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Hull, William (1753-1825) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.05267 Author/Creator: Hull, William (1753-1825) Place Written: Newton, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 20 December 1791 Pagination: 5 p. : docket ; 30.5 x 18.5 cm.

Extended letter concerning the earlier mentioned canal to be built from the Connecticut River to Boston. Describes interactions with Captain [John] Hills, the surveyor, including all of his offers to help Hills. Discusses a recent loss their troops suffered. Hopes the loss will show the importance of establishing a national defense and a proper military establishment. Both he and his wife send their regards to Knox and Mrs. Knox. In a postscript Hull asks Knox to remember his part of the country if there should be an augmentation of troops.

William Hull, an army officer and territorial governor, was born in Derby, Connecticut. At the outbreak of the Revolution Hull joined the first company raised in Derby. He rose to lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts line of the Continental army in 1779, and fought in most of the major battles in the northern theater. In January 1781 he won recognition for a raid he led on the British outpost at Morrissania. After leaving the service in 1784, Hull took to law and held a number of state and local offices. In 1805, Hull was appointed by Thomas Jefferson to be governor of the Michigan Territory where he developed a code of law and served as superintendent of Indian affairs. During the War of 1812, Hull was appointed brigadier general and commanded a force of 1,200 Ohio volunteers. Hull would later be court-martialed for his surrendering of Detroit during the War and was convicted of cowardice and neglect of duty. He was originally sentenced to be shot but President James Monroe commuted his sentence on the basis of his revolutionary services. Hull spent his later years cultivating a farm in Newton and trying to redeem his name. (William B. Skelton, "William Hull," American National Biography (1999): 455.)

[Partial] [Draft]
[4] We have just received the unhappy account of the defeat of our Army - we lament the public misfortune, and particularly the loss of so many brave men - we form no opinion, as we have not received the necessary Information - One fact however, we are happy in being assured of, that our officers were not deficient in personal Bravery - I hope we shall improve by the misfortune - that the national defence [sic] will be considered as an object of consequence, and that a proper military establishment will be found, - that the Country will avail itself of that military knowledge, which has been so dearly purchased in the course of a long [war], and that the rewards may bear some proportion to the [toils] & Dangers, which must necessarily be encountered by [5] those who embrace so hazardous a profession -
I will thank you to be so obliging as to forward the inclosed to Mrs Binny - she lives nearly opposite to the Presidents - Mrs Hull desires affectionately to be remembered to Mrs Knox, as does, your very genuine Friend
and very obliged humb.le
William Hull
P.S. If there should be a very considerable Augmentation of the Troops, I hope we shall be remembered in this part of the nation -
Wm Hull
Gnl Hull
20th Dec.r 1791
At the same time
he recommended to
Mr Rennington who had
been [a lieut] in the
[corps] of 1786 -

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