is besides another commission to a third justice in the same town who hitherto has thought it so unnecessary that he has not taken the oath of office. If Dr. Baird is commissioned, the third gentleman will certainly swear in, and we shall have four where one only would be sufficient. Our town of Washington is small, of about an hundred houses, and is a township of itself without any of the adjoining country. The neighbouring townships are well supplied with justices.

William Irwin, I believe, is not a citizen. He is an obstinate adherent to the same party of opposition to our government and favour to France. He lives on the extremity of the township and the county. There is one justice within a quarter of a mile from him, another within four miles from him in one direction and a third within four miles of him in another direction, so that his appointment would be altogether superfluous. What is called the town of Williamsport, does not contain more than six houses if so many.

If the Governor would bestow a commission on a man of worth, understanding, integrity and genius, sincerely attached to pri[nc]iples and administration of our government, I will name one deserving this character and a commission or any other mark of public favour. I mean David Bruce, of the town of West Boston, in Smith's township, in Washington county. If you can persuade the governor to give him a commission of the Peace, you will do honour to a worthy man and will show the worthless and all others that the only way to obtain the countenance of public authority is to promote the peace and happiness of the country, and, not to foment dissatisfaction and sedition.

I am, Sir, respectfully yours,

I have a desire that Commissions of the Peace should be granted to, I think, John Scott, of Allegheny county, and James Wilson, of Greene County. There are Petitions for both.


[The following papers appearing at the beginning of the Insurrection in the newspapers of the day, having been filed away by the authorities, it has been decided to reprint them. They give the humorous side of the transaction.]


Speeches intended to be spoken at a Treaty now holding with the Six United Nations of White Indians settled on the heads of the Ohio, at the town of Pittsburg, the 20th of August, 1794 by the Commissioners sent from Philadelphia for the purpose.

Captain BLANKET, an Indian Chief, spoke as follows:
BROTHERS:—We welcome you to the old Council Fire at this place. It is a lucky spot of ground for holding Indian treaties. No good attended your treaties at Beaver creek, Muskingum, &c. As the proffer of this treaty has originated with your great council at Philadelphia, we therefore expect you have good terms to offer. But you know, Brothers, that it ever has been a custom to pay Indians well for coming to treaties, and you may be assured that unless we are well paid, or fully satisfied, your attempts of any kind, will not have the least effect. However, we doubt not but the pay is provided, and that you have a sufficiency of blankets and breech clouts, powder and lead and that the waggons are close at hand. You know, brothers, that our neighbours, the British, over the lakes, pay their Indians well, that they have inexhaustible stores of blankets and ammunition, and that if they were offering us a treaty, they would not hesitate a moment to satisfy all our demands.

Captain WHISKEY spoke next:
BROTHERS:—My friend Capt. Blanket has indulged himself in a little drollery about blankets, &c., but I must speak to the point. I am told that the people of your great council call us a parcel of drunken raggamuffins, because we indulge ourselves with a little of our homespun whiskey, and that we ought to pay well for this extraordinary luxury. What would they think if the same was said of them for drinking beer and cyder? Surely the saying will apply with equal force in both cases. We say that our whiskey shall not be saddled with an unequal tax. You say it shall; and to enforce the collection of three or four thousand dollars per ann. of nett proceeds, you will send an army of 12,950 men or double that number if necessary. This is a new fashioned kind of economy indeed. It is [459] a pity this army had not been employed long ago in assisting your old warrior, Gen Wayne; or chastising the British about the lakes. However, I presume it is the present policy to guard against offending a nation with a king at their head. But remember, brothers, if we have not a king at our head, we have that powerful monarch, Capt. Whiskey to command us. By the power of his influence, and a love to his person we are compelled to every great and heroic act.

You know, brothers, that Capt. Whiskey has been a great warrior in all nations and in all armies. He is a descendant of that nation called Ireland; and to use his own phrase, he has peopled three-fourths of this western world with his own hand. We, the Six United Nations of White Indians, are principally his legitimate offspring, and those who are not, have all imbibed his principles and passions—that is a love of whiskey; and will, therefore, fight for our bottle till the last gasp. Brothers, you must not think to frighten us with fine arranged lists of infantry, cavalry and artillery, composed of your water-mellon armies from the Jersey shores; they would cut a much better figure in warring with the crabs and oysters about the Capes of Delaware. It is a common thing for Indians to fight your best armies at the proportion of one to five; therefore, we would not hesitate a moment to attack this army at the rate of one to ten. Our nations can, upon an emergency, produce twenty thousand warriors; you may then calculate what your army ought to be. But I must not forget that I am making an Indian speech; I must, therefore, give you a smack of national tongue—Tongash Getehie—Tongash Getchie—very strong man, me Captain Whiskey.

Capt. Alliance next took the floor:
BROTHERS:—My friend, Captain Whiskey, has made some fine flourishes about the power of his all conquering monarch, Whiskey, and of the intrepidity of the sons of St. Patrick in defence of their beloved bottle. But we will suppose when matters are brought to the test, that we should find ourselves unequal to the task of repelling this tremenduous army, or that the great council should still persevere in their determination of imposing unequal and oppressive duties upon our whiskey; who knows but some evil spirit might prompt us to a seperation from the union, and call for the alliance of some more friendly nation. You know that the great nation of Kentucky have already suggested this idea to us. They are at present Mississippi mad, and we are whiskey mad; it is therefore hard to tell what may be the issue of such united madness. It appears as if the Kentuckians were disposed to bow knee to the Spanish monarch or to kiss the Pope's . . . and wear a cruci- [460] fix, rather than be longer deprived of their Mississippi; and we might be desperate enough, rather than submit to an odious excise or unequal taxes, to invite Prince William Henry or some other royal pup, to take us by the hand, provided he would guarantee equal taxation and exempt our whiskey.

This would be a pleasing overture to the royal family of England—they would eagerly embrace the favorable moment to add again to their curtailed dominion in America, to accommodate some of their numerous brood with kingdoms and principalities. We would soon find that great warrior of the lakes, Simcoe, flying to our relief, and employing his numerous legions of white and yellow savages, for a very different purpose to what they have now in view. If the Kentuckians should also take it into their head to withhold supplies from your good old warrior Wayne, who is very often near starving in the wilderness, his army must be immediately annihilated, and your great council might forever bid adieu to their territory west of the mountains. This may seem very improbable indeed; but as great wonders have happened within Europe in the course of three years past.

Captain PACIFICUS then arose and concluded the business of the day:

BROTHERS:—My friend Alliance has made some very alarming observations, and I confess they have considerable weight with me. A desperate people may be drove to desperate resources, but as I am of a peaceable disposition I shall readily concur in every reasonable proposition which may have a tendency to restore tranquility, and secure our union upon the true principles of equality and justice. It is now time to know the true object of your mission; if you are the messengers of peace and come to offer us a treaty, why attempt to deliver it at the point of the bayonet? If you are only come to grant pardons for past offences, you need not have fatigued yourselves with such extraordinary dispatch on the journey: we have not yet begged your pardon; we are not yet at the gallows or the guillotine, for you will have to catch us first before you bring us there. But as I am rather more of a counsellor than a warrior, I am more disposed to lay hold of the chain than the tomahawk; I shall therefore propose that a total suspension of all hostilities and the cause thereof, shall immediately take place on both sides, until the next meeting of our great national council. If your powers are not competent to this agreement, we expect, as your old counsellors and peaceable men, that you will at least report and recommend it to our GOOD OLD FATHER who sits at the helm.

[461] We know it was his duty to make proclamation, &c., &c, but we expect everything that can result from his prudence, humanity and benevolence towards his fellow creatures.

A BELT, on which is inscribed,
plenty of Whiskey without Excise. [*A fashionable phrase lately adopted by certain gentlemen in the service of Government.]

Jersey Blue's intended answer to Capt. Whiskey's intended speech to the Commissioners at Pittsburg, if their Session continues till Sept, 1st, 1794.

BROTHER:—I apprehend that your Six Nations have not even the excuse of drunkeness so usual with other Savages, to palliate their frothy pretensions: Our good Father will find no difficulty to brush off your cob-web argument about cider and beer; and if the Grand Council had laid an excise on those articles, it would not here have been opposed with empty bravado, and made an excuse to cover premature ambition and past disappointments; but an amendment, if necessary, would have been procured by constitutional remonstrants and a change of representation. However, Capt. Whiskey, be advised for once to use your sober senses if you have any, and, no longer intoxicated with a hope of power which you are much too feeble to sustain, send your swiftest runners to our common Father and acknowledge your weakness and your errors. If yet you know not how to estimate yourselves, remember that the watermellon army of Jersey are at hand with 500 long swords, who understand breathing a vein, 1,500 shivering irons, and quant[u]m sufficit of ten inch howitzers for throwing a species of mellon very useful for curing a gravel occasioned by whiskey! If you should so envy our crabs and oysters as to take shelter with the fresh water lobsters of the Lakes, don't tell them the Jerseymen are coming, or, by mere dint of memory, they'll leave you to experience a reverse of calculation; and as you say, you shall not hesitate, one to ten, to attack—neither will you hesitate, ten to one, to run away.


New Jersey, 1794.


[Written by Gov. Howell, of New Jersey, on the President's call for troops to march to Western Pennsylvania.]

To arms once more, our hero cries,
Sedition lives and order dies;
To peace and ease then bid adieu
And dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue.

Dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue,
Jersey Blue, Jersey Blue,
And dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue.

Since proud ambition rears its head,
And murders rage, and discords spread,
To save from spoil the virtuous few,
Dash over the mountains, Jersey Blue.

Roused at the call, with magic sound,
The drums and trumpets circle round,
As soon the corps their route pursue—
So dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue.

Unstain'd with crimes, unus'd to fear,
In deep array our youths appear,
And fly to crush the rebel crew,
Or die in the mountains, Jersey Blue.

Tho' tears bedew the maidens' cheeks,
And storms hang round the mountains bleak,
'Tis glory calls, to love adieu,
Then dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue.

Should foul misrule and party rage
With law and liberty engage,
Push home your steel, you'll soon re-view
Your native plains, brave Jersey Blue.

Dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue,
Jersey Blue, Jersey Blue,
And dash to the mountains, Jersey Blue.