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.

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.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.04108 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter Date: 12 February 1789 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 32.4 x 20.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes that upon receiving his note, Knox sent to all the shops that might sell American broad cloth but was "exceedingly chagrined to learn there were none in town at present." Found that some cloth was expected in town very soon, in light grey, Hartford grey, bottle green, and dark brown colors. Will be able to secure the quantity he and Mrs. Washington would like and send it immediately, though he warns that Washington might be disappointed with the quality of the cloth, as it is only "about good as an english second cloth." Also reports that he has been ill and in bed due to a "severe attack of the accute [sic] Rheumatism." However, he is improving and hopes to be able to go abroad in a few days. Knox's retained draft.

Full Transcript: [draft]

New York 12 February 1789
My dear Sir
I had the pleasure by the post of Yesterday to received your favor of the 29th ultimo - I immediately sent to the ...place where the american broad cloths were advertised for sale and to such other places as was probable but was [strikeout] exceedingly chagrined to learn there were none in town at present. However four peices are expected [struck: daily] [inserted: hourly] the invoices being received and information of the cloths being on their way as far as new Haven. [struck: so that they will probably arrive] They are of the following colors and widths
light grey 6 qrs wide
Hartford ditto do
Bottle green do
dark brown do -
I shall have the choice of all of them, and will secure the quantity you desire for your self & Mrs [2] and Mrs Washington the moment after their arrival and forward them by first - stage although I am apprehensive you will be disap[ointed] with respect to their [strikeout] fineness they being about good as an english second cloth.
I have been confined to my chamber and mostly to my bed for three weeks past by a severe attack of the accute Rheumatism - I am [strikeout] getting better fast and hope in a few days to be able to go abroad - This circumstance prevented my acknowledging the receipt of your esteemed favor of the 28th of December which I received some time before my confinement -

[docket]
To his Ex. Genl Washington.
12 February 1789 -

also wrote the 15th
that the cloths tweeds
not arrived -
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Washington, Martha, 1731-1802

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary War GeneralInaugurationPresidentTextileClothing and AccessoriesMerchants and TradeFirst LadyDiseaseHealth and MedicalIndustry

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources