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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 John Hancock

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04109 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Letter signed Date: 16 August 1793 Pagination: 1 p. ; 24.4 x 19.7 cm.

Knox, Secretary of War, discusses President George Washington's orders regarding captured naval prizes. Requests that Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts, restore any naval prizes brought into the harbors and ports of Massachusetts to the master or owner at the time of capture. Orders that if it is impossible to discern the identity of the vessel's former master, it should be delivered to the person "to which the prize belonged at the time of its capture."

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