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 Catharine Littlefield Greene

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 #: GLC02437.04399 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter Date: 27 October 1789 Pagination: 4 p. ; 31.9 x 20.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses obtaining money and the assistance of Daniel Parker, Gouvenueur Morris and the Marquis de Lafayette, as they were all friends with Catharine's late husband, Nathanael Greene. Provides some financial advice about the execution of General Greene's estate. Writes that she should first take inventory of "the estates and negroes" to be mortgaged and invest her money. Reports that this plan has been approved by Mr. Rutledge and Judge Pendleton. Retained draft, numbered "5" at top.

Background Information: It is unclear whether Knox might be referring to Edward Rutledge (Declaration signer, South Carolina assemblyman and future governor), or his brother John Rutledge, Supreme Court Justice. Knox's mention of "...Judge Pendleton" might refer either to Edmund Pendleton, the Virginia judge, or his nephew, Nathaniel Pendleton, recently appointed a judge in Georgia.See More

Full Transcript: [draft]
Although I am fully convinced from enquiry that the money on the first proposition cannot be obtained in America yet the probability is in favor of its being obtained ...in Holland France or England - and it is also probably that Mr Danl Parker & Mr Gouvenueur Morris & the Marquis de la Fayette may be from an affection to the memory of the Genl Greene [may?] be engaged to undertake the business -
But it will be necessary in the first instance to obtain a fain appraisement assessment of the estates and negroes, proposed to be mortgaged - The assessment to be made by respectable persons on oath - to be authenticated [2] with the usual solemenites [sic], and to have the states & signatures of the Governors thereunto affixed - and also a legal attestation that the said property is free from any incumbrances - If in addition to these circumstances the persons loang the money could be invested with the possession of the estates under certain conditions to be devised by Mr Rutledge it would most probably assure a facility to the loan -
[3] This plan has [been] approved by Mr Rutledge and the documents obtained by Mr Rutledge and Judge Pendleton [struck: being] [inserted: Duplicates thereof] should immediately be transmitted to Danl Parker, who should be the ostensible agent, under the patronage of the Marquis de [la] Fayette and Gouverneur Morris
No risque of any unfairness would be run as the negociation ought to be made on the following principles - The person being found willing to loan the money on the security Mr Parker should exhibit, the completion of the transaction should be transfered to America - The Agent of the [4] Lender should received the mortgages of Mrs Greene & the other executors, and he should at the same time empower them to draw on the principal for the sum to loaned -
[docket]
To Mrs. Greene
New York Octr. 27th 1789
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Greene, Catharine Littlefield, 1755-1814
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834
Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816
Parker, Daniel, fl. 1781-1791

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary War GeneralWomen of the Founding EraWomen's HistoryFinanceEstateFriendshipSlaveryAfrican American HistoryMortgage

Sub Era: The Early Republic

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources