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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.

Lincoln, Benjamin (1733-1810) to Henry Knox

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01729 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Benjamin (1733-1810) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 December 1782 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by Secretary of War Lincoln to Major General Knox. References Knox's letter of 25 November. Says he has suffered anxiety over his long silence and lack of acknowledgement of his letters. Says he told Congress in strong terms of the distress the army suffered for want of pay. Says he told Congress that the information came from the best sources and was not simply grumbling. Says he told Congress that many troops still need pay dating back to 1 January and that some states have helped, but others have not. Reported to the legislature that this caused "uneasiness" among the troops. Also reported that the officers are upset about Congress's inability to decide on a half-pay pension. Says a committee in Congress have put together a report and he believes it will recommend the states to fund their own lines to 1 January 1781. Says the same committee seems to want to recommend that pensions be funded by the states, but does not want to seem as if they are passing the buck. Discusses the details of how to handle the situation in Congress. Marked "copy" on verso.


Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War General, Military History, Continental Army, Continental Congress, Congress, Government and Civics, Soldier's Pay, Finance, Newburgh Conspiracy, Pension

Sub Era: The War for Independence