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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00616 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Middlebrook, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 June 1777 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 32.1 x 19.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Begins with expressions of his love for Lucy, his wife. Describes his devotion to his country, the only thing that keeps him from Lucy. Discusses possible enemy movement and location. Praises his troops. Writes, "With the blessing of Heaven I have great hopes in the cause- of this Campaign that we shall do something clever..." Refers to Silas Deane and the possible appointment of Phillipe du Coudray at the head of Continental artillery: "the Congress ... have resolved that Mr Dean has exceeded his Commission and that they cannot satisfy his treaty with Mr. DeCoudier..."

Background Information: Knox was almost displaced of his position in charge of artillery by [du Coudray] (sources disagree on the spelling), secured by Silas Deane, the American Minister to France. Washington supported ...Knox, and Du Coudray was permitted to join the troops under Washington as a volunteer. Coudray drowned in September 1777.See More

Full Transcript: Camp Middlebrook 21st June 1777
There is no describing the pleasure which I receive from the perusal of my Lucys [inserted: Letters] the dear partner of my Soul. I have her ...Letter begining the 3d & ending the 5th instant now before me - Language cannot convey my thanks to you for it, my Life shall be devoted to you and you alone - all my Affections center in you - Ah Harry say you why then are you absent - my Lucy knows the reason. and high Heaven knows that no other earthly inducement would have been sufficient to effect it. Yes my Love I miss you and my heart stalks sulkily alone, tho surrounded by numbers - wrapt up in itself it [inserted: gloomily] surveys what it gives up for the present - But my darling babe fully grown presents itself in a supplicating posture for help from some British barbarian who is just on the eve of ravishing her! Some prostrate young widow beleft [sic] [2] [inserted: or her affectionate husband] by some [Herk] or Jessenes, for refusing his wife to their brutal Lust - some mournful old widow whose husband died in prison because he nobly stood forth in opposition to their cursed tyranny and whose children they have sold for Slaves all present themselves, and in the names the sacred names of virtue religion and God by me to lend a helping hand to rescue them from their most tremendous of human Miseries - these motives my dearest Girl are the only ones which keeps your affectionate Harry from you, I most devoutly pray God, that all impediments may be speedily remov'd to our happy meeting -
I have written a pretty particular account to Harry of the operations of the enemy since my last note to you - I then expected that the enemy would oblige us to come to some capital action with them - but poor fellows from all the intelligence we are able to collect, their views are very different at present in this place from fighting -
The militia pour'd in to our assistance and had they attempted to have gone to the [3] Delaware we should probably [missd] them - these hectoring Gentlemen who a few days ago were swearing they would go to Philadelphia God willing or not are at this very instant making the best of their way out of the Jersies - we are harrasing them much - we have the most
respectable body of Continental troops that America ever had - no going home to morrow to such - hardy brave fellows who are as willing to go to heaven by the way of a Bayonet or Lance as any other mode.
With the blessing of Heaven I have great hopes in the Course of this Campaign that we shall do something clever - I think in five days there will not be an enemy in Jersies -But I fear they will go up the North River where perhaps they may plauge [sic] us more - The Inhabitants here appear'd as one man and as people actuated by revenge for the many rapes and murders Committed on them - While I am writing this a party [4] of four thousand are going after the enemy - & this afternoon there will be as many more -
I have this instant received your beloved Epistle of the 12th instant - and am exceding sorry that the want of my cloaths should make you so very unhappy - You have done all in your power I am sure but that old scoundrel who had the management I shall not forgive in a hurry - Yes my Love our hearts are riveted so firmly to be happy when absent every hour brings me fresh proof of it - and yet the great duty one owes to their Country, the Congress have taken some previous steps with Respect to Mr. De Coudre, they have resolved that Mr. Dean has exceeded his Commission and that they cannot ratify his treaty with Mr. De Coudre - pretty this to bring a Gentleman, 1200 Leagues to affront him I think Mr. D deserves to be
Under all circumstances and at all times I am your [strikeout] devoutly affectionate
Henry Knox

[docket on page 4]
Middlebrook June 21
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People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1756-1824
Deane, Silas, 1737-1789
Coudray, Phillippe du, 1738-1777

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryLove LettersPatriotismMarriageGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyContinental ArmyReligionDiplomacyFranceArtilleryCongressContinental Congress

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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