circa March 1783
Knox, Henry (1750-1806)
Title: [Letterbook related to the Newburgh Conspiracy]
Table of contents is written on front cover in what appears to be a later hand. Includes copies of letters by various individuals, all in the hand of Samuel Shaw, relating to officers' complaints regarding pay, supplies, and other topics. Contains George Washington's address to officers at Newburgh, New York, intended to quiet dissatisfaction. Letter 1, dated 7 October 1780, is from Nathanael Greene and five other generals in Tappan, New York, including Henry Knox, written to the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut "to represent the distressing condition of their officers in the army... Neither they nor their Country thought of their becoming soldiers for life, or a lengthy war." Later, Greene writes, "The ages and rations of the officers, if paid in specie, much less in note, are by no means sufficient to support them..." (pages 1-7). Letter 5, no date, (pages 19-23) is written from Knox and other generals to the Senate and the House of Representatives of Massachusetts regarding the depreciation of money in relation to soldiers' pay. Document 6 (pages 24-26) consists of a list of Massachusetts officers, their grievances, and a method for presenting these grievances to Congress. Pages 30-36 consist of a presentation of grievances of the Army of the United States to Congress: "The citizens murmur at the greatness of their taxes, and are astonished that no part reaches the army... We beg leave to urge an immediate adjustment of all dues." Page 39 indicates that General Alexander McDougall was sent with two colonels to petition Congress on the Army's behalf. Contains committee reports from Congress in reply to the Army's petition. Page 59 contains George Washington's 15 March 1783 address to army officers, delivered at Newburgh, New York: "...let me entreat you, Gentlemen, on your part, not to take any measures, which, viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained- Let me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your Country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress- that, previous to your dissolution as an army, they will cause all your accounts to be fairly liquidated..." Numbered to page 79. 14 blank leaves are interspersed throughout this book. Inventory available.