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Lincoln, Benjamin (1733-1810) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.04226 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Benjamin (1733-1810) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 31 May 1789 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 30.2 x 17.9 cm.

Writes that he wrote to the President to discuss the possibility of working for the new government. Explains a dramatic property loss he experienced while fighting in the war. Declares that he did not approach Knox on the subject because he felt that Knox was too close a friend and he could ask Knox to use his influence to give Lincoln preference for employment. Adds that he feels sure that Knox will always support him and aid him if he can. Marked "private" on the address leaf.

Boston May 31st 1789
My dear Sir
Some time since I wrote to the president stating to him that before the war my property was a small new England farm part of which I spent during the contest, that from the deranged state of the finances of the United States I was induced to [vest] the property I had in [thin securities] in uncultivated lands in the eastern part of our State they were not now productive nor would they now sell that [inserted: from] the property I held in the funds of this state I could not realize any thing which reduced me to sad alternative of going east & beginning the world anew, after forty years close application to business or offer my self as I then did as a candidate for some office under the new government if there should be an opening for one which in his opinion I could fill with advantage to the public [inserted: and honour to myself] & one to which I could approach with equal [pretentions] to any other man what ever-I did not write to you on the subject for I know you to be too [strikeout] much my friend to need my asking for your influence your [2] late unequivocal [conduct] in my favor tells me I determined and that you are entitled to my most cordial thanks which please to accept.
I am so confident that I shall always have your aid when you can lend it me consistently with the public good and when it can be done without injury to an other that to ask it would hurt my feeling & I think it could not add to your happiness as it would [strikeout] evince some doubt-
My affectionate regards to Mrs. Knox & your good children
And believe me with the utmost
esteem your affectionate
B Lincoln
Hon Gen Knox

[address leaf]
Honble Majr. General Knox
Secy at War
New York

Boston May 31t 1789
General Lincoln

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