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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to William Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00751 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Pluckemin, New Jersey Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 28 February 1779 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 31.6 x 19.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses the revival of the General Arnold, a ship that wrecked in December 1778. Knox had some investment in the ship, and remarks "it would be worth while to... get as much in her as will be prudent to risque," possibly referring to loading the Arnold with cargo. Reports that the British attempted to surprise General William Maxwell's brigade but were forced to retreat. Relates that his recent business in Philadelphia consisted of improving regulation of the ordnance department. Notes "I undoubtedly might have at first stipulated for some pecuniary advantages for myself, but... I do not approve of money obtained in the publick service, it does not appear to me in a War like ours to be right." Describes a recent celebration held to celebrate the alliance between France and America. Remarks that there were "about seventy ladies ... We danced all night."

Full Transcript: [draft]
Pluckemin 28th February 1779
My dear Brother
I receivd your two Letters the one and Capt Layent and the other and the post of the 13th instant. - I hope ...the loss of the Brig John Capt Cole will not discourage you - in War time such events will happen - and what can we say - The revival of the Brigr General Arnold is quite unexpected and therefore the more pleasing. If she is to go a letter of Marque will you not be able to be concernd in her freight? I think considering the goodness of the Vessell and the reputation of the Commander it would be worth while to strain a point, to get as much in her as will be prudent to risque.
We have no news. Three days ago the Enemy attempted to surprize Maxwell brigade but were disappointed. Maxwell attacked them in their retreat, killd and wounded some and took a few prisoners -
You wish [2] wish to know my business to Philadelphia - it was merely to get the ordnance department better regulated. besides the satisfaction of having the business of the public done better the only advantage that will result to me will be some pray expressly for the [management] of the ordnance department in the field - I undoubtedly might have at first stipulated for some pecuniary advantages for myself, but I know not how it is I do not approve of money obtained in the publick service. it does not appear to me in a War like ours to be right - and I cannot bring myself to think differently altho you [illegible] may be the consequence -
We had at the park on the 18th a most genteel entertainment given by [illegible] officer - everybody allow it to be the first of the kind ever exhibited in this state at least [We] had above seventy Ladies - all of the [illegible] in the State - We danc'd all night - between 3 and 400 Gentlemen - and Elegant room - The Illuminating fire [illegible] and were more than pretty.
[3] If I should see no good account publish'd I will send you a particular account - it was to elaborate the Alliance between France and America -
Make my compliments known to every body you think proper - inform Mr Pierce I should have written him, but that the post office is 8 miles from me that my Letters cam at 11 oClock and the post is to go [illegible] in part and that I have [text lost] and my Letters 8 miles to get the mail -
I am dear Brother
Yours affectionately

See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, William, 1756-1795
Maxwell, William, 1733?-1796

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: FranceRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralPrivateeringFinanceContinental ArmyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyMilitary HistoryGovernment and CivicsContinental CongressCongressArtilleryMorality and EthicsHolidays and CelebrationsFranceWomen's HistoryMaritime

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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