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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to William Moultrie

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.03609 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter Date: 21 July 1787 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 32.6 x 19.3 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.03609 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter Date: 21 July 1787 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 32.6 x 19.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes to Moultrie, the president of the Society of the Cincinnati's South Carolina chapter, about society business. Reports that the Society as a whole has decided to repay Major L'Enfant for money he laid out on their behalf, but without their permission, to buy more Eagle insignias; they wanted to preserve the "immaculate" reputation of the Society. The Society also felt that "the general credit of our country does not stand well in Europe," so they wanted to ensure that the credit of their foreign members remained in good stead. Provides details of their reimbursment of L'Enfant, including their interactions with a Captain William Thompson, who may have sold some of L'Enfant's Eagles on credit. The society has decided that regardless of the actions of Captain Thompson, the buyers are still responsible for paying the sum they owe to Major L'Enfant. See GLC02437.03273, GLC02437.03275, GLC02437.03276, GLC02437.03608 and GLC02437.03882.

Full Transcript: [draft]
New York 21 July 1787

Dear Sir
[struck: As] I presume you have in quality of your office of President of the Cincinnati of the State of South Carolina received the ...proceedings of the [struck: last] late Genl Meeting of the Cincinnati held in Philadelphia [struck: in] [inserted: during the month of] May [struck: last]. In those proceedings there is a report [inserted and struck: [In] what I beg leave to you] touching the case of Major L'Enfant whose claims the meeting conceived were necessary to be settled on the most liberal terms - a reference to the report [struck: [what]] will [show] the spirit which [actuated] the meeting on the occasion - That they were more concerned to [strikeout] preserve immaculate the reputation of the Society than to save their money.
This conduct was considered as essential as the general [inserted and struck: credit] [struck: credit] [inserted: character] [2] of our country does not stand well in Europe we were therefore [strikeout] [inserted: anxious] [inserted and struck: into] [inserted: that] that our foreign members should not suffer a Clash on account of the Cincinnati
Only part of the sums voted by Major LEnfant could have been legally substantiated - The others however were connected by a train of implications amounting on the whole to an obligation in the minds of people of delicate principles. But one consideration remitted the obligation - Major LEnfant would have been utterly ruined - rumour would have said the [strikeout] of the Cincinnati were the cause - our Enemies would have favored it & we should have suffered with some appearance of justice - To avert [imputions] so foreign from our conduct, we voted money - and we hope the [strikeout] judgment [struck: of the] & actions of State Society [3] will justify [strikeout] the appeal we have made to their magnanimity
But independent of the sums voted by Major LEnfant I am [illegible] to write to you, concerning a transaction of some of the Gentlemen of your Society with a Captain Wm Thompson - The general meeting were well aware that every Gentleman who subscribed the paper of which the enclosed is a true copy from the original now possessed of Major LEnfant, paid their money to Mr Thompson - But they appeared to be of opinion that Mr. Thompson was the Agent [inserted: of a Subscriber] - That he received the Eagles from Major LEnfant on their credit - & that whatever might have been Mr Thompsons conduct, the parties were still responsible to Major LEnfant
I am persuaded [4] [inserted: persuaded] [strikeout] as the sum to each individual [illegible] is not great that the Gentlemen who signed the paper may think proper to remit the amount to Major LEnfant in New York. [strikeout] As it is said that he [struck: stays] continues in this country only [to lett] his accounts with the Cincinnati be settled, it is to be hoped that the gentlemen concerned would as [illegible] soon as possible accomodate the matter, on principles [advancing] the [struck: generosity] dignity of the Society -
As soon as you [strikeout] the Gentlemen whom it may concern has come to any conclusion on the subject herein stated I shall hope for the honor of being informed thereof
I have the honor to be
Sir with very great respect
& esteem your most
Obedient humble sv

The honourable
Genl Moultrie
President of the Cincinnati South Carolina
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People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Moultrie, William, 1730-1805
L'Enfant, Pierre Charles, 1754-1825

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Society of the CincinnatiRevolutionary War GeneralFinanceFraternal OrganizationClothing and AccessoriesDebtGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFranceEconomics

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

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