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 #: GLC02437.01114 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Dobb's Ferry, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 August 1781 Pagination: 4 p. ; 23 x 19 cm.

Written by Brigadier General Knox to his wife Lucy from camp near Dobbs Ferry. References receiving three letters from her, dated 23, 26, and 30 July 1781. Expresses his happiness upon reading them and says "The longer the War lasts the more sick am I of it and sigh for domestic felicity with my Lucy." Remembers that her birthday was yesterday and claims he "petitioned heaven to grant us the happiness of continuing our union." Wants to know how long she will remain at Colonel Duer's. Says if she can get to New Windsor, he might be able to visit her. Tells her that "I cannot explain to your the exact plan of the campaign. we dont know it ourselves. You know what we wish, but we hope more at present than we believe." Mentions receiving a letter from his brother in Boston. This letter has discoloration, possibly from water damage, in three sections. Some tears or bug damage have also been repaired on pages 3 and 4.

Camp Near Dobb's Ferry [inserted: eveng.] 3 Augt 1781.
I have the happiness to acknowledge your three favors, my life, my love, my all, dated one at Claremont the 23d of July by Colonel Lewis, one from the manor of livingston of the 26th July by a young Mr Livingston also I had not the pleasure to see, and the last of the 30th by Express from Albany. I shall not attempt to describe the pleasure they gave me, but be assur'd that my happiness is so interwoven with yours that I am totally unhappy in being absent. The longer the War lasts the more sick am I of it and sigh for domestic felicity with my Lucy. I am glad that you have found some amusement in your Journey. Upon your return to Colonel Duers you will certainly find a long letter from me written some time ago. It is morally impossible I can forget you for a moment. Yesterday was yr birth day. I cannot attempt to shew you how much I was affect'd by it. I remember'd it, and I humbly petitiond heaven to grant us the happiness of continuing our union untill we should have the [strikeout: happiness] felicity of seeing our children flourishing around us, and ourselves concern'd with [2] virtue, peace and Years, and that we both might take our flight together secure of an happy immortality. These were not momentary effusions, but they were the settled principles of the day [strikeout: entire sentence]
I have heard nothing from Colonel Livingston in Jersey, notwithstanding what I wrote you last. I wish to know how long you intend to stay at Colonel Duers & whether you will make any stay at our friend Ellisons at New-Windsor. If you send to the care of Colonel Hughes at Fish Kill I shall receive it soon. Were you at New Windsor I could write you every two days, and possibly might make a jaunt up to see you, at least it is possible that I might have business that would call me. Notwithstanding my anxiety make your own convenience the rule of your actions, I dont conceive I could go up at any rate under ten days and possibly not then. -
Colonel Duer will relate our situation here. all is harmony and good fellowship between the two armies. I have no doubt [3] when opportunity offers that the zeal of the french and the patriotism of the Americans, will go hand in hand to glory. I cannot explain to you the exact plan of campaign. we don't know it ourselves. You know what we wish but we hope more at present than we believe.
My Brother writes me from Boston that a Mr Winslow & family are going to England & [struck: would be] as a cartel and would be glad to take your Letters. Write I pray you some very long letters, and dont forget to tell them how much I love not to say adore you. and I need not urge you to mention your several babes Kiss them; bless them for me, & assure yourself of the most perfect and unalterable affection of You
Give my compliments to Lady Kitty & Miss Brown - also my love to Mrs Blair - enclos'd is a letter from Mrs Blair, which Doctor Craik gave me a few days ago - I could wish [4] him to join as soon as his health will permit.
Mrs Knox

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources