Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to George Washington

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.

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01709 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 November 1782 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 33.1 x 21.9 cm. Order a Copy

Writes to General George Washington that he would like a copy of the "general system of signals" Washington is producing when it is finished. Discusses placement of regiments and guards, including the Invalid Regiment, for the coming winter. Comments briefly on military stores (such as the amount of rachets on hand) and then recounts that General [Alexander] MacDougall's troops in Connecticut are displeased because they will be losing a guard after inspections, and Knox suggests that permitting them to continue having a guard would "probably induce a continuance of favor." Asks for instructions regarding the road for the hospital, and after enquiring to Verplanks about the quality of wood they have there, he has determined they have no more than fifty cords of wood and it is all on the water side, though there is plenty more wood on the West side. Asks General Washington to order Hatch coats for his post as well as several others and estimates the amount they would need. Lastly, discusses the prospects of Colonel [possibly Heman] Swift after the removal of his position.

12 Nov 1782
[struck: Dear] My Dear General
As soon as your Excellency shall have established a general system of signals from the <?> to Head quarters, I will thank you for a copy. The only circumstance I know [inserted: struck: relat] at present [inserted: relatng to signals] is that I have a small reward upon butler Kill, but without any orders whatever. [struck: I beg your directions whether they are to be withdrawn I here it] another since the Invalids on the Eastside the river. I beg your directions whether these guards are to be withdrawn or continue all winter.
The [strike-out] I thought we had some rockets in store, but upon examination [inserted: <?> lay other stores] I find they were [strike-out] [inserted: emassed] by being transported in a centry vesell from New Windsor to this place. [struck: September] <?> I am <?> in September last & the shall [strike-out] [inserted: <?>] have some in three or four days if the weather shall be good. My friend General Mc Dougall has a guard from the Connecticut line. The hard duty and present arrangements, induce [strike-out] complaints from the officers in the <?> <loss> [2] which will be greatly augmented [struck: if] after the inspections which [strike-out] which will be finished today & tomorrow. [struck: all things <?>] The circumstances your Excellency is in possession of, and the indulgence which has <?> been granted here will probably induce a continuance of the favor, if so I [struck: shall beg] I request your orders whether they shall be furnished from the connecticut troops or from the line [struck: at large] [inserted: of the Army] . I hope your Exceleny will [struck: be &] find it proper to continue the guard. [struck: Some free troops or other] as a withdraw of it would sensibly affect the General in his present [struck: indisposition] condition.
I have not received your Excellencys [struck: directions] as far as respecting the Road for the hospital. [struck: I have it] Since writing [struck: to you] on that subject, I have sent to learn the quantity of Wood at Verplanks and find all that is [strike-out] drawn to the water side will not exceed fifty [inserted: strike-out] cords - It is said that there is a large quantity in the West side which [strike-out] is about half a mile or a mile from the water.
[strike-out] <loss>
[3] If the Hatch coats are in store [inserted: 3722], I beg your Excellecy would order a number for these posts & those below. We shall want near seventy <?> at the respective posts and the regional on the other side. I [struck: imagine] [inserted: suppose] that the posts [struck: below] at Verplanks & stoney points and Dobbs ferry must number ten -
I caused Colonel Swift to be forwarded upon a removal of his position: - He says that he objected to it in the first instance [struck: to the QMgeneral] as being <?>, and be that necessary - But the QM General informed him it was your express <?> that they <?> when in front of the hospital to cause it. He would have been happy if it had been suggested at an earlier period. [strike-out] [inserted: & the whole of the plan to the <?>] But the posts are now so advanced that it would occasion great [inserted: inconvience &] <?> to remove them.

I have the honor to be with the
[strike-out] [inserted: great] respect and affection
Your Humble Serv

His Excellcy General Washington
[inserted in left margin of page 2: The QMG has [inserted: strike-out] [strike-out] a considerable number of levies besides those employed in getting wood, if he has no employed - then I wish he would send them here.]
His Excellency General
Washington 12 Nov 1782

Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Swift, Heman, 1733-1814
McDougall, Alexander, 1732-1786

Citation Guidelines for Online Resources