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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to William Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00862 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New Windsor, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 2 December 1780 Pagination: 7 p. : docket ; 33.5 x 20.9 cm.

Discusses setting up military headquarters at New Windsor. Notes which state troops are where, difficult conditions (troops "panicked with hunger") and that the army is forced to rely upon nature to provide material for shelter, clothing and supplies. Also mentions personal money matters.

New Windsor 2 December 1780
My dear Brother.
We are come to this place as Winter Quarters, That is Head Quarters, [struck: and] the Park of Artillery and the heads of the great departments of the Army are to be here - The Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island [struck: and] Connecticut and some of the New York troops are to be at West Point [inserted: and its vicinity] - The Jersey & Pennsylvania lines in Jersey. This is the Arrangement His Excellency the Commander in chief has made of the forces under his immed[text loss] command. We depend on the great Author of Nature to provide subsistence, and clothing for us, through a long uncheery Winter, for the people whose business according to [struck: came] the common course of things, it was to provide the [inserted: materials] [struck: things] necessary, have either been unable or neglected to do it. The soldier ragged almost to [2] almost to wretchedness has to set down at this period and with an ax perhaps his only tool, and probably that a bad one to make his habitation for Winter - however this & panicked with hunger into bargain the Soldiers [strikeout] [inserted: &] officers have Come with a fortitude almost Supernatural [strikeout] The Country must must [sic] be grateful to these brave fellows - it is impossible to admit of the Idea of an alternative
I received your agreable favor of the 14th ultimo. I am happy to hear of the arrival of the Amsterdam and hope that the prize mentiond has arriv'd, and will prove as you say "Something pretty" This Vessell had hitherto been successful and altho in proportion Small yet We have by it been provided with some essential articles which otherwise we might have found [struck: it] difficult [struck: to] to procure. Colo L is a good man for imparting to me what he might [3] very well have withheld. I Shall ever retain a grateful Sense of his kindness.
I have Some depreciation money due to me from the state of Massachusetts, perhaps about £30,000, - at 32 ½ for one - These are given, payable at certain periods, to 84 - and bear an interest of 6 PCt. - But they do not Sell for more if So much as their minimal value, altho the articles to which they have a relative value could not be bought for 3 times the minimal Sum - exclusive of the above I received and Sold one note for £9000 which was necessary to equip me for the Campaign post & to clear me of some embarrassments - I have in my possession [strikeout] 1 part of the above [inserted: (30,000)] a note for £9000 - the remaining part is to be received - I mention this matter that you may cast about to see whether any advantage might be made [4] of them - exclusive of the above I have not received a single farthing this year - I shall want many things to equip me for next campaign perhaps to the amount of £50 lawful mony and hath as much immediately to provide necessaries [inserted: for] this Winter - the latter sum I shall take the liberty to draw upon you for, to be procurd in hard money in two or three months from the present day - This sum I presume can be easily rais'd from [strikeout] proportion of the proceeds of the Cargo and freight &c of the Brig Amsterdam - I beg you not to be frightned at my beginning this early to draw upon you, as I have been one of the greatest Aeconomists that can be - but the total stoppage of pay has put me to many difficulties from which I must be extricated [5] extricated by means of my Boston connections - however upon the whole I shall be able to pour into your hands in tenfold rates to what I may draw out.
The £5000 which was recovered against Mr [T's] estate is to be paid in hard money or its value. this of itself will be very handsome if put into trade - but I should not chose to venture [strikeout] of it, at least untill I see the June of the petition, from which I cannot refrain from promising myself a good deal.
These and some other circumstances of a pecuniary nature, as well as my affection, induc [sic] me to wish to see you this Winter - I wrote you in a former letter that other circumstances must determine whether I should go to Boston or you come to me - These circumstances have not yet happened so that I am as [6] I am as much at a loss as when I wrote you before.
4th December
If we take a trip to Boston we have no idea of going to housekeeping to entail a monstrous expense upon us but to be as Aeconomical as possible - But it is [unfortunately] necessary to concert some means by which we may have a rational prospect of obtaining by trade a small competence. [struck: alth]
Altho the prospects of this place are far from being agreable to pass the Winter in yet I wish you to communicate your ideas freely to me whether it will be most agreable for you to come here or for me to go to Boston.
Sally F. in the letter you forwarded mentions a ready made Gown to Mrs Knox which we would suppose she had sent ready made, but you mention northing of the matter in your letter
[7] You mention that a certain Gentlemen had made me a present of two camp chairs. I am most oblig'd to him for the chairs but to be sure two chairs is a laughable present to be sent over the Atlantic.
As soon as I have determined on staying here or not for the Winter I shall write you, and request that you either bring the things or send those that you were so kind as to procure. [struck: I am De]
Mrs Knox and [strikeout] Children are well and all send their love to you. Believe me my dear friend that I have the most ardent affection for you
H Knox
I wrote you yesterday & Capt Sargent
Mr William Knox

Brigr Genl Knox -
Decr 2d 1780 -
New Windsor

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