Our Collection

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.

Carrington, Edward (1749-1810) to Henry Knox

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01652 Author/Creator: Carrington, Edward (1749-1810) Place Written: Charleston County, South Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 8 October 1782 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by Lieutenant Colonel Carrington, quartermaster to Nathanael Greene's Southern army, to Major General Knox. Makes reference to Congressional military appointments. Expresses anger at some Congressional decisions involving himself, saying "I shall not sacrifice that independency, which I have always possessed, to hold it on Terms inconsistent with the principles on which I accepted it - and, wretched as it may, perhaps, be supposed the situation of an American Officers would be in private life, I shall certainly embrace that wretchedness, in all its Horrid forms, rather than remain in public office, under an idea of Compulsion." Asks Knox for any help he can give with the Secretary of War. In a reference to the British evacuation of U.S., says "This event will give great relief to the infant finances of the United States as the expenditures, if the War continues, may be concentrated and regulated with infinitely more economy than when defused through many quarters and many hands." Goes on to say that not having "well established Revenues" has "retarded" American prospects. Says "I have undergone much chagrin and a[n]xiety on Account of the indolence, as well as the perverseness of the States, which compose this Empire - they will either do nothing at all or will act in such manner as shall suit the respective conveniences of themselves without regard to that uniform general system, which alone can lead to the same great object." Says nothing can prevent an early peace except this poor financial situation and says it gives the enemy hope of dividing us. Written from Camp Ashley Hill, South Carolina, which is located in Charleston County.


Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, Continental Army, Continental Congress, Congress, Military History, Finance, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Economics, Taxes or Taxation, Government and Civics

Sub Era: The War for Independence