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Washington, George (1732-1799) to Henry Knox and Gouvenor Morris

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.09309 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Newburgh, New York Type: Manuscript letter Date: 30 April 1782 Pagination: 2 p. : 33.7 x 21.6 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.09309 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Newburgh, New York Type: Manuscript letter Date: 30 April 1782 Pagination: 2 p. : 33.7 x 21.6 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses Morris and Knox's progress regarding "the commission you were charged with by me" (possibly a commission to negotiate prisoner exchange with the British in Elizabethtown, New Jersey). Has received Morris and Knox's dispatches, as well as those of Henry Clinton. Transmitted a copy of Morris and Knox's report to Congress, allowing them to decide upon the terms of future exchanges. Laments the unreasonableness of the British and "the miseries of War which may be augmented and protracted by such unreasonable conduct." Praises the conduct of Knox and Morris during their "odious and fruitless negotiation," and thanks them, although their mission was unsuccessful.

Background Information: Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

Full Transcript: [Draft]
Printed by Sparks, viii. 277
Head Quarters Newburgh
April 30th. 1782.
Gentlemen
It is with great Pleasure I make Use of the earliest occasion to acknowledge the Receipt of your several ...Dispatches by Colonel Smith which contain an ample Account of your Proceedings in Consequence of the Commission you were charged with by me - I have also received from Sir Henry Clinton an Abstract of the same Negotiations as stated by his Commissioners. From the whole aspect of the matter I have little Doubt the Reasons you mention as the operating Principles with the Enemy have been the real Cause of defeating the Success of this a Negotiation so desirable in itself and which promised to be so beneficial in its Consequences.
I have transmitted to Congress a Copy of your Report and have submitted solely to their Decision the subject of future Exchanges not less lamenting the unreasonableness of our Enemies than regretting the Miseries of War which may be augmented and protracted by [2] such unreasonable conduct -
I should do Injustice to my own feelings on this occasion if I did not express something beyond my bare approbation of the Attention [struck: aiblity and] address and ability exhibited by [strike-out] Gentlemen in the Course of this tedious and fruitless Negotiation - the want of succeeding in the great Objects of your Mission does not however lessen in my Estimation the merit which is due the unwearied Assiduity for the public Good and the benevolent zeal to alleviate the Distresses of the unfortunate, which seem to have actuated you on every occasion and for which I entreat you will be pleased to accept my most cordial thanks and at the same Time believe that
I am Gentlemen
with the highest Sentiments of
Esteem and Regard
your most obedient Servant
Go: Washington
The Hoble Major Gen Knox & G Morris Esqr.
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People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816
Clinton, Henry, Sir, 1730?-1795

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: PresidentPrisoner of WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsRevolutionary War

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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