Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to John Adams
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 #: GLC02437.07272 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: [Boston, Massachusetts] Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 2 June 1799 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 24.8 x 20.2 cm.
Knox writes to President Adams, urging him to allow Knox's son Henry to be promoted from midshipmen to Lieutenant in the US Navy. (Knox Jr. was midshipman on the USS Constitutionl).
The docket reads, "The President on the receipt of this letter dd Henry a Commission of Lieutenant in the Navy, filled up with his own hand."
My dear Sir
I flatter myself with the hope that the subject of this letter will not be considered by you as unreasonable importunity - My son my only son has been a midshipman in the navy upwards of a year. Before that period he performed a long voyage to india. His skill as a navigator, added to his experience as a seaman, appears in the opinion of Capt Nicholson, and the sailing master of the ship to have qualified him as a lieutenant. He has an ambition to be promoted. He feels himself so degraded by circumstances of situation as a midshipman, that he continues with extreme impatience in that office and I am very apprehensive that he will unless it seems the object of his wish  abandon the project altogether - This circumstance would be inexpressibly mortifying to me - It is far from my desire to injure or interfere with any other persons rights. If he could be appointed a Lieutenant in the navy at large and permitted to act as an extra Lieutenant on board of the Constitution or the Boston or any other ship bound immediately to sea, it would be considered a great favor
I have the honor to be
with perfect attachment my
dear Sir Your Sincere and
devoted humble sevt
The president of
of the US.
June 2 1799
N.B. - The President
on the receipt of this letter
did Henry a Commission
of Lieutenant in the
Navy, filled up with
His own hand -
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.