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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00442 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 September 1776 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 33.5 x 20.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Indicates that military activities in New York are disrupting the mail. Thanks her for the kindness of her last letter. Reports little activities since the retreat in the Battle of Long Island. Criticizes the promotions that have been made because the army needs "men capable of great Ideas & who are acquainted with military matters." Fears George Washington is bearing too great a load of leadership. Indicates that General Nathanael Greene is recovering from illness. Hopes General Charles Lee arrives soon. Discusses treatment of prisoners, the honor of war, and his desire to not make "war like Savages." Reinforcements are coming from the South. Expresses optimism and compares the Americans to the Romans. Shows sympathy for Lucy's difficult circumstances. Mentions his attempt to gain a business interest in a privateer. Hopes their baby's health has improved.

Full Transcript: [draft]
New York Septr 7 1776.
My dearest love
The Communication by the post being stop'd by reason of the office being remov'd twenty miles up the River I shall embrace every ...opportunity to write to you and most earnestly wish you to do the same Mr. Robt Temple who came from the enemies fleet yesterday is the bearer of this. - Your last letter which I received by Mr Livingston was so replete with love tenderness & exalted Sentiments that I ever shall have the most grateful remembrance of it The enemy since our retreat from Long Island have attempted but little, what their next attempt will be is a little uncertain, as I said before we want men capable of great Ideas & who are acquainted with military matters. The General has such a vast load upon his mind that I wish for some easement to him But many promotions have been made with very little judgement some Good men we have but we all want experience - I am pleasd with General Greens getting better and hope in a few days he will be fit for service. It is said General Lee is expected here any hour I wish it may be true his Experience would be of service to us in Conquering those Philistines who have Come up against us - The [2] Prisoners of ours which are in the enemies hands are treated with great humanity & politeness - I am pleas'd with this Circumstance because it seems to have been in Consequence of our kind treatment of their prisoners - I dislike the mode of making war like Savages - War has horrors enough which are inseperable from its nature - we ought try every means in our power to endeavor to soften its rough visage - We have a Considerable number of troops arriv'd from the southward & expect more hourly this will [inserted: more than] serve to make up for the defection of the militia[e] who to be sure as danger approaches sicken very fast - With firmness and unanimity Joind to the blessing of heaven I make no doubt we shall make a considerably advantageous Campaign of it - tho' to be sure you will say it does not look very like it yet - I hold to my old text that misfortunes will make us rise and if we possess the spirit of that people whose General Character I Admire the Romans we shall yet be a happy brave & free people - how this will be time must prove - the mighty & little Revolutions are in the hands of an infinitely wise and supreme Being "who sees with Equal Eye as God of all
The hero perish as the Sparrow [sail] [3] This much I am certain of - That let the Elements meet in one universal War and all nature go to Wreck, let the great Voice summon the dead from the dreary abode, to appear instantaneously before their awful Judge, [struck: and & let it happen as] That I love you lucy and all created things I feel for thee my Lucy I pity your situation I take in all the Circumstances which surround you - & lift up my heart in a devout supplication that he would support you - and this [not] from any real danger to which your friend is expos'd not from the Imaginary one which you [fear] [text loss] must have for me - and I know that [text loss] the pain of a fancied evil is equal to the ev[text loss] itself excepting it is infinite - I some time since wrote to Mr Jackson to get me interested 1000 Dollars in a privateer - he wrote me in answer that it was not in his power but that he had got 1000 Dollars between us This I hope is agreable to you my Love - I long to see you & my dear babe and hope heaven will give us that pleasure in due season - dear little babe I hope it has gotten better Mr Livingston informd me there was a great difference for the better from the time of writing your Letter to the Time from whence he set out - that heaven who delights in the protection of virtue may bless and preserve you is the [earnest] prayer of
Your affectionate Husband HKnox

[address leaf]
Mrs. Lucy Knox
New Haven

Gen to Mrs Knox
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1756-1824
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786
Lee, Charles, 1732-1782

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: PrivateeringPrisoner of WarBattle of Long Island (Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights)Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMarriageBattleHealth and MedicalDiseaseContinental ArmyAmerican Indian HistoryClassical World and Ancient CivilizationFinanceChildren and FamilyWomen's HistoryMilitary HistoryPost Office

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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