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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to George Washington

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00667 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania Type: Manuscript document Date: 26 November 1777 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Penned by Samuel Shaw, with post-script in Knox's hand. Knox answers the question: "... whether it would be advisable to attack the enemies redoubts and the City of Philadelphia by way of storm ... " Knox writes, "I exceedingly lament my want of ability and experience to fill properly the important station in which I am, and am more particularly distressed when such important questions are referred to my decision as those which your Excellency gave us in charge the last evening. The happiness or misery of the People of America may be the consequences of a right or erroneous judgement." Admits that America's military knowledge and skill does not equal that of Great Britain. Notes that some mens' desire for military fame has eclipsed their original intentions for entering the war. Deplores Washington's critics. Discusses America's depreciated currency. Explains his reasons for strongly opposing an attack against the British at Philadelphia. Instead, asserts that Continental forces should fortify winter quarters at Germantown, Pennsylvania. Proposes that with quarters fortified, they can invite an attack along enemy lines. If the British accept the attack and win, the Americans will be able to retreat to fortified quarters. If the British decline the attack, Knox argues Continental forces may be assured of their superior strength. Under text of page 6, place of writing, date and address added by Knox, with his autograph mauscript additions on page 7. The signature was added later, and does not appear to be in Knox's hand.

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War General, Military History, President Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Continental Army, Conway Cabal, Coins and Currency, Finance, Economics, Battle, Military Camp, Fortification

Sub Era: The War for Independence