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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00490 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: White Plains, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 November 1776 Pagination: 4 p. : address : docket ; 31.7 x 19.6 cm.

Assures her that their separation will not be as long as she fears, that they will soon be together again, and that he loves her deeply. Explains why he must stay at war and away from her, saying: "My obedience in this point interrupts our happiness for the present in order to secure it more effectually." Writes that the British have arrived near Fort Lee, and expects they will attack it soon. Reports that the Continental Congress has not taken care of his artillery unit. Hopes to see her in four weeks, assuming the British move to winter quarters. Expects that his brother will be with her shortly.

Camp near White plains Novr 22 1776
My beloved Wife
I have received your Letter by Mr Chew full as it can hold of the melancholies, Mrs Rheas certainly affected my Lucy by her fears - to be seperated from you for years if not for Life, because I wish you to go to Boston for your own happiness is certainly to doubt my affection for you & Is making me an unprincipl'd villian indeed. - My God is it possible for you whom I so tenderly love & for whose happiness I would chearfully give my Life, To harbour the thought that I would be absent from you for years - awake my dear Lucy to your native dignity of sentiment & encourage not such Ideas as these [struck: that] as have a tendency to sap that happiness which we now possess - an unbounded Confidence in each other - I wish you to go to no place inconsistent with you felicity but by the eternal God I wish you to shake off any companions that would aid and assist such sentiments as are in your last letter - Believe me my dearest earthly felicity that your happiness [struck: and] is the first wish of my heart and that [inserted: all] my [struck: whole] [struck: my] efforts shall be to promote [2] - Indeed my country have strong claims to the little assistance in my power - this claim I consider as the call of heaven which would be blasphemery to [strikeout] resist. My obedience in this point interrupts our happiness for the present in order to secure it more effectually - I maledict the Cause as much as any person but cant remedy it tho I am lending my aid towards it. By the time you receive this Letter I suppose my Brother will be with you - But you need not set out to Stamford for I this day shall go to the Jersies with General Lee - The enemy have landed part of their force on the other side with an intent as we suppose of transacting the same affair [inserted: at Fort Lee] that they executed at Fort Washington, but I hope that will be prevented - We shall endeavor to get them into trobble which may God of his infinite [strikeout][inserted: wisdom] Grant - The Congress have done nothing with Respect to the Settlement of the Artillery as yet - So that I shall be oblig'd to go to Philadelphia before I shall have the pleasure to be with you I think the operations on the other side & the prospect of the settling my department may take up 3 Weeks 3 long Weeks or perhaps 4 - & then if the enemy go into Winter quarters I think I may have a reasonable prospect of spending [3] some considerable time with you - consult your own happiness & care [struck: and] [strikeout] with respect to going to Boston - I must be a damn'd Brute certainly to wish you to do any thing inconsistent with your peace - however if my brother [text loss] atnewHaven I most certainly text loss]havethe pleasure to see him, but [text loss] not wish him to come a wild goo[text loss] after me - I had rather he shoud [text loss] awhile at New Haven - but [text loss] he may be govern'd by our success [text loss] success in the Jersies - I think he ha[text loss] on the whole [write] to be & receive an [text loss] before he sets out - I shall endevo[text loss] Come to New Haven [struck: To y] to have [text loss] pleasure of being with you - the la[text loss] in so precarious situation that no principle of prudence could justify [struck: the] [inserted: your] leaving this way - much good may Mrs P have in following her husband thro a flying Camp - I should have no love for you if I indulg'd such an Idea - the post officer is remov'd to Peekskill I wish your letters to be directed to be with the Army in N. Jersey
adieu may heaven prosper
& bless you adieu my love
[address leaf]
Mrs Lucy Knox
N Haven
favord by Capt Williams
please to forward the letter for Henry Jackson by the first post
The slaughter among the Hessians was great when the stormd Fort Washington

HKnox to Wife
Nov 76.

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