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.

Peirce, Joseph (1745-1828) to Henry 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 #: GLC02437.01678 Author/Creator: Peirce, Joseph (1745-1828) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 October 1782 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 31.4 x 18.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Peirce to Major General Knox. References Knox's letter of 8 October. Consoles Knox on the death of his boy. Says "Alas Deaths Shafts fly thick. no less than five of my little ones have fallen by his relentless hand." Mentions a small box he wants to send and asks if Colonel Brooks has room on one of his wagons. Tells him "At present I cannot think of any other method to accomplish the desires of the Gentleman you mention, than for his brother to petition the Governor & Council, or the Genl Court, if that will not do it." Says the gentleman called on him about it and after a discussion with some other people, believes that petitioning is the best route to go. Says a Mr. Burgis, son in law to Mr. Dickinson of London, has arrived from Amsterdam and wants to naturalize as a citizen of Massachusetts. Burgis tried to better his status by becoming a "Burgher of Amsterdam" before leaving, but he believes he will be asked to leave the Commonwealth in a few days nonetheless. Does not know the progress on the committee deciding on officer's pensions. Asks "What think you of the paper War between Mr. Sullivan & Mr. Temple? those things have a very bad effect, where the most perfect Union ought to Subsist." Congratulates him on his command of West Point. Postscript asks that an enclosed letter (not included here) be passed along to his brother who is with his regiment.

People: Peirce, Joseph, 1745-1828

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralChildren and FamilyDeathGovernment and CivicsPetitionNaturalizationGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyPensionsSoldier's PayFinanceJournalismWest Point (US Military Academy)Loyalist

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources