1796- Washington's Farewell Address

Washington's Farewell Address denounced the rise of political parties, partisan tensions and overseas entanglements. The address was never given orally, but rather printed in the Philadelphia "American Daily Advertiser" on September 17, 1796.

After the defeat of General St Claire Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to lead an expedition against the Indians of the Northwest. Wayne was a careful planner and by late in the autumn of 1793 he was ready. He took his forces into Indian Territory and then created winter camp at Greenville. He continuously trained the men and sent them on scouting missions. He next built Fort Recovery and then Fort Defiance. Next at St. Mary’s River he built Fort Adams. Finally in August 1794 he penetrated as far as the Maumee River with 3,000 men.

Wayne now offered to negotiate with the Native Americans. Buoyed by their previous victories and the support they were receiving from the British, the Indians requested 10 days to decide. Wayne decided that the Indians were just trying to buy time so he decided to attack. The Indians decided to make their stand in an area that had received significant hurricane damage the year before. The storm had downed thousands of trees. Those trees formed a natural barrier of “fallen timber”. Wayne committed his well trained troops. The training had proved effective, and despite their natural cover, the Indian line broke when challenged by a determined military force led by a strong leader.

After the victory, Wayne destroyed Indian villages and all of the corn that he could find. He moved deeper into the Indian Territory establishing Ft Wayne and then returned to winter quarters in Greenville. The next summer the various Indian tribes all arrived in Greenville to negotiate a treaty. A treaty was worked out, under which the Indians ceded twenty five thousand square miles of territory and in return received $25,000 in presents and a promise of $10,000 a year to the tribes who observed the agreement.

At the treaty signing ceremony Wayne stated: “Brothers I now fervently pray to the Great Sprit that the peace now established may be permanent, and that it will hold us together in bonds of friendship until time shall be no more. I also pray that the Great Spirit above may enlighten your minds, and open your eyes to your true happiness; that your children may learn to cultivate the earth and enjoy the fruits of peace and industry.”

The way was now clear for the settlers to establish homes throughout the Northwest Territory.