George Rogers Clark: His Life and Public Services

By Temple Bodley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII
MUTINEERS' EXCUSES AND SLANDERS

FOR his remarkable success in preventing disastrous results from the mutiny, and in bringing overwhelming numbers of hostile Indians to beg for peace, General Clark certainly deserved high praise. Nor was the state government insensible of this. At the suggestion of the new governor, Edmund Randolph, the Assembly declared that 'whereas the citizens of . . . Kentucky have lately carried on two expeditions against the neighboring tribes of Indians and it is reasonable that such services should be rewarded, therefore be it enacted that commissioners be appointed to settle and adjust all claims for pay and rations. . . of the officers, soldiers and those employed in the staff department lately under the command of General George Rogers Clark and Colonel Benjamin Logan against the Shawanese and Wabash Indians and also the claims of all those who have furnished arms, ammunition, provisions. . . [etc.] by impressment or otherwise for the purpose of carrying on the said expeditions. . . .And all those who have made impressments necessarily for the use of the said expeditions shall be and are hereby indemnified.'1

When Governor Randolph recommended and the Assembly passed this act, both were informed of General Clark's enlistment of troops to garrison Vincennes and made no objection to it. Logan had written the governor about it, and was himself a member of the Assembly. The whole object of the act was to relieve Clark and his impressing officers of liability for any technical illegality in their impressments, if made necessarily. If, therefore, the impressment of the Spaniard, Bazadone's, goods at Vincennes was necessary for the support of the troops, which seems indisputable, the assembly act certainly condoned any legal irregularity in the impressment.

Governor Randolph thought, however, that Congress was responsible for the Indian war, and demanded that it reim-

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1
Hening Statutes of Virginia, XII, 231-34. Before the Assembly passed this act it called on the governor to lay before it the instructions for the late expedition by his predecessor, Governor Henry, thus showing its legality was considered and approved. ( Journal House of Delegates, 106.) See also Judge Wallace to Governor Randolph, Library of Congress, Madison Papers, XIV, 94.

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