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Knox, William (1756-1795) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00431 Author/Creator: Knox, William (1756-1795) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 September 1776 Pagination: 4 p. : address ; 32.7 x 20.6 cm.

Summary of Content: Applauds the detection of a German traitor named Ledwitz, who had been appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army. Discusses various orders for payment Henry made. Discusses the last two letters he received from Lucy Knox. Has heard that Halifax was burned down by 500 Indians led by Frank Shaw. Discusses need for guns for privateers in Boston and for Continental frigates. Discusses the comparative advantages of large versus small ships, because Henry Jackson is going to arrange for a vessel that Henry "shall be concern'd in." Notes that new regiments have been raised but are waiting to come to Boston until the smallpox is gone. Comments on news about the Battle of Long Island. "We heard they attempted to land the [sic] different times but was as often repuls'd by the riflemen, who lay ambus'd - with great loss, & were forced to keep on board ship! I thik it cant be long...before the great the important blow will be struck...may god...grant those who wish & indeavour to inslave a free people...be driven of[f] the field in disgrace." Describes his company's black uniforms, which he thinks Henry will laugh at. Written on the fourth page is the address leaf and an extensive note. The note written on 2 September 1776 reports newspaper accounts of a naval battle between the Spanish and the British in the Mediterranean and letters from Col. [Ethan] Allen and Mastr. [James] Lovell.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Boston 1st Sept.r 1776
Dear Harry
I Rec.d yours of the 26th Augt last evening I am very glad you have detected that traitor to this Country Couo. ...Ledwitz. I hope he has been made a severe example of in this. - I shall pay your order inform of Capt.n Perkins as soon as I receive it. - no person has yet brought me that order you mentiond in a late Lett.r in favor of a Capt.n Cook - I don't recollect whether I inform'd you in any letter of my having paid Harrod one Quart.y Rent, which I ought to have done -
[M.rs] Knox is certainly now, a very fine correspondent I have recd. two lett.s of considerable length (but not long enough) in the course of the last week, she informs my dear little neice is well & groes very fast I long to see the dear creatures & I am sure you must too, she likewise informs me of her having taken lodgings at a M.r Botsfords a previous House which I am very glad to hear as Mr. Panal Smith (who is in Town) informs me she is much better accomodated than she was before - We have a Report that Halifax is burnt down, tis said it was done by 500 Indians commanded by Frank Shaw who his a Major. - There is so great a demand for Guns here for fitting out privateers that those old things that usd to stick in the Ground particularly at [Bowes's] corner. Admiral Vernon jr. have been taken up [grosd] at an immoderate price, that at Mr Bowes was sold by Mr Jones for 60 Doll.s. I imagine it will split [2] split in the first attempt to fire it - some of our Continental Frigates are waiting for guns only which it seems they cannot procure at any save whatever - The Ship which your Friend Harry intends, you shall be concernd in is a very fine one. But I cant say that I think a large vessel so good as a small one, or atleast any thing less than a Frigate because any thing less would no be fond of attacking or risking a Battle with one of their Frigates & tis in that respect only that a large vessel would be of more service than a small one, in every other respect I think a small one much better than a large in the first place tis less expensive which is no small consideration second place a small vessell may run into places when persued by a large one. where the large one would not be safe in persuing & perhaps the permit would be attended. with her destruction. these and many other arguments I think may be brought in favor of a small vessell - But However Harry's an exceeding Judicious prudent Young fellow & I [daresay] gives you more important reasons for his choice - As to news I think I have none, we have two new Reg.s (raisd in Connecticut I believe) on Dorchester they wait there till the Small pox is out of the Town. when they are to come in - Captn Burbeck [sat] of with his company last Thursday morng I would have wrote by him but suppos'd he would be a long time on the road - We had a most formidable account of a Battle on long Island before we [recd] your letter, We heard they attempted to land the different times but was as often repuls'd by the rifle men who lay [3] lay ambus'd - with great loss, & were forc'd to keep on [board] Ship. I think it cant be long according to the appearence of things as they are represented to us. before the [grea] the important blow will be struck, whenever it is, may God of his infinite mercy grant that those who wish & indeavour to inslave a free people. may feel the consequence of those wishes & indeavours by being defeated & driven of the Field with disgrace - I am my dear Brother
Affectionately Yr
WmKnox
I write to [M.r] Knox this post. You will probably laugh when you hear our Uniform is black turn'd up with red, if you do, so be it-it is exceeding by neat & genteel & I in particular like it as I have not to buy a new boat. I have a certain black goat that was presented to me by [Mr] Knox that answers the purpose very well. the Motto on the button is "[Inimica] Tyrannis" & in the middle a hand with a drawn sword in it which was thought to be [mor] expressive than the words "Hec. Manus otherwise it would have been "Hec Manus Inimica Tyrannis"
[4] Boston 1. Sept. 1776
By a Halifix paper which arriv'd at Salem Yesterday we have the following very important intelligince That a Battle has been fought between some British Ships & a [herring] Spanish Fleet in the Meddetirranian the latter came of Victors having sunk two [English] Ships & taken one. There are also Lett.rs from Coll.l Allen of Mastr [Looch]

[address leaf]
To -
Colonel Henry Knox
in
New York
Post.
See More

People: Knox, William, 1756-1795
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1756-1824

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: NavyPrivateeringBattle of Long Island (Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights)SmallpoxAmerican Indian HistoryEconomicsDiseaseReligionRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryImmigration and MigrationContinental ArmyTreasonSpyingFinanceCanadaWeaponryArtilleryRecruitmentHessiansHealth and MedicalBattleFreedom and IndependenceMilitary UniformsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyPrisoner of War

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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