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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00385 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 July 1776 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 38.3 x 22 cm.

Indicates that he found an indentured servant, Thomas Eliot, for Lucy (see Lucy's request for one in GLC02437.00383) and has purchased three years of his labor. Mentions that Captain Sebastian Bauman's family "have gone into the Jersies" and asks why she inquired about them. Comments on Lucy's loyalist family. Tells the story of a formal visit of adjutant general of General William Howe's army in which he attempted to deliver a letter addressed to George Washington Esqr. The envoy failed for the same reason as an earlier attempt to deliver a letter to negotiate a truce: because it refused to expressly acknowledge George Washington as a general (see GLC02437.00375 and GLC02437.00378). The messenger also claimed that he came with powers to pardon and it was retorted that he came to the wrong place because "the americans had not offended." Knox praises how Washington dealt with the situation and remarks that Colonel Israel Putnam was awe struck by it. Relays news of General Charles Lee's recent victory over the British at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina. Discusses the possibility of Lucy and their baby daughter going to Boston to contract the weak strain of smallpox circulating there in order to be inoculated, as was suggested by William Knox (see GLC02437.00382).

New York July 22 1776-
my lovely love
I wrote you yesterday under the persuasion that I should send it by Mr Gerry one of the members of Congress who went out too early yesterday morning for to be able receivd my Letter, but I sent it unfinish'd as it was by some other Gentleman whose names I do not know. Apropos I [inserted: will] unto business for fear I should forget it or something call me off as it did yesterday. I have got a fine likely boy for your servant. I've purchas'd three years of his time I will send you his Indentures, his name is Thomas [Eliot] after he has learn'd to drive which I would get some experienc'd person to teach him he will be of great service to you- I am cloathing him and shall send him tomorrow under the care of Mr Enoch [Brown] on the little Horse, which you will send back by Mrs Greens servant- Capt Baumans family are gone into the Jersies. why do you enquire? with respect to the matters you enquire about of Mrs [Amys] and yours I will take proper notice of- I sincerely feel for you poor mother, its very odd that the friendship of her friends did not extend to carry her to England
-I will ask about Hannah and if she is in the enemys fleet and no prospect of Urquharts coming will make the proposal you desire- but wish she may not reject it-
On Saturday I wrote you we had a capital flag of Truce no less than the adjutant general of General Howes army- he had an Interview with General Washington at our House the purport of his Message was in very elegant polite strains to endever [sic] to persuade General W. to receive a letter directed to George Washington Eqr &c &c In the course of his talk every other word was [we] may please your Excellency if your Excellency [&c] pleases in short no [person] could pay more respect than the said Adj Genl whose name is Colo Patterson a person we do not know- he said the &c &c implied every thing - it does so says the General and any thing- he said Lord & General Howe lamented exceedingly that any error in the direction should [should] interrupt that [frequent] intercourse between both armies which might be necessary in the course of the Service- that Lord Howe had come out with great [power] the General said he had heard that Lord Howe had come out with very great powers to pardon but he had come to the [wrong] place [2] the americans had not offended therefore they needed no pardon- this confus'd him- after a considerable deal of talk about the good disposition of Lord & General Howe, he ask'd has your Excellency no particular demmands [sic] with which you would please to honor me with the Lord & General Howe- nothing sir but my particular compliments to both- a good answer- General W. was very handsomely dress'd and made a most elegant appearance. Colo Patterson appear'd awe struck as if he was before something supernatural Indeed I dont wonder at it- he was before a very great man Indeed- We had a cold collation provided in which I lamented most exceedingly the absence of my Lucy, the Generals servants did it tolerably well- tho' Mr Adj Genl disapointed us as it grew late he even excus'd himself [have] drinking one glass of wine. he said Lord Howe & General Howe and his suite would wait for him as they were to dine on board the [engli] man of War. he took is leave and [went] off- since which we have not herd of him I write you by yesterday of the glorious success of General Lee to the Southard at Charlestown S Carolina. The enemy made a most furious attack on Sullivans Island with 6. frigates and 2 [capital] ships [illegible] 50 guns- after cannonading for 12 hours they retreated being exceedingly shatterd many part holes beat into one, their masts shattered [text loss] their rigging cut away, and the [Active] frigate of 28 guns burnt- they at the same time of the ships firing attempted to land and [were] beat off with considerable slaughter, the enemy lost 172 kill'd and wounded- this must give a coup de main to their pretensions to the southward- I wish to Heaven our success was equal to the northward- My love asks me whether she shall go to Boston & with her take take the small pox?- I wish you had that forsaken from your mind and wish if it is perfectly agreable that you with your sweet child would go to Boston and take but this matter I do not urge or even wish it without it is agreable to you- the species seem kind, business calls me from conversing with my better [half] that god may preserve & keep you both is the earnest prayer of your
tender affectionate Husband
Fairfield for.d N Hav.n
Mrs. Lucy Knox
in Fairfield or N Haven
to post

"July" 1776
Gen to Mrs Knox

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