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Gerry, Elbridge (1744-1814) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00388 Author/Creator: Gerry, Elbridge (1744-1814) Place Written: Norwalk, Connecticut Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 July 1776 Pagination: 2 p. : address : free frank ; 22.5 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses plans to have artillery pieces cast in New York and relays information he has gathered in regard to the necessity of small, mobile weapons for fighting in the New York landscape. Also mentions copper held by the New Jersey government and discusses the New York Convention's plans to purchase it through John Cortland of New York. If George Washington does not desire the ordnance, Gerry will obtain it for Massachusetts. Offers a general recommendation for what to have cast. Gerry was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Massachusetts. Free frank signed by Elbridge Gerry.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Norwalk 23d July 1776
Dear Sir
Since you hinted of Matter of having a Number of brass Field peices & Howitzor cast in ye Furnace at New York, I have been ...particularly attentive thereto, & being Yesterday at ye plains Mention'd it to Several Gentlemen of ye York Convention who were all convinced that in a Country where ye Enemy is to be attacked from Mountain Hills Woods Valleys & Rocks, light Field peices must be always exceedingly useful & should therefore be obtained even at some extra Expence & Pains - they further informed me that in some part of the ye Jersey Government is a Quantity of Copper which Mr John Cortland of New York was authorized to sell & had accordingly offered it to their Convention. I think ye Quantity was about four Tons & price 2/6 York Curr[enc]y P[er] pound, but ye Convention not having Occasion for it have no Objection to its being purchased by others.
Surely no time [might?] to be lost in accomplishing this Affair & I shall be glad to have ye Copper purchased forthwith & ye Man employed to cart it if Your other engagements will admit thereof. When ye Matter is in a fair way you can inform ye General of it, & if he approves of ye measure [2] & is desirous of having ye Ordnance he will supply ye Money & give Direction for ye Sizes & Denominations but if ye General has not a Demand for them ye Government of ye Massachusetts Bay is unsupplied & in their behalf I will engage to take them provided ye Expence is not great for ye Cannon when cast than what you mentiond which I think was 4/ or 4/3 Y Curry P[er] [illegible]
If there is Copper sufficient for twenty peices, It may be well to have four Howitzers of different Bores & ye remainder in field peices from 6 to 3 pounders, but this is left to your Direction - I shall be glad to have a Line on ye Subject directed to me at Watertown that if they are engaged for ye Government ye Money may be sent - And I remain Sir your Friend & hum Sev
[address leaf]
Colo. Henry Knox
at Head Quarter
New York
[free frank]
On public Service
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People: Gerry, Elbridge, 1744-1814
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarMilitary HistoryArtilleryGovernment and CivicsFinancePresidentIndustryVice President

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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