Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Harrison, Robert Hanson (1745-1790) to Henry Knox

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00274 Author/Creator: Harrison, Robert Hanson (1745-1790) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 20 April 1776 Pagination: 1p.+address. 23.2 cm. x 19 cm.

Transmits a letter originally to George Washington from a committee of the Continental Congress (not included) and asks Knox to go to New London, Connecticut to comply with its orders to work on its fortification and harbor. Requests a report after attending to the matter. Knox was then moving southward toward New York, planning coastal defenses against the British navy for Rhode Island and Connecticut in the process. Harrison was then a secretary to George Washington.

New York April 20. 1776
I am commanded by his Excellency Genl Washington to Transmit you the Inclosed Copy of a Letter which he received from a Committee of Congress yesterday, & to request that you will repair to New London & comply with the several matters in the said copy respecting the Harbour, Fortifications & c and return him your report in a clear & full manner.
I am Sir
P.S. Yr Most H Servt
If Col Knox is come Robert H Harrison
from New London, his Excelly ADC
does not mean that he should return
he is to take [illegible] his way.

[address leaf]
Col.o Henry Knox
of the Trains
expected to be at
New London

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources