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.

Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy 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 #: GLC02437.00361 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 4 July 1776 Pagination: 1 p. ; docket : 31.5 x 18.6 cm.

Laments that Lucy had to abruptly leave New York, although it was for her safety. They believed the British would attack but they landed on Staten Island instead, where they were "received with a hearty welcome by its rascally Tory inhabitants." Mentions that the people in New Jersey were assembling their militia (see GLC02437.00357). Favorably assesses their artillery preparations for battle. Asks Lucy to send his trunk back, which has his papers and money in it, and asks where to send her clothes. Pressing business prevents him from writing more. Gives love to their baby.

[draft]
4 July 1776, New York
My dearest Love
I regret & feel the keenest pain and anxiety on the account of the precipitation with which you and the Ladies were oblig'd to decamp. Your Harry scolding the enemy approaching, all in Confusion. That was the moment I most dreaded of any thing your being here and obliging me to feel the highest pangs. I most earnestly long to hear how you are and you keep your spirits. The enemy fairly baulk'd us then and came too off Staten Island full in view about 5 miles distance. They have landed there and are received with a hearty welcome by its rascally Tory inhabitants. The Jersey people a-getting their militia together and will I hope prevent there making incursions into the Jersies. We are in good preparation for a Battle and I think with the blessing of that tremendously great Being who governs heaven and earth, we shall make them repent their attempts to subjugate the people of America. It makes me smile their ships keep aloof they dont like the looks of our Batteries. I sent all my money away the other day so that I am in considerable distress for the same. I wish you to send my trunk back with the papers that are in it [inserted: & paper money, taking out what you [illegible]] and the two account books [illegible] Waste and Ledger. I want your direction where you are and there to send your cloaths. I wish to write you more, but business presses me hard. Kiss my dear dear little babe for me & bless it. Pray to heaven for a blessing on her & her Father and his dear Lucy. My affection for you my dear Lucy is unbounded HKnox
[inserted in left margin: This shall go by the post to Fairfield, Mrs. Smith is going away and I shall send another by her to you.]

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources