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Williams, Jonathan (1750-1815) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.05111 Author/Creator: Williams, Jonathan (1750-1815) Place Written: Red Spring, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 August 1791 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 33.3 x 20.7 cm.

Summary of Content: References Knox's letter of 24 June, which found him "in these back woods near the top of the Alleghany mountains." Tells Knox "I have long thought, with you, that your talents and disposition were not of a kind to be a very able manager in operations of interest & avarice; I cannot therefore form any great expectations of your success." Does not mean to disrespect him, but he has a cynical outlook because of his own situation as an "unsuccessfull merchant." Would like an appointment in the government, but he doesn't trust himself anymore. Asks why the public should trust him if he cannot trust himself. Goes on to discuss his sour temper and disposition. Is glad he is renting Mr. Guerney's house on Chestnut Street as it will be easier for him to get around town. Discusses needed repairs to the streets and walks of Philadelphia. Hopes he received his previous letter reporting on General Charles Scott's Indian expedition. Has since met people who were in the expedition who confirms its success. Talks about the sublime nature he is viewing and says "the business of Art is striping rather than cloathing this universal mother of all Things." Notes he has kept a journal of the weather. Says that Knox would understand his travels because "you who have passed so much of your time in a Camp a description of our mode of life would be nothing new, for if you were to take the military parade away from your remembrance of Valley Forge, you would have a tolerable idea of [our] accommodations, amusements, and Society." Has heard the bank subscription filled rapidly and reports he has 60 shares. Small section missing on the right hand side of page three causing minor text loss. Address leaf has a postal stamp from Richmond, Virginia dated 15 August. Stamped "FREE" on verso.

People: Williams, Jonathan, 1750-1815
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Frontiers and ExplorationAmerican Indian HistoryRevolutionary War GeneralMorality and EthicsMerchants and TradeCommerceOffice SeekerGovernment and CivicsMortgageLandlord and TenantInfrastructureWestward ExpansionNorthwest TerritoryMilitary HistoryArt, Music, Theater, and FilmGeography and Natural HistoryTravelFinanceBank of the USBankingValley Forge

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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