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 Edward Carrington

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 #: GLC02437.05558 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 24 July 1792 Pagination: 6 p. : docket ; 32.1 x 20.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Informs Carrington that he has received his letters concerning appointments for young officers and that though they generally arrived too late, he will keep them in mind for future consideration. States that there were many more applications than positions. Speaking about the last session of Congress, he writes, "The indian war, and the failure of the last expedition combined with a partial aversion to the government excited much ill humor during the last session. It was thought proper by a party, to levell some shafts at me....Parties will arise in free governments - and party prejudice is proverbally blind." Asks about "the general Machine" in Virginia and comments on prosperity in Pennsylvania. Discusses the New York governor's election, "[John] Jay it would seem had a majority of votes - but [George] Clinton is the governor ...the essence of republicanism is done away and if a man can perpetuate himself to office by a minority." Also comments he has heard that some one in Virginia wants Clinton to run for Vice President against John Adams and wants to know if this is true.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Philadelphia 24th July 1792
My dear friend

I have received several letters from you [struck: relative] relatively to appointments for young officers in the Army. They generally came too late, ...but they have all been registered for future consideration - There were [struck: several] [inserted: some] hundred more applicants for appointments than there were officers - of course there must be many disapointments - [struck: Besides] the officers have been apportioned locally [struck: to proportion] [inserted: accordg] to the number of troops to be raised in each state [inserted: respectively], [struck: and the] [inserted: and the] 12 rifle companies being generaly raised towards the frontier constrained [text loss] takes the officers from the [south] districts where [strikeout] [inserted: [several Genl] the [strikeout] [illegible]
[2] [struck: At] [inserted: About] the time you wrote for the papers relatively to Genl Greene, Congress by a considerable majority [passed] the act in favor of the estate - It was then judged expedient [struck: to let the object] not again to excite the attention of the [public] to the object -
[struck: The ill part]
The indian war, and the failure of the last expedition [struck: has excited much ill h] combined with [strikeout] [inserted: a partial] aversion to the government [struck: in the [minds] of some ill disposed persons] excited much ill humor [inserted: during the last session]. It was thought proper [struck: by some] [inserted: by a party], to [levell] some shafts at [me], [struck: and] an extraordinary report [3] report was produced to the house of representatives on the last day of Congress - [struck: I flatt] [struck: This report] [inserted: and it] was [incidentally] not to say unjustly published
I flatter myself that materials are not [illegible] to refute the most [strikeout] [inserted: important] parts of it, as they affect [illegible] department - and that the justice of the house will [inserted: therefore] reject [struck: the] the report -
Parties will arise in free governments - and party prejudice is proverbally blind
Pray how does the general Machine work [struck: with] [inserted: in Virginia] you? I will venture to say that from the greater part of this state [4] to the extreme east, the most unexampled instances of prosperity are exhibited in Town and County that ever was present to human ken - and yet there are a set of malignant beings who say we are going hardly to [struck: the Devil] [inserted: ruin]
[struck: The eastern people grumble at the Indian War which I sincerely wish could be terminated - and there are some gleams of hope o[n] that subject]
In France all [struck: seem] [inserted: are] mad - and in New York [strikeout] there have been symptoms of [strikeout] insecurity which are subsiding - Jay it would seem had a majority of votes - [struck: But] [inserted: [struck: a] But] Clinton is [5] the governor in part [owg] to some [defeated power] - [struck: where is] the freedom of election - [struck: where is] [inserted: is in this instance [negative] the essence of republicanism is done away and if a man can perpetuate himself [to office] [struck: will] by a minority. The degree thereof is immaterial provided he possesses an [artifical] [sic] power to repel or [overcome] the majority -
[inserted on page 6: and yet we are told it is [struck: th] the intention of some person in Virginia to push Genl] Clinton for Vice President in opposition to Mr Adams - is this so?
My family are [struck: at] Boston they dreaded the heat of a summer in Philadelphia - I regret my official duties prevent my joing them -
I am dear sir
Your Affectionate and
Colo Edward Carrington sincere friend
To Colo Edward
Carrington at
24 July 1792
See More

People: Carrington, Edward, 1749-1810
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Jay, John, 1745-1829
Clinton, George, 1739-1812
Adams, John, 1735-1826

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: American Indian HistoryNorthwest Indian WarRevolutionary War GeneralLetter of Introduction or RecommendationOffice SeekerMilitary HistoryCongressGovernment and CivicsNorthwest TerritoryBattleFrontiers and ExplorationWestward ExpansionPoliticsElectionPresidentVice PresidentFranceFrontiers and ExplorationDebtEconomics

Sub Era: The Early Republic

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources