Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00580 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Morristown, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 26 April 1777 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 32 x 20.2 cm.

Loves her and is glad she and their daughter are doing well after their inoculation. Longs to see her, but for her own safety and happiness denies her request to join him at Morristown.
Believes the British "by no means as formidable as they were last year," since "the enemy are diminishing and we are increasing" in numbers. Confident America will prevail "not for the virtue of the people but because the heavens will it." Laughs when thinking about William Knox "doing the duty of a common soldier." Relates a drinking story. Hopes Billy has raised the necessary money and asks that he be sent wax and paper.

[draft]
Morris-Town 26 April 1777.
My dearest friend
I received your very welcome Letters by Mr Shew. I need not thank you for them for I beleive the whole happiness of your Life is interested in mine as mine is in your yours. - Altho the small pox is disrob'd of the greatest part of its terrors by innoculation yet my heart palpitates at the thought of my dearest Lucy being in the least danger - may God [struck: who] preserve and carry you and our dear babe safe through it, it will be at least disarming death of one of his shafts - you ask me why I give you no encouragement of coming to me - tis true my Lucy I see no present prospect your being able to effect it - your Safety and happiness is the sole object of my heart, and I however anxious to have you with me can not consent to a step which will most inevitably [strikeout] reiterate [struck: your] the disagreable situation in which you were last summer - I by no means mean to preclude myself the pleasure of seeing you [2] for any great Length of time - Circumstances may turn up which will render your wish'd for Journey safe and pleasant - great Events are in the Book of fate some important pages will be unfolded his Summer -
Our Enemy by no means are so formidable as they were last year, and perhaps at present
[are/we] [ ? ] a proportion to them, however thank Heaven we hope the danger is in a great measure past
we now have an army, and every [strikeout] day brings us more strength - The enemy are diminishing and we are increasing - [text loss] the most sanguine assurance of the success of the American Cause not for the virtue of the people but because its Heavens will - I laugh at the Idea of Billeys doing the duty of a Common soldier with so bad a Grace as you describe - I should have thought the Young Gentlemen was so exceedingly fond of the Army the he would be glad to begin with that station first - but there is one laughable scene, which is it is said the advanc'd Guard of the Company consisted of a pipe of Maderia, and the Rear Gaurd of a Hogshead of Spirits their [flankers each?] - a Waggen of Hams nea[r?] { ? ] &c - Billey is exceedingly [art] in his Calculation of having rais'd the sum I [propos'd?] - when he effects so or nearly so I intend to perform my promise to him, and that [inserted: in] a way honorary and [text loss] to him - I write this by Colonel Lee [text loss] [struck: the] post in to day and tomorrow shall [text loss] the happiness to write you again. A[text loss] nearest to my heart and dearest [text loss] human race
HKnox
Tell Billey to send me a pound
of the best sealing Wax and three pounds
of the best foolscap paper - and remember
[text loss]
Mrs Knox

[address leaf]
Mrs. Lucy Knox
Boston
Favor'd by Colo Lee -

[docket]
26th April
1777.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources