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The pacific overtures made by Washington to the Indians of the Wabash and the Miamis, failed of success. Long experience had taught the president, that on the failure of negotiations with Indians, policy, economy, and even human. ity, required the employment of a sufficient force to carry offensive war into their country, and lay waste their settlements. The accomplishment of this wás, no easy matter. The Indian 'nations were numerous, accustomed to war, and not with. out discipline. They were said to be furnished with arms and ammunition froin the British posts held within the United States, in violation of the treaty of peace. Generals Harmar and Sinclair were , successively defeated by the Indians ; and four or five years elapsed before they were
subdued. This was accomplished by Gen. : Wayne, in 1794. Soon after that event, a peace was concluded, under his auspices, between these Indians and the United States. In the progress of this last Indian war, repeated overtures of peace were made to the North Western Indians, but rejected. About the same period a new system was commenced for turning them off from hunting to the employments of civilized life, by fur. nishing them with implements and instructions for agriculture and manufactures. i
In this manner, during the Presidency of George Washington, peace was restored to the frontier settlements both in the north and southwest, which has continued ever since, and it is likely to do so, while, at the same time, the prospect of me. liorating the condition of the savages is daily brightening; for the system first began by Wash
ington with the view of civilizing these fierce sons of nature, have been ever since steadily pursued by all his successors. Indian wars are now only known from the records or recollection of past events; and it is probable that the day is not far distant when the United States will receive a considerable accession of citizens from the civilized red men of the forest.
more than two years were ineffectual. In a fit of despondence, while the revolutionary war was pressing, he had been authorized to agree “to re. linquish, and in future forbear to use the navigation of the river Missisippi, from the point where it leaves the United States, down to the ocean.” After the war was ended, a majority of Congress had agreed to barter away for twenty five years, their claim to this navigation. A long and intricate negotiation between Mr. Gardoqui, the minister of his Catholic Majesty, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, had taken place at New York, in the interval between the establishment of peace and of the new constitution of the United States; but was rendered abortive from the inflexible adherence of Mr. Gardoqui to the exclusion of the citizens of the United States from navigat. ing the Missisippi below their southern boundary. This unyielding disposition of Spain, the inability of the United States to assert their claims to the navigation of this river, and especially the facility which the old Congress had shown to recede from it for a term of years, had soured the minds of the western settlers. Their impatience transported them so far beyond the bounds of policy, that they sometimes dropped hints of separating from the Atlantic States, and attaching themselves to the Spaniards. In this critical state of things, the president found abundant exercise for all his pru(dence. The western inhabitants were, in fact,
thwarting his views in their favour, and encouraging Spain to persist in refusing that free navi. gation, which was so ardently desired both by the
ing the mens of the ; Gardoquietem the
of these were elected to seats in the new Congress. Some were clamorous for a new convention, and. the most moderate for amendments of what had been ratified. Two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island, by refusing an acceptance of the constitution, were without the pale of its operą. tions. ...
i Animosities prevailed to a great degree between the United States and Great Britain. Each charg. ed the other with a breach of their late treaty. In support of these charges, one party urged the severities practised toward the loyalists, and that some of the states had interposed legal impediments to the recovery of debts due to British sub. jects. The other recriminated by alleging, that the British, on their departure from the United States, had carried off with them several thousands of negroes belonging to the Americans; and continued to possess sundry posts within the acknowl. edged limits of the United States ; and that from . these posts they encouraged and instigated the neighbouring Indians to make war on their north. western frontier settlements. Spain, from the circumstance of their owning the land on each side of the mouth of the Missisippi, claimed the exclusive navigation of that river; while the western inhabitants of the United States looked to their country for a vindication of their common right to the use of this highway of nature. The boundaries of the United States toward the territories of Spain in the south, and toward those of Britain in the northeast, were both unsettled and in dispute. The whole regular effective force of the United States, was less than six hundred men.'