Whiskey Rebellion

Extracted from
Calendar of Virginia State Papers
Volume VII p. 267-268

Benjamin Wilson to Governor Henry Lee
Harrison County
September 2, 1794.

Yesterday Capt. John Haymond favored me with a sight of your letter to our County Delegates, with your Proclamation on the subject of the Rebellion in the State of Pennsylvania. For my own part, I am highly pleased with your procedure, as it is Instant Balm to the few who speak their sentiments free and open in favor of Government. I believe there is but few in the Counties of Harrison, Monongalia and Randolph who will dare to appear in arms when the Standard of the United States is Displayed at the head of our Federal Army. I find the greater part of the Influential Carracters in the County's above Named, in favor of the Excise Law - and none but Col. Geo. Jackson (our County Delegate) that have appeared to give Strength or Comfort to the Disafected part.

Therefore, in duty to the Government and laws that I esteem, To the Executive of the State to which I belong, and in answer to a good consceince, I must crave your Excellency's Patience until I make a Statement of Circumstances and facts, and in so doing, I shall do my Duty and leave the matter with yourself.

Shortly after the Excise Law was enacted, Mr. Edward Smith, one of the Excise Officers, came to this County, at which time I understood by Col. Geo. Jackson, he was friendly to the law. Some time afterward he declared his intention to hold a pole as a candidate to represent this District in Congress. I was informed about this time that some of the people in Monongalia and Ohio County were displeased with the Excise law. Col. Geo. Jackson after declaring himself, took a Tour making Interest in said two County's, and shortly after his return, I heard he was opposed to the Excise Law - which Immediately struck me, his intentions were to make a bridge of the Excise Law upon which he would walk into the house of Congress. When the election came on he was within five or six votes of being Elected. He has again declared himself, and has been lately down in the said County's of Monongalia & Ohio making Interest against the election to be held in March, 1795, and that your Excellency may judge for yourself, I refer you to the Inclosed papers No. 1 and No. 2, and to the bearer, Mr. Elias Stillwall, who I believe has heard Col. Jackson repeatedly express himself on the subject of the Excise Law - his own declared intention should he be obliged to lift arms - his bringing paper No. 1 into this County, and the effect it had on Mr. Black in his Discourse with a Gentleman in this place, and the Col. saying he would, or wished to be, at the Grand Council mentioned in paper No. 1.

After a survey of these papers, you can judge whether Col. Jackson (our County Delegate) is the proper person into whose hands the peaceful Reign of Government ought to be Intrusted, Either in the State or General Government.

Should you discover a propriety, and feel a disposition to have the conduct and principles of Col. Jackson Investigated, I would not wish to appear as Informer or Prosecutor; as my personal security requires secrecy, as my name, and the name in paper No. 2 can be concealed, and a sufficiency obtained from the Bearer to put the Business in motion. I should apprehend that Col. Wm. McCleery, who is the Deputy States Attorney in this District, and is well affected, would be the proper person. He could be directed to call upon me for the copy of papers No. 1 and the Deposition of paper No. 2, together with all other Testimony that could be obtained to do the laws of the United States and Col. Jackson Justice.

Please excuse my prolixity.

I am, &c.

I expect Col Lowther will write the news of the times.
[Enclosures not found.]

Exploration, Settlement and Conflict (1600-1799)