Rebellion 1790     
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Secret Articles to the Treaty of New York
Washington's name atop the secret articles to the Treaty of New York (1790). National Archives.
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Secret articles of the Treaty of New York
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The Treaty of New York (1790) included interesting secret articles related to slavery and the Black Seminoles. Hidden from the public at the time of treaty's signing, these articles allowed for cash payments -- some might say bribes -- of $1200 to the politically astute Creek chief, McGillivray, with lesser payments to his sub-chiefs. McGillivray was also given the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. No rationale was offered.

Abolitionist Joshua Giddings would later claim that these payments constituted the covert use of federal tax dollars for slave catching. The charge may sound excessive, since the treaty itself was fairly explicit about slave catching, but the secrecy of the payments was interesting. The British had openly funded Creek slavers for decades. The practice was much more controversial under the new and politically fragile union of the United States. Quite likely, then, the secrecy was in fact an attempt to downplay the government financing of the Creek slavers.

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Sources: Giddings Exiles 13, Miller Treaties 344, Twyman 78-79.
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 - Background: 1693-1812
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Spanish Influence
British Reaction
The Seminoles
Section Conclusion
 + Early Years: 1832-1838
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion


Secret articles of the Treaty of New York

Excerpts from the slave-catching treaties with the Creeks

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