James O'Hara Letter to Arthur St. Clair   Save
James O'Hara Letter to Arthur St. Clair
Description: This letter from James O'Hara (supplier to the armies of the Northwest Territory and later quartermaster general of the army to Arthur St. Clair) authorizes supplying of materials for the signing of the Treaty of Fort Harmar in 1789. The Treaty of Fort Harmar was signed in January of 1789, and proved to be disastrous. St. Clair was unable to make all of the American Indians sign the treaty and in addition gave them all black wampum belts as a sign of his esteem. To the American Indians, white wampum belts were signs of peace; black wampum belts were a sign of war. To these Indians, not receiving their white wampum belts when they signed the treaty was an insult, and a group of them led by Blue Jacket and Little Turtle refused to abide by the treaty. One year later, General Josiah Harmar led an military force against the Indians to force them to obey the treaty. The Indian forces defeated Harmar in October of 1790 and St. Clair personally led another force against the Indians and was defeated in 1791. This led President Washington to appoint General Anthony Wayne to lead the armies against the Indians. Wayne was successful at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The one-page letter measures 8" by 13" (21 by 33 cm) and is part of a larger collection of Arthur St. Clair letters that is owned by the State Library of Ohio and on permanent deposit at the Ohio Historical Society. Arthur St. Clair (1734-1818) was governor of the Northwest Territory and administrator of Indian affairs for the Western Territories from 1787 to 1802. St. Clair had many disagreements with the territorial legislature. He supported the division of the territory into different states that would be admitted separately to the Union despite the opposition of members of the legislature, including Thomas Worthington, who wished to hasten Ohio's admission for statehood. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om74_1146759_010
Subjects: Military Ohio; American Indians in Ohio; Treaties; Northwest Territory; Governors
Places: Marietta (Ohio); Washington County (Ohio); Northwest Territory