Selected Papers From The 1989 And 1990 George Rogers Clark Trans-Appalachian Frontier History Conferences
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Fort Knox I s Forgotten Outpost
William L. Otten, Jr.
Port Aransas, Texas

At the deserted northwest end of Buntin Street, in the city of Vincennes, Ind., a weather-beaten historical sign marks the site of Fort Knox I. Forgotten amidst the accounts of Fort Sackville, Fort Knox II and Fort Knox III, as well as the exploits of George Rogers Clark, the Fort Knox I historical marker stands like a lonely sentinel in a barren wasteland. Its message states:

Built in 1787 by Major John F. Hamtramck under command of General Josiah Harmar. United States Army's most western outpost for several years. Named for General Henry Knox, first Secretary of War.

In 1787 Vincennes existed in a political vacuum. The British government, which replaced the French, had been expelled by the victory of George Rogers Clark. Virginia then created the county of Illinois by the Act of 1778, which was renewed in 1779 for one year and in 1780 for two years. On January 2, 1781, Virginia ceded that area to the United States. When the act establishing the county expired on January 5, 1782, it was not renewed and the county ceased to exist. The United States, however, did not accept the cession until 1784 and Congress made no provision for a government until July 13, 1787, when the Ordinance of 1787 was enacted. [1]

Focused on this political vacuum were several conflicting forces:

l. Illegal "Tomahawk Claims." Frontiersmen from Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania, eager for the rich lands north and west of the Ohio River, established land claims by making blazes on trees marking their boundaries. [2] The United States, however, could ill afford to lose the economic value of its land resources to usurpation by squatters. [3] Moreover, the squatters, oblivious to the Indian problem, were in effect invading Indian lands by crossing the Ohio before the land claims finally had been settled by treaty. [4] This played into the hands of British strategists by arousing the Indians to retaliation and created the danger of an Indian war, which the United States likewise could not afford. [5]

2. British Influence and the Neutral Indian Barrier State. Although the British agreed, by the Treaty of 1783, to relinquish their forts along the Canadian border, they were reluctant to lose strategic control of the Great Lakes waterways and the profitable fur trade of the Old Northwest. Despite repeated requests, they maintained control of the forts at Michilimackinac, Detroit, Niagara, Oswego, Oswegatchie, Point Au Fer and Dutchman's Point. [6] These forts, together with Fort Erie on the Canadian side, had protected Canada during the Revolution and had enabled the British, with their Indian allies, to make deep penetrations into the interior, harassing settlements beyond the Ohio River. [7]

In 1783 the British formed the North West Company which became a leader in the fur trade. Profit in the fur trade was based on a three-year cycle from the time furs were acquired in America, shipped to England for reprocessing and then sold on the European market. Thus economics required a long-term presence in the Northwest and the new company became a major factor in resurrecting the idea of a neutral Indian barrier state that had permeated British strategic thought in America since 1755. [8] Originally conceived as a buffer between French and British interests, it easily was transformed into the concept of a buffer between Canada and the United States with its southern boundary along the Ohio. [9] The significance of this ultimate British goal is apparent from the March 17, 1792, correspondence of William Grenville, secretary of state for foreign affairs, to George Hammond, British minister to the United States. In his letter, Grenville discussed the negotiations to secure: [10]

. . . to the different Indian Nations along the British American Frontiers, their Lands and hunting Grounds, as an independent Country, with respect to which, both His Majesty and the United States shall withdraw all Claims or Possessions, whatever, shall agree never to establish any forts within the Boundaries to be expressed . . . and shall bind themselves to each other not to acquire . . . by purchase or otherwise, from the Indians any Lands or settlements within the said Boundaries.

Likewise, correspondence between the lieutenant governors of Upper and Lower Canada on April 1, 1793, reported a general meeting of Joseph Brant with the Indian tribes at Sandusky in which "The independence of the Indians is his primary object: ...." [11] Thus, it is clear from later events, that in 1787 the concept of an Indian barrier state stretching from Canada to the Ohio River was a viable British strategy and a present danger to United States interests. The immediate effect, however, was increased agitation of the Indians by British agents followed by attacks and depredations all along the Ohio frontier.

3. Spanish Influence. Spanish interests in 1787 extended from Florida, and the contested Yazoo strip, along the Gulf of Mexico to the vast Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi. The Spanish, threatened by a veritable horde of American settlers who no longer were restrained by Britain, did not have an army capable of resisting the tide. Thus, Spanish strategy emerged as a three-pronged affair: — (1) enlist the aid of Southern Indian tribes to resist the settlers; (2) economically strangle the Western movement by controlling the Mississippi; and (3) develop numerous intrigues designed to induce the settlers to become Spanish colonists. [12] To implement this strategy the count of Floridablanca, Spain's foreign minister, closed the Mississippi to American shipping on June 26, 1784; [13] and several intrigues developed with the goal of luring American settlers to the Spanish side. [14]

4. Revised United States Land Policy. Immediately following the close of the Revolutionary War, the United States took the position that pursuant to the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it had acquired Indian lands by right of conquest from Great Britain. [15] The Indians, as allies of Great Britain, could be expelled under the laws of war. However, the United States could, as an act of forgiveness, permit them to remain and to establish a boundary line between the United States and Indian lands. [16] This system had not worked and the tribes were repudiating the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Fort McIntosh and Fort Finney. [17] Recognizing a war would be too costly, Secretary of War Henry Knox, in August 1787, recommended that the United States adopt the British policy of offering compensation for Indian lands. Congress agreed, appropriating $20,000 for that purpose in October 1787. [18] Thus, a subtle change was taking place, perhaps unrecognized by those on the frontier. Indian lands were no longer there for the taking; they had to be purchased or otherwise obtained, legally and with the Indians' consent.

All of these forces converged at Vincennes in the year 1786. Approximately 70 families of American squatters had built an agricultural frontier of cabins, cornfields, meadows and orchards in the adjacent lands. They existed in temperamental conflict with the more easygoing French "habitants," felt insecure in their land titles, were angry about the Spanish closure of the Mississippi, were disturbed by rumors of British intrigue at Detroit and were contemptuous of the Indians. [19]

The Indians, particularly the Miami, Piankashaw and the Wabash Tribes, were angry at being left out of the treaty negotiations of 1785 and 1786. With encouragement from the British, they were becoming more agressive. [20] The situation exploded July 15, 1786, when 450 warriors advanced on Vincennes with the intent of massacring the Americans. [21] Disaster was averted, due to the efforts of Colonel J.M.P. LeGras and Major Francois Bosseron, both distinguished French citizens with a history of aiding the Americans, especially George Rogers Clark. [22] The magnitude of the threat prompted Colonel LeGras and John Small (later sheriff of Knox County) to request assistance from Clark on July 22, 1786. [23]

Indian attacks along the Ohio and into Kentucky had proliferated in 1785 and 1786. [24] In May 1786, Lieutenant Ebenezer Denny recorded that there were alarming accounts of Indian depredations at Vincennes. [25] Lieutenant Erkuries Beatty observed in June 1786, that Kentucky was in a virtual state of war. [26] The Indians were encouraged and supported by the British through the efforts of such men as Alexander McKee, Simon Girty and Matthew Elliott. [27] Captain Tunis, a Delaware chief, advised on July 6, 1786, that the British conducted a council with several chiefs at Niagara and the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Chippewa and Tawas were preparing to attack Wheeling, Fort Finney and Fort Harmar. [28] Judge Robert Patterson reported two people killed and 200 horses stolen in one attack and 30 people killed and 500 horses stolen in another. He asked, . . . have they (the Indians) not declared war in their own way to all intents?" [29]

In this atmosphere of hostility, George Rogers Clark had planned an expedition against the Indians as early as June 1786. Fifteen hundred men would leave the Falls of the Ohio on August l. On June 25 he had requested the assistance of federal troops and the return of a cannon borrowed by Lieutenant Denny. [30] Clark would receive no help, however, because Secretary of War Knox on June 27 ordered Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harmar, commander of federal troops, to send two companies of troops to the Falls to repel incursions. Knox, however, prohibited offensive operations. He advised Harmar that an Indian war would be exceedingly embarrassing and should be avoided at all costs. Harmar agreed, [31] and Clark had to settle for return of the cannon. [32]

The requests for help from Colonel LeGras and John Small in July thus reached Clark at a most propitious moment. Recognizing a state of emergency at Vincennes, a condition which Congress and the army would not resolve, Governor Patrick Henry exercised Virginia's right under the sixth Article of Confederation to authorize the field officers in Kentucky to concert some system for their own defense. Pursuant to this authority and being supported by opinions from Harry Innes, attorney general, and from George Muter and Caleb Wallace, who were judges for the district, Clark and Benjamin Logan organized an expedition against the Indians. [33] This expedition, however, was not sanctioned by the United States. On September 16, they departed the Falls. Clark with 1,100 men headed for Vincennes, while Logan with 900 men marched east to Limestone. Logan descended on the Shawnee, burned seven towns, killed 10 or 12 warriors and returned with 36 prisoners. [34] Unfortunately, Logan's men killed the Shawnee Chief King Molunthy, whose slaying Harmar described in a letter to Knox: [35]

Melanthy the Shawnanese King, would not fly, but displayed the thirteen stripes and held out the articles of the Miami treaty, but all in vain, he was shot down by one of the party, although he was their prisoner. I am sorry this disgraceful affair should have happened, as Melanthy had always been represented as a friend to the United States.

The result was that Logan's attack was deplored as cowardly and he was "much blamed" by the people of Kentucky for Molunthy's murder. [36] This blame would later work to Clark's detriment.

While Clark's expedition did divert the Indians from Logan and did contribute to his success, the endeavor otherwise was a failure. Confronted by growing numbers of Indians, his men were on the verge of mutiny and he was forced to return to Vincennes, where he remained under the ostensible authority of Virginia. In the spring of 1787, he enlisted men and impressed supplies. To his credit, Clark ousted from control of Kaskaskia John Dodge, who was in league with British traders. [37] Unfortunately, he also convened a military court which confiscated property of Spanish subjects, whom the court determined were trading in American territory without permission. The logic was simple — if Americans could not trade down the Mississippi, the Spanish would not be tolerated in American waters. [38] Meanwhile his men were staking out "tomahawk claims." [39]

The wrath of Congress and the condemnation of the Virginia Assembly fell upon Clark. The gravity of the situation is reflected in the report to Congress from the secretary for foreign affairs: "... the period is not far distant when the United States must decide either to wage War with Spain, or settle all differences with her by Treaty, ...." [40] The governor of Virginia ordered that the offenders be punished. [41] Secretary Knox reported that the "... usurpation of public lands by a body of armed men highly deserves the attention of Congress." [42]

On April 24, 1787, Congress adopted the resolution proposed by Knox. [43]

Resolved That the Secretary of War direct the commanding officer of the troops of the United States on the Ohio to take immediate and efficient measures for dispossessing a body of men who have in a lawless and unauthorized manner taken possession of post St. Vincent in defiance of the proclamations and authority of the United States, and that he employ the whole or such part of the force under his command as he shall judge necessary to effect the object.

What began as a measure of self-defense suddenly had been elevated to a cause celebre. The sovereignty of the United States was challenged and had to be maintained. The officer charged with this task was Lieutenant Colonel Harmar. He was the senior officer in the existing regular army, consisting of 700 men, commanded by himself, two majors and eight captains. [44] Harmar marched to Vincennes with six companies, leaving the Falls on July 11, 1787. Simultaneously Major John F. Hamtramck gathered a three-month supply for 300 men, then actually took 100 men by boat down the Ohio and up the Wabash River. [45] Because of low water, Hamtramck had to leave a large portion of the supplies at the Mouth of the Wabash, while his men carried what they could on their backs. Harmar dispatched Lieutenant John Armstrong and 45 men to retrieve those supplies. A soldier and a Frenchman were killed and another captured when their canoe dropped behind and was ambushed by the Indians. When Harmar learned that a war party of 40 Piankashaw waited to ambush them upon their return, he dispatched Hamtramck and 58 men to reinforce Armstrong. This action caused the Piankashaw to disperse. [46] After this incident, Harmar's troops had no further hostile encounters with the Indians.

The primary purpose of Harmar's expedition was the dislodgement of Clark. However, Clark had left in May, leaving Captain Valentine Thomas Dalton in command and Dalton's men had disbanded before Harmar received his orders. [47] Thus, the real problem was the power vacuum which, if not filled by the United States, certainly would have been filled by some force, such as the armies of Clark or Dodge; the malcontents and separatists along the frontier; or, more importantly, the British.

Harmar had prepared carefully for his entrance into Vincennes in communications with Colonel LeGras and Major Bosseron. [48] His arrival on July 17 was expected and his six companies of troops were well disciplined and made a "handsome parade." [49] He met with the Indians who became convinced that the troops, not the squatters, were the true Americans. To demonstrate their friendship they presented Harmar with a calumet on July 28. [50] To the amazement of the inhabitants, he posted the resolve of Congress prohibiting intruders on public lands. [51] Utilizing the services of Bartholomew Tardiveau as guide and interpreter, he visited Kaskaskia, Cahokia and the American settlements at La Belle Fontaine and Grand Ruisseau. He visited Lieutenant Colonel Henri Peyroux de la Coudrienne and the Spanish garrison, consisting of eight or 10 regulars, located at Ste. Genevieve across the river from Kaskaskia. In addition he saw Francisco Cruzat, who commanded 20 Spanish soldiers at St. Louis, which was across the river from Cahokia. [52] On his return to Vincennes 120 Piankashaw and Wea arrived and saluted by firing volleys into the air. Harmar returned the salute firing volleys by several platoons. The appearance and discipline of his troops impressed the Indians. Harmar informed them it was the wish of Congress to live in peace, but added, that if they persisted in hostilities "... a body of troops would sweep them off the face of the earth." [53]

By October 1, 1787, the intruders on public land had disappeared quietly; the unauthorized military forces of Clark and Dodge had dispersed; promises of peace had been exchanged with the Indians; the Spanish were assured the United States had no hostile intentions; cordial relations were maintained with the French inhabitants; and the show of force at Vincennes blocked the British from making any attempt to venture down the Wabash from Detroit. In this regard, Major Robert Matthews advised General Frederick Haldimand on August 3, 1787, that Lieutenant Colonel Harmar, "a very clever man," had arrived at Post Vincennes with 500 troops. Matthews suspected that Harmar, with two other armies from the Muskingum River and from Wheeling, might attempt to establish a post at the Miami Towns (site of present Fort Wayne). [54] Hamtramck later reported that Matthews instructed Joseph Brant that the Indians should not make war on the other side of the Ohio, but had the right to defend their lands against the Americans. [55]

His mission completed, Harmar departed. He reported to Knox: [56]

Accordingly, Major Hamtramck commands there. His command consists of Captain (John) Smith's company, fifty-five, and part of (Captain William) Ferguson's company, forty; total ninety-five. I have ordered him to fortify himself, and to regulate the militia, who are to join him in case of hostilities.

Major Hamtramck was an experienced fort builder. Commissioned a captain November 21, 1776, he had the responsibility every year for establishing winter quarters. [57] In the winter of 1785-86, he rebuilt Fort McIntosh from its ruins, [58] and in the winter of 1786-87, he built the first Fort Steuben. [59] Thus, with a practiced eye he supervised construction of a fort that, when completed, formed a square 70 feet on a side. Pickets, forming the outer wall, were constructed of 14-foot timbers, rising 11 feet above ground. The fort, capable of housing three companies, was equipped with four small brass cannons [60] and included cannon platforms, sunken magazine, officers barracks, a blacksmith shop, sally port and blockhouses on its four corners.

Construction of the fort was hampered by the scarcity of timber and by the prevalence of sickness, described as intermittent fever (malaria). This illness both reduced the number of men fit for duty to as few as 33 and also struck Hamtramck. [62] Notwithstanding these difficulties, Hamtramck reported in April 1788, that his "piquets" were up and he was no longer worried about his ability to withstand an Indian attack. [63] He did think he should have more open ground around the fort, at least 200 yards, and he requested a flag, which he said, the Indians "much istime" (esteemed). [64] The fort was completed in August 1788, and was named Fort Knox, in honor of the secretary of war. The name came about by order of Lieutenant Colonel Harmar, dated October 13, 1788. [65]

At the time of his departure Harmar had observed: [66]

. . . all these people are entirely unacquainted with what Americans call liberty. Trial by jury, etc., they are strangers to. A commandant with a few troops to give them orders is the best form of government for them; it is what they have been accustomed to.

Major Hamtramck would be that commandant until relieved by Captain Thomas Pasteur in February 1793. His duties were facilitated by the fact that he occupied a ready-made and respected position in the social structure at Vincennes, As Harmar correctly observed, the people were accustomed to following the orders of a military commander. Major Hamtramck proved to be an able commander. He maintained a semblance of government where there had been chaos. To this end he dissolved the old courts and promulgated a code of laws which, though primitive, was approved by the townspeople, as well as by Harmar and by Governor Arthur St. Clair. The code certainly reflected an appreciation for due process. [67]

During the first three years of his tenure, Hamtramck wrote at least 35 letters to Harmar. These letters are replete with information about British activities and troop strengths at Detroit; British and Indian activities in preparation for the Treaty at Fort Harmar; Indian dispositions, strengths and plans for threatened attacks; Spanish troop strengths and the movement of settlers to the Spanish side, particularly to the settlement started by George Morgan at New Madrid; and the activities of civilians such as Patrick Brown, John Melbeck, Lewis Wetzel, Thomas Dalton and John Sullivan. In three years Hamtramck's forces suffered 29 casualties, 19 of whom were killed, which amounted to a casualty rate of almost 30% during three years. The soldiers suffered from repeated shortages of supplies. Hamtramck had to deal with fraudulent contractors and he and his men were engaged in a constant fight with malaria. [68] In practically every letter he pleaded for help with the civil administration and reiterated the need for the governor and the judges to assume control. Finally in the spring of 1790, Governor St. Clair journeyed to the Illinois country and, although he did not visit Vincennes because of Indian troubles, he left Territorial Secretary Winthrop Sargent in charge. He directed Sargent to go to Vincennes, erect a county and make necessary civil and military arrangements. [69]

In the three-year period from 1787 to 1790, Fort Knox, under Hamtramck, provided the base for establishing a government and created stability where there had been chaos and anarchy. It served to dampen British ardor; maintain peaceful relations with the Spanish; provide essential intelligence about the British, Indians and Spanish; maintain order; provide a code of laws for Vincennes; and curtail unlawful land claims. At a time when control of the American West still was undetermined, Fort Knox presented a foothold for the United States in its westward expansion.


1. Clarence Walworth Alvord, ed., Cahokia Records 1778-1790, Collections of the Illinois State Library, II, Virginia Series, vol. I (Springfield, Ill.: Illinois State Historical Library, 1907), pp. cxviii-cxix. Journals of the Continental Congress, 34 vols., (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904-1936) 8, pp. 199,203,253; J.C.C. 9, p. 47. For the Ordinance of 1787 see J.C.C. 32, pp. 313-320. From 1783 to 1787 a state of anarchy prevailed and the people of Illinois virtually were isolated. Alvord, Cahokia Records, p. cxxi; Father Pierre Gibault to Bishop of Quebec, Vincennes, June 6, 1786, Clarence Walworth Alvord, ed., Kaskaskia Records 1778-1790, Collections of the Illinois State Library. V, Virginia Series, vol. II, (Springfield State Historical Library, 1909), pp. 542-547

2. Ray Alien Billington, Westward Expansion - A History of the American Frontier 4th ed., (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1974), pp. 206-207.

3. Report of Secretary of War (1787), Clarence Edwin Carter, ed., The Territorial Papers of the United States, 27 vols., (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934-1969) II: pp. 26-27. Secretary of War Henry Knox concluded "... the United States are more liable to be disappointed in their just expectation, of the great national advantages resulting from a wise administration of the western territory, by evil usurpation, than by any other cause whatsoever."

4. The treaties of Fort Stanwix, October 12, 1784; Fort McIntosh, January 21, 1785; and Fort Finney, January 31, 1786, did not settle the problem. See Billington, Westward Expansion, pp. 206-207. In the spring of 1787 the Indians, under the leadership of Joseph Brant, conducted a council at Sandusky in which they agreed that the boundary should be the Ohio River, David Duncan to Josiah Harmar, June 17, 1787, Draper Manuscript Collection, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., 1W299-300 (microfilm). This followed a meeting near Detroit in December 1786, attended by the Six Nations, Huron, Ottawa, Miami, Shawnee, Chippewa, Cherokee, Delaware, Potawatomie and the Wabash tribes, all of whom agreed upon the same boundary. See William Leslie Stone, Life of Joseph Brant - Thayendanagea, 2 vols., (New York: A.V. Blake, 1838), 2:264-265.

5. On June 27, 1786, Secretary of War Henry Knox told Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harmar that an Indian war would be exceedingly embarrassing and should be avoided at all costs. Knox to Harmar, June 27, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W133. Harmar agreed saying, "...under the present embarrassed state of finances, as you justly observe,..." an Indian war "...must be avoided, if possible, consistent with the dignity of the United States." Harmar to Knox, Fort Pitt, July 12, 1786, ibid., 1W170.

6. By letter dated March 19, 1784, Governor of New York George Clinton attempted to make arrangements with Frederick Haldimand, governor of Quebec, for turning over Fort Niagara and other posts. In 1792, Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state, still was complaining to George Hammond, British minister to the United States, that this had not been done. William R. Manning, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States Canadian Relations 1784-1860 12 vols., vol. 1, 1784-1820, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1940), pp. 48-50,

7. Samuel Flagg Bemis, Jay's Treaty (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), pp. 3-4.

8. G.G. Hatheway, "The Neutral Indian Barrier State." Ph.D. Thesis, University of Minnesota, 1957, pp. 316-318,

9. See generally Hatheway, "The Neutral Indian Barrier State"; Joseph D. Ibbotson, "Samuel Kirkland, The Treaty of 1792 and the Indian Barrier State", New York History, 19, (Oct. 1938) pp. 374-391; Billington, Westward Expansion, pp. 216-218,

10. William Grenville to George Hammond, Whitehall, March 17, 1792, Bernard Mayo, ed., "Instructions to the British Ministers to the United States, 1791-1812." Annual Report of the American Historical Association, 1936, Vol. 3, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office), 1937, pp. 24-27, at 25.

11. John Graves Simcoe to Allured Clarke, Niagara, April 1, 1793, E.A. Cruikshank, ed., The Correspondence of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, 5 vols., (Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1923-1931), vol. 1, pp. 308-309.

12. Billington, Westward Expansion, pp. 224-229.

13. Billington, Westward Expansion, p. 224; Lawrence Kinnaird, ed., "Spain in the Mississippi Valley 1765-1794," Part II, "Post War Decade 1782-1791," Annual Report of the American Historical Association, 1945, 4 vols., vol. 3, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Goverrnment Printing Office, 1946), pp. xviii-xxi.

14. James Wilkinson was enlisted as an agent for Spain to promote emigration from the United States to Louisiana and to West Florida, while John Sevier corresponded with Diego Gardoqui, charge d'affairs, in Philadelphia for the same purpose. Kinnaird, "Spain in the Mississippi Valley," Part II, vol. 3, pp. xx-xxii. Pierre Wouves d'Arges was commissioned an immigration agent August 23, 1787, Arthur Preston Whitaker, The Spanish American Frontier: 1783-1795, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1st Bison Printing, 1969), p. 81. George Morgan was authorized to plant a colony at New Madrid in 1788, Billington, Westward Expansion, p. 227.

15. American State Papers, Indian Affairs, I, p. 12; Carter, Territorial Papers II, pp. 78-79; J.C.C. 33, pp. 388-391. Reginald Horseman, "American Indian Policy in the Old Northwest, 1783-1812", William & Mary Quarterly 18 (Jan. 1961): pp. 35-53, p. 36.

16. Ibid.

17. See note 4, supra.

18. Francis Paul Prucha, American Indian Policy in the Formative Years, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 3d Bison Book Printing, 1973), p. 40. Horseman, "Indian Policy," pp. 40-41; J.C.C. 33, pp. 388-391, 611-612, 665-666.

19. L. C. Helderman, "The Northwest Expedition of George Rogers Clark, 1786-1787," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 25, (1938-1939): pp. 317-334, pp. 318-319.

20. Archibald Henderson, "The State of Affairs at Post St. Vincent, Summer, 1786," Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Vol. III, No. 4, (1916-1917), p. 516.

21. Billington, Westward Expansion, p. 207. Helderman, "Expedition of Clark," pp. 322-324. J. M. P. LeGras to Clark, Vincennes, July 22, 1786, Kinnaird, "Spain in the Mississippi Valley," Part II, vol. 3, pp. 175-181. John Small to George Rogers Clark, Post St. Vincent, July 22, 1786, Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 3 (1916-1917): pp. 519-520.

22. Helderman, "Expedition of Clark," p. 324.

23. LeGras to Clark, Post Vincennes, July 22, 1786, Kinnaird, "Spain in the Mississippi Valley," Part II, vol. 3, pp. 175-181. John Small to Clark, Post St. Vincent, July 22, 1786, Mississippi Valley Historical Review 3 (1916-1917): 519-520. John Small was appointed sheriff July 4, 1790. Henry S. Cauthorn, History of the City of Vincennes Indiana from 1702 to 1901, (Terre Haute, Ind.: Moore & Langer Printing Co., 1902), p. 48.

24. Journal of Joseph Buell, Orderly Sergeant, Captain David Strong's Company, Samuel Prescott Hildreth, Pioneer History, (Cincinnati: H.W. Derby Co., 1848), pp. 142-143. Diary of Major Erkuries Beatty, paymaster of the Western Army, May 15, 1786, to June 15, 1787, Magazine of American History, 1 (1877): 175-179, 235-243, 309 315, 380-384, 432-438 at 177. "Military Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny", Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 14 vols., vol. 7, (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1860), pp. 288-289.

25. Denny's Journal, pp. 288-289.

26. Beatty's Diary, p. 177.

27. David Duncan to Harmar, Pittsburgh, March 28, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W115-119.

28. Captain Tunis to Harmar, July 6, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W156.

29. Letter from Judge Robert Patterson, Lexington, July 12, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W142.

30. Clark to John Plasgrave Wyllys, Louisville, June 25, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W140, Clark mistakenly addressed this letter to Major Wyllys who was en route to Pittsburgh for his court-martial, leaving Captain Waiter Finney in command.

31. Knox to Harmar, June 27, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W133. Harmarto Knox, Fort Pitt, July 12, 1786, ibid., 1W170.

32. Finney to Harmar, Fort Finney, July 22, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W139.

33. Helderman, "Expedition of Clark," pp. 325-326.

34. Finney to Harmar, Rapids of the Ohio, October 31, 1786, Draper Mss., 1W243. Account of Lewis Wetzel, Ibid., 1W263.

35. Harmar to Knox, Fort Harmar, November 15, 1786, William Henry Smith, arr., The St. Clair Papers - The Life and Public Service of Arthur St. Clair, 2 vols., (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1882), reprint (New York: DeCapo Press, 1971) 2, p. 19.

36, Denny's Journal, November 13, 1786, pp. 297-298, Beatty's Diary, p. 435.

37. Helderman, "Expedition of Clark," pp. 327-329.

38. Helderman, "Expedition of Clark," p. 329.

39. J.C.C. 33, pp. 213-222.

40, J.C.C. 33, pp. 192-193.

41. Ibid. pp. 195-196.

42. Ibid. p. 213.

43. J.C.C. 33, p. 222.

44. J.C.C. 27, pp. 530-531. To outrank the Kentucky colonels, Harmar was promoted to brevet brigadier general on July 31, 1787, though continuing to bold the rank of lieutenant colonel for pay purposes. Francis B. Heitman, ed., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (1789-1903), 2 vols., (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1903), 1:501.

45. Harmar to Knox, Post Vincennes, August 7, 1787, St. Clair Papers 2, pp. 24-28, Denny's Journal, pp. 306-308.

46. Ibid.

47. Harmar to Knox, Fort Harmar, May 14, 1787, St. Clair Papers 2, p. 21,

48. Harmar to LeGras and Bosseron, Camp at the Rapids, June 19, 1787, Gayle Thornbrough, ed., Outpost on the Wabash. 1787-1791: Letters of Brigadier General Josiah Harmar and Major John Francis Hamtramck (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Publications, Vol. 19, 1957), pp. 23-24. LeGras to Harmar, Au Post Vincennes, 26 June 1787, Ibid., pp. 24-25.77 Harmar to LeGras, Camp Eight Miles Above Green River, July 10, 1787, Ibid., pp. 25-26.

49. Denny's Journal, p. 306.

50, Denny's Journal, p. 307.

51. Harmar to Knox, Post Vincennes, August 7, 1787, Outpost, pp. 34-40, at 36-37; St. Clair Papers 2, p. 28.

52. Harmar to Knox, Fort Harmar, November 24, 1787, Outpost, pp. 46-58; St. Clair Papers 2, pp. 30-35. Denny's Journal, pp. 308-312.

53. Ibid.

54. Major Robert Matthews to General Frederick Haldimand, Detroit, August 3, 1787, Clarence M. Burton, ed., The City of Detroit Michigan 1701-1922, 4 vols., (Detroit: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922), 1:pp. 208-209.

55, Hamtramck to Harmar, Post Vincennes, June 1, 1788, Outpost, p. 58.

56. Harmar to Knox, Fort Harmar, November 24, 1787, Outpost, pp. 53-54; St. Clair Papers 2, p. 34.

57. Military Service Records for Hamtramck's Company in the 5th New York Regiment of Foot and the 2d New York Regiment for the years 1776-1783 consisted of muster rolls, pay rolls, rank rolls, returns and other records available from the National Archives, Washington, D.C. These show that Hamtramck was commissioned a captain on November 21, 1776, and went into winter quarters at Scohary, (1778-79); Morristown, (1779-80): Schenectady, (1780-81); Pompton, (1781-82); and New Windsor, (1782-83).

58. Hamtramck to Nicholas Fish, Fort McIntosh, December 4, 1785, typescript copies of the military correspondence of Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Fish, 1785-1786, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., p. 71.

59. Hamtramck to Harmar, Fort two and one-half miles above Mingo, December 1786, Draper Mss., 1W265-266. According to Lieutenant Beatty the fort was 47 miles below Fort McIntosh and 23 miles above Wheeling. Beatty's Diary, p. 382.

60. J.C.C. 34, p. 583.

61. Plan of Fort Knox, Outpost, pp. 56-57. James Ripley Jacobs, The Beginning of the U.S. Army (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947; reprint ed., (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977), p. 36.

62. Hamtramck to Harmar, Post Vincennes, November 3, 1787, Outpost, pp. 44-46. Same to same, July 14, 1788, Ibid., p. 90. Hamtramck repeatedly speaks of intermittent fever, and recommended one pound of bark per man. Ibid., p. 179. The bark, called Peruvian bark or Cinchona bark contains quinine and first was recognized as a remedy for remitting fever in Holland about 1643. The symptoms described by Hamtramck were discussed with Dr. George LeBeau, a licensed physician in Wichita Falls, Texas, who concluded the disease was in fact malaria.

63. Hamtramck to Harmar, Post Vincennes, April 13, 1788, Outpost, p. 69.

64. Hamtramck to Harmar, Post Vincennes, April 13, 1788, Ibid., pp. 72-73.

65. Harmar to Hamtramck, Fort Harmar, October 13, 1788, Outpost, pp. 136-138 at 138.

66. Harmar to Knox, Fort Harmar, November 24, 1787, Outpost, pp. 46-58 at 51; Clair Papers 2, p. 32.

67. Hamtramck to Harmar, Post Vincennes, April 13, 1788, Outpost, p. 71. Both Harmar and Governor St. Clair approved Hamtramck's code. Harmar to Hamtramck, Fort Harmar, July 26, 1788, Ibid., p. 96.

68. See generally Outpost, pp. 58-276.

69. St. Clair to Winthrop Sargent, June 10, 1790, Journal of Executive Proceedings, Carter, Territorial Papers III, p. 311.

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Last Updated: 23-Mar-2011