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.

Washington, George (1732-1799) to Henry Knox

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.

Log in
to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.09369 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Cambridge, Massachusetts Type: Manuscript letter signed Date: 16 November 1775 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 32.1 x 23.1 cm.

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.09369 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Cambridge, Massachusetts Type: Manuscript letter signed Date: 16 November 1775 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 32.1 x 23.1 cm.

Summary of Content: Washington, Commander in Chief of Continental forces, orders Knox to examine the state of Continental artillery. Instructs Knox to travel to New York City and Ticonderoga, and even to Quebec if necessary, to procure necessary artillery articles. Allows $1000 for Knox's expenses. Postscript, "Endeavour to procure what Flints you can" is in Washington's hand.

Background Information: Knox was Chief of Artillery during the Revolutionary War. Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

Full Transcript:
Instructions for Henry Knox Esqr.
You are immediately to examine into the state of the artillery of this army & take an account of the Cannon Mortars, Shels, lead & ammunition that ...are wanting; When you have done that, you are to proceed in the most expeditious manner to New York; There apply to the president of the provincial Congress, and learn of him whether Col Reed did any thing, or left any orders [struck: there] respecting these things, & get him to procure such of them as can possibly be had there. The president if he can, will have them immediately sent hither; If he cannot, you must put them in a proper Channel for being Transported to this Camp with dispatch before you leave New York. After you have procured as many of these Necessaries as you can there, you must go to Major General Schuyler & get the remainder from Ticonderoga, Crown Point, or St. Johns - If it should be necessary, from Quebec, if in our hands - the want of them is so great, that no trouble or expence must be spared to obtain them - I have wrote to General Schuyler, he will give every necessary assistance, that they may be had & forwarded to this place, with the utmost dispatch - I have given you a Warrant to the paymaster General of the Continental army for a Thousand Dollars, to defray the expence attending your Journey & procuring these Articles, an account of which you are to keep & render upon your return. Given under my Hand at Head Quarters at Cambridge this 16 day of November Annoquo Domini 1775
Go: Washington
Endeavour to procure
what Flints you can}

[docket]
Instructions
for
Henry Knox Esqr
See More

People: Schuyler, Philip John, 1733-1804
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Fort TiconderogaDorchester HeightsPresidentRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryContinental ArmyArtilleryTravelCanadaFinanceWeaponry

Sub Era: The War for Independence

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources