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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to William Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00356 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 July 1776 Pagination: 2p.+addr. + docket. 33.6 cm. x 21 cm.

Chastises William for not writing more. Discusses the recent Tory plot to either capture or assassinate George Washington and the subsequent hanging of a member of the General's Guard named John Rickey, a misidentification of Thomas Hickey, the only person hanged for the conspiracy. Discusses General William Howe's position at Sandy Hook with 130 ships and his ability to strike the city in about three hours. They are expecting an attack any time and Henry speculates that if Howe "comes up like a man and brings his ships too before our Batteries, there must be the finest sight...that ever was seen." Discusses the Continental Army's preparedness, mentioning that he has 1200 men and that the inhospitable sentiment in New York has bolstered their determination. Reports that Lucy, General Greens lady [Catherine Green], and Mrs. Jonathan Pollard have gone to Fairfield, Connecticut. Discusses the invasion of Canada, indicating that the Continental Army has been forced back and hopes to make a stand at Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Asks William to inform Captain Ebenezer Stevens wife that he loves her. Also asks him to show this letter to Mr. Jackson, possible Henry Jackson, and to tell him that he spoke with George Washington about ordering arms. Hopes to inform William of the campaign's commencement in his next letter. Offers salutations to friends and family in Boston from himself and Lucy Knox and reminds William to take care of the business there. Mentions that twenty two men and four officers were taken from a ship called the Greyhound. The expected attack did not occur until 12 July 1776.

New York July 1.st 1776 -
My dear Brother

I was very angry with you on Saturday night for not writing to me by the post - were I not taken up with one perpetual [struck: scene] scene of busy business I should, take the greatest pleasure in writing you lengthy Letters - but you are lazy otherwise you would write me more fully - I wrote Mr Jackson something about a plot - Nothing very material has transpired, but it is generally believed that the whole Body of tories were [strikeout] Concern'd in it - and lugg'd in some poor Devils of the army into the scrape - John Rickey one of the generals Guards was hang'd for the same last fryday [three] Brigades were drawn out to attend his execution - The fellow died a hardn'd villain - more will suffer the same fate - Mr. Howe is arriv'd at the Hook with 130 sail of transports, Sandy hook is in sight about 24 miles distance with a fair wind and tide which is very strong he can come up to the City in about 3 hours - we are in hourly expection [sic] of something - if he comes in like a man and brings his ships too before our Batteries, there must be the finest sight [ensue] that ever was seen - we shall be able in that case to bring a great number of cannon [inserted: and mortars] to bear on the ships at once, plenty of ammunition, and every kind of destruction - but I believe he will not attempt it our field Cannon are in fine Order. I've near 1200 men In that part of the regiment which I have here. The Generals and army are fix'd in their Determination of behaving like men - indeed we have the greatest Reasons for such determination in a County not over favorable to our cause too many bad people - Lucy, [2] her baby and Betty, accompanied by Generals Greens Lady - Mrs. Pollard Miss Airey set out this day for Fairfield in Connecticut to which place I would have you write to her - We have got entirely rid of Canada. our Army are now at Ticonderoga And Crown point -where I hope they will be able to make a stand. Indeed I've no doubt of it - Let Mrs. Stevens wife of Capt. Stevens know that I have received a Letter from Capt Stevens dated 12th June wherein he desires me to inform her that he is well & gives his love to her - she is sister to Mr Saml Hodgdon - don't neglect this - my affair's so press me that I am not able to write Mr Jackson let him see this Letter - and that I spoke to the Genl about his Arms - the Carbines and receiv'd [as] for answer that he had before order'd them all on to this place. In my next Letter I shall I hope be able to inform you of the Commencement of the Campaign by some Action between us & the ministerial troops. What money you Receive keep by you to answer any Bills. I may draw on you- [struck: HKnox]
Give my love to Doctr Oliver Jos Laughton and all who may think me worthy of inquiring - Lucy sends her particular Love to her Aunt Waldo Mrs Jarvis & every body else that she cares any thing about - Lucy is in the dumps about going away
I am Dear friend Yours
Most affectionately
Henry Knox
We have taken 22 men and four officers belonging to the Greyhound the ship on board Genl Howe came here
[docket]
Letter from Collo Knox
July 1st. 1776 -
[address]
Mr William Knox
Boston

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