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Special Message

June 25, 1795

Gentlemen of the Senate:

Just at the close of the last session of Congress I received from one of the Senators and one of the Representatives of the State of Georgia an application for a treaty to be held with the tribes or nations of Indians claiming the right of soil to certain lands lying beyond the present temporary boundary line of that State, and which were described in an act of the legislature of Georgia passed on the 28th of December last, which has already been laid before the Senate. This application and the subsequent correspondence with the governor of Georgia are herewith transmitted. The subject being very important, I thought proper to postpone a decision upon that application. The views I have since taken of the matter, with the information received of a more pacific disposition on the part of the Creeks, have induced me now to accede to the request, but with this explicit declaration, that neither my assent nor the treaty which may be made shall be considered as affecting any question which may arise upon the supplementary act passed by the legislature of the State of Georgia on the 7th of January last, upon which inquiries have been instituted in pursuance of a resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives, and that any cession or relinquishment of the Indian claims shall be made in the general terms of the treaty of New York, which are contemplated as the form proper to be generally used on such occasions, and on the condition that one-half of the expense of the supplies of provisions for the Indians assembled at the treaty be borne by the State of Georgia.

Having concluded to hold the treaty requested by that State, I was willing to embrace the opportunity it would present of inquiring into the causes of the dissatisfaction of the Creeks which has been manifested since the treaty of New York by their numerous and distressing depredations on our Southwestern frontiers. Their depredations on the Cumberland have been so frequent and so peculiarly destructive as to lead me to think they must originate in some claim to the lands upon that river. But whatever may have been the cause, it is important to trace it to its source; for, independent of the destruction of lives and property, it occasions a very serious annual expense to the United States. The commissioners for holding the proposed treaty will, therefore, be instructed to inquire into the causes of the hostilities to which I have referred, and to enter into such reasonable stipulations as will remove them and give permanent peace to those parts of the United States.

I now nominate Benjamin Hawkins, of North Carolina; George Clymer, of Pennsylvania, and Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina, to be commissioners to hold a treaty with the Creek Nation of Indians, for the purposes hereinbefore expressed,


George Washington, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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