​Washington’s Letter

George Washington’s instructions to Major General John Sullivan
May 31, 1779

Sir:  The expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the six nations of Indians,  with their associates and adherents.  The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of  as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible…I would recommd.  That some post in the center of the Indian Country should be occupied with all expedition,  with a sufficient quantity of provision;  whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around,  with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner;  that the country may not be merely overrun but destroyed …It should be previously impressed upon the minds of the men when ever they have an opportunity, to rush on with the warhoop and fixed bayonet.  Nothing will disconcert and terrify the Indians more than this… But you will not by any means, listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected…Our future security will be in their inability to injure us; (the distance to wch.  They are driven)  and in the terror with which the severity of the chastizement they receive will inspire them… When we have effectually chastised them we may then listen to peace and endeavour to draw further advantages from their fears.

Excerpts from George Washingtons’ Instructions to John Sullivan

Excerpts Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Share This:

Let's Connect

Interested in learning more about our organization? Get in touch with us.