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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Rufus Putnam

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.10160 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: West Point, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 5 October 1783 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 36 x 23.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes to General Rufus Putnam about how the people feel in regards to the army and compensation. He hopes that it is satisfactory but events show otherwise. Many in Connecticut and the inland counties are unhappy. Feels that Connecticut shows prejudices against officers about compensation which "are so outrageous as to [induce] some of the most prudent and respectable officers to look out for another place of residence." Writes to George Washington about the situation. Discusses the land in the Ohio region that may be offered as compensation for the officers, the Virginia cession, delayed evacuation of New York, and the Definitive Treaty of Peace. Contains two dockets, one in the lower left corner, and the other two thirds of the way down of the right side.

Background Information: Putnam was essential in constructing the fortifications necessary for the Continental Army, securing victories at Sewall's Point, Providence, New Port, Dorchester Heights, Long Island, and West Point. General Washington appointed ...Putnam to be the Chief of Engineers of the Works of New York. He was soon promoted to engineer with the rank of colonel.
By 1783, many soldiers and officers in the Continental Army had not received wages from the Confederation Congress for several months. In some cases, these men had not been paid in years. General Rufus Putnam, a Continental Army officer, spearheaded a drive to convince the Confederation Congress to pay the men in land from the Ohio Country. The men would forgo monetary pay in return for the land. They also would serve as protection against Indian attacks. A total of 288 Continental Army officers signed a petition to the Confederation Congress. It became known as the Newburgh Petition. George Washington, the Continental Army's commander, endorsed the petition, but the Confederation Congress refused to act upon it. The officers threatened to rebel against their government, but the Newburgh Conspiracy was quelled after Washington delivered a speech to his officers on 15 March 1783. (Ohio History Central: An Online Encyclopedia of Ohio History, "Newburgh Petition," accessed October 5, 1783.)
See More

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Putnam, Rufus, 1738-1824
Washington, George, 1732-1799

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Government and CivicsMilitary HistoryContinental ArmyRevolutionary WarFinanceSoldier's PayNorthwest TerritoryLand TransactionGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsPeaceTreatyRevolutionary War General

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

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