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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Jeremiah Wadsworth

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.03395 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Manuscript letter Date: 30 December 1786 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 31.8 x 19.9 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses how best to handle Shays and his supporters. Writes, "I will venture to predict that the insurgents must find security in Arms or they must fly the Country I found this opinion on the moral impossibility, of the existence of government with the spirit manifested by the insurgents - One or the other must give place - The insurgents are not the most numerous and therefore they will not have recourse to that expedients. - But they may think they shall advance themselves by arms, and having thrown down the gauntlet the government will take it up." Encourages Wadsworth to come visit, and to bring Miss Wadsworth. Also mentions that he gave the Board of Treasury proposals Wadsworth gave him about coining copper (without disclosing Wadsworth's name). Marked as a copy.

Full Transcript: [draft]
(Copy)
New York 30th December 1786
My dear Sir/
I received your favor of the 24th instant by the post. I wish you had seen Shays, and if proper have ...seized him - I imagine Sargent Websters information must have been very limited. I have received letters from the vicinity of the place he mentions of the 20th and 22d, of some fresh intentions of the insurgents, and that they dispatched expresses from Westfield to Several quarters - The cause however of this alarm was not known to my informants.
The matter must issue seriously - If government find that they are the Majority they will coerce the insurgents - Vengance may not be the less certain, for being deferred - The insurgents are insecure in the present State of things, and therefore they will grasp at something further -
They will never trust to voting, because in that resort they will be outnumbered in the counties where the spirit of disaffection is the greatest. -
I will venture to predict that the insurgents must [inserted: find] security in Arms or they must fly the Country I found this opinion on the moral impossibility, of the existence of [struck: Country] government with [2] the spirit manifested by the insurgents - One or the other must give place - The insurgents are not the most numerous and therefore they will not have recourse to that expedients. - But they may think they shall advance themselves by arms, and having thrown down the [struck: gua] gauntlet the government will take it up - enough of the insurgents and predictions -
Apropos not a word in your last of the time when you shall come on - were you to estimate your own importance to the nation by my seale you might be surprised how much depends on one life - you would take great care of it, but you will fly here with the rapidity of a balloon - remember however that the sleighing is good an dthat you are not to come without Miss Wadsworth -
Without committing your name to the Board of Treasury I showed them the proposals for coining copper which you enclosed to me - They say they have proposals for a very large quantity amounting to three hundred tons, on terms highly advantageous much more so than contained in the paper you sent to me - I believe on a Loan for 15 to 20 years - This will probably be submitted [3] to Congress - But let this rest with yourself.
If Humphreys is with you give my love to him.
For the sake of good government and all the morality resulting there from - haste this way
I am your affectionate
H Knox

Colonel Wadsworth -

[docket]
(Copy of a Letter to Colonel
Jeremiah Wadsworth
December 30th 1786
Private
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Wadsworth, Jeremiah, 1743-1804
Shays, Daniel, 1747-1825

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryRebellionMobs and RiotsShays' RebellionGovernment and CivicsWeaponryCoins and CurrencyFinanceEconomics

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

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