Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to George Washington
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01369 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 10 March 1782 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 33.5 cm.
Refers to a letter he received from Colonel Francois Marie, comte de Aboville (see GLC02437.01365), who commands French artillery in Virginia. Aboville mentions 14 artillery cannon belonging to the State of Virginia which do not have carriages or ammunition and are in poor repair. Argues that these cannons would not be useful to Virginia, since they could not repair or equip them, but that the United States forces are in dire need of cannon for an artillery battery and could make them serviceable. Encourages General Washington to pursue a trade with the State of Virginia and give them small arms, or something similar, in exchange, or else to purchase or borrow the cannon from Virginia. Adds that he should obtain them quickly and bring them to Burlington for the ensuing campaign.
Library of Congress lists Aboville's first name as Marie Francois, but almost every other source available lists it as Francois Marie.
Philadelphia 10 March 1782
[inserted - different hand: H.K. to Washington]
By a letter from Colonel D'Aboville commanding the french Artillery in Virginia it appears there have been lately discover'd in that State 14 heavy battering brass Cannon, which are indisputably the property of the state. These Cannon have no carriages, and I presume little or no proper ammunition & [strike-out] [inserted: <?> no] implements [struck: &c]. In their present or indeed in a perfect state [struck: they] it would be difficult to conceive of what use they would be to the state of Virginia as their equipments would require great exertion, and to move them with their appendages a vast apparatus. But although these Cannon are in a manner useless to an individual state they would be highly serviceable to the United States which are in [inserted: great] want of a battering [struck: apparatus] [inserted: train] especcialy with the prospects in view [inserted: for [struck: this] operations of next summer] I would therefore request your Excellency to [inserted: take] such steps as you may [struck: think proper] [inserted: struck: think most] [inserted: think will most probably] [struck: to] obtain them - In my opinion we could spare some small Arms or [struck: small cannon] [inserted: field pieces] in exchange for them which would be much more convenient for the State of  Virginia [struck: than those these unwieldly cannon spoken of] But as a negociation of the particulars of the exchange would take up much time, which would render the Cannon of no service in the ensuing campaign as they want to be new mounted, [struck: I would beg leave to] I take the liberty to suggest the propriety of borrowing them of the State, or purchasing them and the price & [inserted: <?>] payments to be [inserted: hereafter] settled by the secretary at War or Congress [struck: And to have] [inserted: But] them transported immediately to the head of Elk in order to be forwarded to this City or Burlington [struck: to be <?>] to have carriages prepared for them - The season is so far advanced that a moments time cannot be afforded to be lost if we [struck: are to have] [inserted: can get] them in possession -
I have the honor to be Sir
with great respect
Your Humble Servant
His Excellency General Washington
To his Excellency Genl.
Washington, 10 [struck: June 1781]
March 1782 -
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