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.

Tracy, John (fl. 1789-1795) to Henry Knox

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 #: GLC02437.04446 Author/Creator: Tracy, John (fl. 1789-1795) Place Written: Newburyport, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 December 1789 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 23.1 x 18.9 cm. Order a Copy

Discusses his troubles concerning his family estate. Says that financial difficulties will prevent him from settling in the Western Country. Discusses his financial ruin, stating, "in a word, I must look to my Country, a Country that I neither spared property, Labour or attention to support, when in my power but on the contrary, the confidence I placed was my ruin - I do not reflect on myself or my Country - I was happy in sinking or swimming with them..." Asks Knox to assist him in obtaining a position in the Customs Office.

Citation Guidelines for Online Resources