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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to John Adams

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.04986 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Type: Autograph letter Date: 10 June 1791 Pagination: 4 p. ; 32.1 x 20.2 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Secretary of War Knox to Vice President Adams. Thanks Adams for his hospitality at Bush Hill. Mentions criticism of Adams's travels in the Connecticut and New York newspapers. Comments on the "political heresy [of the] American edition of [the] payne pamphlet mentioned in the preface." This is a reference to Thomas Jefferson's endorsement of Thomas Paine's "The Rights of Man," in which he conflated the spirit of the American Revolution of 1776 with that of the French Revolution of 1789. Knox says "he has assured me that the note he wrote to the printer never was intended for publication." Says that Adams should not worry as "you are upon invariable pursuit of public happiness, regulated by the sober standard of reason." Says Washington is expected in Philadelphia on 23 or 25 of June. Says "The indian Campaign must go forward." Says the 2,800 men sent to the frontier should be adequate.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Philadelphia 20th of June
1791
My dear Sir
I embrace the occasion of enclosing some letters, to thank you & Mrs Adams for the [struck: cool and] comfortable accommodation of your ...house at Bush Hill - While the inhabitants of this city are gasping for breath like a hunted hare [struck: Bush] [inserted: we experience in] the Hall at Bush Hill [struck: experience] a delightful and a [animating] breeze - a little [heated however]
[struck: If] The paragraphs in the [inserted: Connecticut and New York papers] papers relative to your [strikeout] journey indicate envy & blackness [2] blackness of heart - [struck: Whether Peirpont Edwards was the] [inserted: who the] author of the Article [inserted: is] I know not and it is quite immaterial - But this is a tax which [struck: y] eminence pays and which it must pay - perhaps the political heresy [inserted: mentioned in the preface of the American edition of paynes pamphlet] as coming from a more respectable quarter may occasion some uneasiness - But he has assured me that the [struck: little] note he wrote to the printer never was intended for publication, but as a kind of apology for having detained the book which was a borrowed one longer than the printers [strikeout] patience would admit -
[3] But [struck: even this small affair] even if [inserted: this idea was] aimed at you, [affirming] [inserted: it], ought not to give you a moments uneasiness, [struck: Armed] [conscious] as you are [struck: with that] [inserted: of an] invariable pursuit of public happiness, regulated by the sober standard of reason, it is not the [desultory ebullition] of this or that man, [struck: that] now that ought to cause pain - For while human nature shall continue [inserted: its course] according to its [primary] principles there will be a difference of [strikeout] Judgment upon the same objects even among good men -
[struck: Permit me to congratulate Mrs Adams and your
[4] Upon The President [struck: was] [inserted: is] expected to come here about the 23 or 25 instant - but there is no information from him since [inserted: the 16th of May] He has been perfectly received according to the abilities of the places through which he has passed -
The indian Campaign must go forward - the [peace] [inserted: marched] and shall have marched by the latter end of this month about 2800 men This force will be adequate [struck: with] with addition to the force already on the frontier -
Permit me to congratulate you and Mrs Adams on the arrival of Colo Smith
I am Sir with
Entire respect and aff
yrs
[docket]
The Vice President of the US -
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Adams, John, 1735-1826
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809
Washington, George

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: FranceFrench RevolutionAmerican Indian HistoryNorthwest Indian WarRevolutionary War GeneralPresidentVice PresidentEntertaining and HospitalityTravelJournalismPoliticsLiterature and Language ArtsRevolutionary WarPrintingGovernment and CivicsWestward ExpansionFrontiers and ExplorationNorthwest TerritoryMilitary History

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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