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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Cutting, John Browne (fl. 1782-1797) to Henry Knox

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01374 Author/Creator: Cutting, John Browne (fl. 1782-1797) Place Written: Andover, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 March 1782 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Thoughts on various topics of the day, including the ways people understand the war and military strategy; shifting American perceptions of the war, especially those of people in Massachusetts; financial problems and supply shortages; squabbles among political leadership; the structure of the new government; taxes; and religion. Congratulates Knox on the arrival of his new son, musing, "Pray what kind of features has the late additional young gentleman? Do they indicate peace or war? Has his brow the military scowl of defiance, or do smiles of pacification expand in rosy dimples? If an ancient could predict the events of war & peace from the unmeaning inside of a lifeless animal, why may not a modern from the expressive outside of a living Intelligence, late from celestial head quarters? Be this as it may, I might unreproach'd with vanity, affirm I should have as rational data to go upon respecting future political and military movements, from Surveying the face of an Infant, as most of our wiseacres appear to have from inspecting the present face of affairs in the great world of contention."

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806.
Cutting, John Browne, fl. 1782-1797.
Shaw, Samuel, 1754-1794.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Religion, Revolutionary War, Military History, Finance, Economics, Continental Army, Military Supplies, Revolutionary War General, Wartime Pillaging and Destruction, Politics, Taxes or Taxation, Children and Family, Classical World and Ancient Civilization, Humor and Satire, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Government and Civics

Sub Era: The War for Independence