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.

Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to William Knox

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00728 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 5 October 1778 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written at Fredericksburgh. Comments on the arrival of (the privateer) General Arnold's prize. Thinks the British will leave the United States to secure their possessions elsewhere, noting that an attempt to capture the French fleet at Boston rests on too many uncertainties for the British. Recently received news that the French captured the island of Dominica, which Knox refers to as "Dominico." Also reports that France sent 4,000 men to take Jamaica. Comments that the British have taken cattle and forage in New Jersey, and surprised [Colonel George] Baylor's regiment, wounding Baylor (this battle is referred to as the Baylor Massacre, 28 September 1778). Writes, "But should the Enemy contrary to my reasonings, conjectures & conclusions be so insane as to push to Boston, you may rely I shall give you the earliest notice- But rest easy on this head." Discusses a business matter handled by William related to Henry's mortgage and estate. Also mentions an unspecified petition. Contains several notes written in a different hand throughout text. Minor text loss from seal. Mentions that Lucy and "her baby," possibly their daughter Lucy, are both well. On page four, Knox reports that General Benjamin Lincoln will soon take command in Charleston South Carolina.

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806.
Knox, William, 1756-1795.
Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801.
Baylor, George, 1752-1784.
Knox, Lucy Flucker.
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1776-1854.
Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Navy, France, Treason, Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War General, Military History, Privateering, Massacre, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Caribbean, Wartime Pillaging and Destruction, Injury or Wound, Battle, Finance, Petition, Children and Family, Continental Army

Sub Era: The War for Independence