Washington on Murders

Author: George Washington
Date: February 10, 1793.
In this letter, President Washington stresses his anger at the murder of Cherokee people by white settlers, who violated good relationships and treaty rights.
Documentation relating to: George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 2 Letterbooks. George Washington to William Moultrie, February 10, 1793. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. [Electronic Record]

Philadelphia, February 10, 1793. Sir: I have been honored with your Excellency's Letter and duplicate of the 8th ultimo, enclosing the deposition of Benjamin Cleveland respecting the murder of some Cherokee Indians, which was transmitted to me agreeably to a Resolve of the Legislature of South Carolina. I cannot on this occasion forbear expressing the extreme regret with which I learn that so cruel and unprovoked a murder has been committed by the white people, and particularly at this juncture. In vain may we expect peace with the Indians on our frontiers, so long as a lawless set of unprincipled wretches can violate the rights of hospitality, or infringe the most solemn treaties, without receiving the punishment they so justly merit. So deeply is the safety and happiness of every good Citizen and industrious settler on our frontiers involved in these atrocious acts, that unless they will exert themselves to prevent such outrages, or to bring the perpetrators of them to condign punishment, no treaties can secure them, neither will it be in the power of the Government of the United States to protect their persons and property from the depredations of the Indians. With sentiments of respect,