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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00675 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 December 1777 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 34 x 21.1 cm.

Written at Camp Great Valley [Valley Forge]. Relates that he has not set out for Boston, Lucy's location, due to urgent public business. Writes, "I should most certainly see you this winter if within the compass of human possibility but it will most assuredly be much better for my own satisfaction that I should have the honor of doing public business ... " Notes that George Washington hopes to wait for the arrival of an unspecified committee, and Knox hopes to be able to leave after the committee meets. Has not seen his brother William for "some days," due to William's illness and fatigue. Remarks that if he travels to see Lucy, he will have to leave his brother behind. Reports that General William Howe, who occupies Philadelphia with British troops, has been "drawing forage from the meadows near Philadelphia."

Camp great Valley 27th December 1777
My dearest and only Love
I wrote you two days ago by the post and then inform'd you that it was my unhappiness that I had not then set out for Boston - I also inform'd you that the obvious urgency of the public business would in my opinion induce his Excelency not to permit but to order me to proceed to make such arrangements in the ordnance department as would answer the probable great demands of the next Campaign.
I am certain my dearest Lucy wants no inducements to beleive my anxious desire to see her at all events - [struck: this matter] but in one of her Letters she appears hurt that I should make use of the argument of public business co-operating with my own private sentiments and wishes, to establish the certainty of my being able to come to Boston. I should most certainly see you this winter if within the compass of human possibility but it will most assuredly be much better for my own reputation that I should have the [2] honor of doing public business and at the same time the [struck: happiness] [inserted: pleasure] of being in the society of her [struck: who] with whose happiness my own is intimately interwoven and connected -
I have had some conversation with the General on the business, he seems inclin'd to wait the arrival of a Committee expected from Congress - if so it will detain me sometime, ten days perhaps - how long and how tedious [soever] the time may be before I shall arrive to my dearest joy, not one moment shall be protracted by me - but I am really fearful it will be as late as it was last year before I shall reach you - but then perhaps I shall stay longer and perhaps when I come away I shall bring a certain little charmer with me but this [struck: is as to] will be according to your wishes and desires on that heart
My Brother has been ill for some time owing to much fatigue and being expos'd [anights] in an uncomfortable hut he is out of Camp and I have not heard from him for some days - Your not having any remarkable fondness for him [3] and viewing him tho very unjustly as a kind of rival will induce me to leave him behind - indeed I believe it his wish -
Genl Howe has been for some days past drawing forage from the meadows near Philadelphia, we are at such a distance from him that I believe not much more will be done than harass him with small parties. [text loss] Shall think every hour tedious untill I have the pleasure the superlative pleasure to see you - May God grant [inserted: that] nothing turn up which may prevent. Kiss my Lovely little daughter, & beg heaven to bless her in the name of her Father - I am my dear Girl with the utmost purity of affection your own
H Knox
[address leaf]
Mrs. Lucy Knox
Favor'd by Mr. Frothingham
[on address leaf]
Give my Love to Harry
And other freinds

Gen to Mrs K-

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