Arthur St. Clair Letter to President George Washington   Save
Arthur St. Clair Letter to President George Washington
Description: In this letter, Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St. Clair asks President George Washington to send troops from Virginia to the Ohio country to defend the settlements against American Indians because "the handful of troops sir that are scattered in that country may afford protection to some of the settlements cannot probably act offensively by themselves." St. Clair made similar pleas to Washington and to Congress regularly until 1791, the year he suffered a defeat by the American Indians. The three-page letter measures 8" by 9" (20 by 24 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 led an army against the American Indians, who threatened war after their land was given to the U. S. government without their authorization, in November 1791. St. Clair suffered a disastrous defeat, losing half of his men. In response, President George Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to defeat the Indians, which he did in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. St. Clair also 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. In 1802, Worthington and others asked President Thomas Jefferson to dismiss St. Clair from office, which he did on November 22, thus clearing the way for the legislature to begin drafting Ohio's constitution. St. Clair retired to his home in Lingonier, Pennsylvania and died there in 1818. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om74_1147127_037
Subjects: Military Ohio; Presidents and Politics; American Indians in Ohio; Northwest Territory; Soldiers; Governors
Places: Northwest Territory