Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. [PRIVATE.] - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XII (1790-1794)
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TO GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. [PRIVATE.] - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XII (1790-1794) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XII (1790-1794).
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TO GOUVERNEUR MORRIS.
Philadelphia, 21 June, 1792.
My dear Sir,
Since writing to you on the 28th of January, I have received your several favors of the 27th of December from Paris; 4th of February, 17th and 21st of March, and 6th and 10th of April from London. I thank you very much for the interesting and important information contained in several of these letters, particularly that of the 4th of February. If the last article of which it is comprised should in your judgment require an acknowledgment, I shall rely on your goodness to make it in suitable and respectful terms. You can be at no loss to discover the paragraph to which I allude.1
The plot thickens and development must have begun; but what the final issue will be, lyes too deep for human ken. I will hope for the best, without allowing myself to wander in the field of conjecture for the result. Your letters, though extremely interesting in point of information, require but little to be said in the way of reply. The accts. given therein will be treasured up, to be acted upon as circumstances will warrant, and as occasions may present. One thing, however, I must not pass over in silence, lest you should infer from it, that Mr. D[undas] had authority for reporting, that the United States had asked the mediation of Great Britain to bring about a peace between them and the Indians. You may be fully assured, Sir, that such mediation never was asked, that the asking of it never was in contemplation, and I think I might go further and say, that it not only never will be asked, but would be rejected if offered. The United States will never have occasion, I hope, to ask for the interposition of that power, or any other, to establish peace within their own territory.
That it is the wish of that government to intermeddle, and bring this measure to pass, many concurrent circumstances (small indeed when singly considered) had left no doubt on my mind, before your letter of the 6th of April came to hand. What is there mentioned of the views of Mr. P[itt], as well as of the assertions of Mr. D., is strong as “proof of Holy Writ” in confirmation of it.1 The attempt has, however, in its remotest movements been so scouted as to have retarded, if it has not entirely done away the idea; but I do not hesitate to give it to you, my private and decided opinion, that it is to these interferences, and to the underhanded support, which the Indians receive, (notwithstanding the open disavowal of it,) that all our difficulties with them may be imputed. We are essaying every means in our power to undeceive these hostile tribes, with respect to the disposition of this country towards them, and to convince them that we neither seek their extirpation, nor the occupancy of their lands, as they are taught to believe, except such of the latter as has been obtained by fair treaty, and purchase bona fide made and recognised by them in more instances than one. If they will not, after this explanation (if we can get at them to make it), listen to the voice of peace, the sword must decide the dispute; and we are, though very reluctantly, vigorously preparing to meet the event.
In the course of last winter, I had some of the chiefs of the Cherokees in this city, and in the spring I obtained, (with some difficulty indeed,) a full representation of the Six Nations to come hither. I have sent all of them away well satisfied, and fully convinced of the justice and good dispositions of this government towards the Indian nations generally. The latter, that is the Six Nations, who before appeared to be divided and distracted in their councils, have given strong assurances of their friendship, and have resolved to send a deputation of their tribes to the hostile Indians with an acct. of all that has passed, accompanying it with advice to them to desist from further hostilities. With difficulty still greater, I have brought the celebrated Captain Joseph Brant to this city, with a view to impress him also with the equitable intentions of this government towards all the nations of his color. He only arrived last night, and I am to give him an audience at twelve this day.
Nothing has, as yet, been hinted on this side of the water to any of the officers of government, of the other matter mentioned in your letter of the 6th of April, though suspicions of it have been entertained.1
Knowing from the letters of the Secretary of State to you, that you are advised in all matters of public concern, and will have transmitted to you the laws as they are enacted, and the gazettes as they are published, I shall not trouble you with a detail of domestic occurrences. The latter are surcharged and some of them indecently communicative of charges that stand in need of evidence for their support.
There can be but few things of a public nature likely to fall in your line, requiring to be acted upon by this government, that may not be freely communicated to the department to which it belongs; because in proceeding thereon the head of the department will necessarily be made acquainted therewith. But there may, nevertheless, be other matters, more remote in their consequences, of the utmost importance to be known, that not more than one intermediate person would be entrusted with. Here, necessity as well as propriety will confine you to a point. Cases, not altogether under the control of necessity, may also arise to render it advisable to do this, and your own good judgment will be the best direction in these. With much truth and affection, I am, &c.
[1 ]Relating to a message from the King and Queen of France, as communicated by Mr. Morris. He had been speaking of the political doings of the leaders in the French Revolution. “The King and Queen,” said he, “are wounded to the soul by these rash measures. They have, I believe, given all needful assurances to the Emperor and King of Spain. A confidential person has desired me to assure you on their behalf, that they are very far from wishing to change the system of French politics and abandon their old allies; and therefore, if any advantage is taken of the present advances to Britain, that you will consider them as originating merely in the madness of the moment; and not as proceeding from them, or as meeting with their approbation, but the contrary. I shall send this letter in such a way as promises the greatest safety, and I must entreat you, my dear Sir, to destroy it for fear of accidents; you will feel how important it is to them, that this communication be not disclosed. It is merely personal from them to you, and expressive of sentiments, which can have no action until they have some authority.”—Sparks’ Life of Gouverneur Morris, vol. ii., p. 163.
[1 ]From Mr. Morris’ Letter: “I was told yesterday, that Mr. Dundas has said, that the United States have asked for the mediation of this country to treat about a peace with the Indians. He told the same person, that the treaty made long since by Sir William Johnson seemed to be the proper ground on which to fix a boundary line between the United States and the Indian tribes. I learn these facts in such a way, that I am confident of their truth, and therefore submit them without any comment to your consideration.”—London, April 6th.
[1 ]Suspicion that the death of the King of Sweden had been effected through the instrumentality of the Jacobins in France.