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tant, and far within the limits of the United States, and seemed prepared to give battle, expecting, possibly, to be aided by the British garrison. Wayne's men were eager for a fight, but he, remembering the instructions of government, restrained his fighting propensities. In a letter to his old comrade Knox, Secretary of War, he writes : “Though now prepared to strike, I have thought proper to make the enemy a last overture of peace, nor am I without hopes that they will listen to it.”
His overture was ineffectual ; or rather, the reply he received was such as to leave him in doubt of the intentions of the enemy. He advanced, therefore, with the precautions he had hitherto observed, hoping to be met in the course of his march by deputies on peaceful missions.
On the 20th, being arrived near to the enemy's position, his advanced guard was fired upon by an ambush of the enemy concealed in a thicket, and was compelled to retreat. The general now ordered an attack of horse and foot upon the enemy's position; the Indians were roused from their lair with the point of the bayonet ; driven, fighting for more than two miles, through thick woods, and pursued with great slaughter, until within gunshot of the British fort. “We remained,"
writes the general, “three days and nights on the banks of the Miami, in front of the field of battle, during which time all the houses and were consumed or otherwise destroyed, for a considerable distance both above and below Fort Miami; and we were within pistol-shot of the garrison of that place, who were compelled to remain quiet spectators of this general devastation and conflagration."
It was trusted that this decisive battle, and the wide ravages of villages and fields of corn with which it was succeeded, would bring the Indians to their senses, and compel them to solicit the peace which they had so repeatedly rejected.
In his official address to Congress, Washington had urged the adoption of some definite plan for the redemption of the public debt. A plan was reported by Mr. Hamilton, 20th January, 1795, which he had prepared on the basis of the actual revenues, for the further support of public credit. The report embraced a comprehensive view of the system which he liad pursued, and made some recommendations, which after much debate were adopted.
So closed Mr. Hamilton's labors as Secretary of the Treasury. He had long meditated a bamilton's Retirement
retirement from his post, the pay of which was inadequate to the support of his family, but had postponed it, first, on account of the accusations brought against him in the second Congress, and of which he awaited the investigation ; secondly, in consequence of events which rendered the prospect of a continuance of peace precarious. But these reasons no longer operating, he gave notice, on his return from the Western country, that on the last day of the ensuing month of January he should give in his resignation.
He did so, and received the following note from Washington on the subject : “After so long an experience of your public services, I am naturally led, at this moment of your departure from office (which it has always been my wish to prevent), to review them. In every relation which you have borne to me, I have found that my confidence in your talents, exertions, and integrity has been well placed. I the more freely render this testimony of my approbation, because I speak from opportunities of information which cannot deceive me, and which furnish satisfactory proof of your title to public regard.
“My most earnest wishes for your happiness will attend you in your retirement, and you may assure yourself of the sincere esteem, regard, and friendship, of, dear, sir, your affectionate," etc.*
Hamilton's reply manifests his sense of the kindness of this letter. “As often as I may recall the vexations I have endured," writes he, "your approbation will be a great and precious consolation. It was not without a struggle that I yielded to the very urgent motives which impelled me to relinquish a station in which I could hope to be in any degree instrumental in promoting the success of an administration under your direction. Whatever may be my destination hereafter, I entreat you to be persuaded (not the less from my having been sparing in professions) that I shall never cease to render a just tribute to those cininent and excellent qualities, which have been already productive of so many blessings to your country ; that you will always have my fervent wishes for your public and personal felicity, and that it will be my pride to cultirate a continuance of that esteem, regard, and friendship, of which you do me the honor to assure une. l'ithi true respect and affectionate attaclument, I have the lionor to be," etc. †
Hamilton was succeeded in office by Oliver Volcott of Connecticut, a man of judgment and ability; who had served as comptroller, * Il ritings, xi., 16.
Writings, xi., 19.
Resignation of knor
and was familiar with the duties of the office.
Knox, likewise, had given in his resignation at the close of the month of December. “After having served my country nearly twenty years," writes he to Washington, “the greatest portion of which under your immediate auspices, it is with extreme reluctance that I find myself constrained to withdraw from so honorable a station. But the natural and powerful claims of a numerous family will no longer permit me to neglect their essential interests. In whatever situation I shall be, I shall recollect your confidence and kindness, with all the fervor and purity of affection of which a grateful heart is susceptible.”
"I cannot suffer you," replies Washington, "to close your public service, without uniting with the satisfaction which must arise in your own mind from a conscious rectitude, my most perfect persuasions that you have deserved well of your country.
"My personal knowledge of your exertions, whilst it authorizes me to hold this language, justifies the sincere friendship which I have ever borne for you, and which will accompany you in every situation of life; being, with affectionate regard, always yours," etc.
There was always a kindly warmth in Washington's expressions towards the buoyant