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Special Message

March 23, 1792

Gentlemen of the Senate:

At the conferences which Colonel Picketing had with the Five Nations at the Painted Post the last year ideas were then held out of introducing among them some of the primary principles of civilization, in consequence of which, as well as more firmly to attach them to the interests of the United States, they have been invited to the seat of the General Government.

As the representation now here is respectable for its character and influence, it is of some importance that the chiefs should be well satisfied of the entire good faith and liberality of the United States.

In managing the affairs of the Indian tribes generally it appears proper to teach them to expect annual presents, conditioned on the evidence of their attachment to the interests of the United States. The situation of the Five Nations and the present crisis of affairs would seem to render the extension of this measure to them highly judicious. I therefore request the advice of the Senate whether an article shall be stipulated with the Five Nations to the following purport, to wit:

The United States, in order to promote the happiness of the Five Nations of Indians, will cause to be expended annually the amount of $1,500 in purchasing for them clothing, domestic animals, and implements of husbandry, and for encouraging useful artificers to reside in their villages.


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

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