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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to David Bushnell

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01788 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: West Point, New York Type: Manuscript letter Date: 2 January 1783 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 23.5 x 17 cm.

Summary of Content: Secretarial copy of a letter written by Major General Knox to Captain-Lieutenant Bushnell. References Bushnell's letter of the same day which told of the "extraordinary Behavior" of Captain-Lieutenants Toulman and Kirkpatrick. Says to hold them as long as it takes a court martial to be convened and decide the case. Refer to GLC02437.10514 for Bushnell's letter.

Background Information: David Bushnell of Saybrook, Connecticut, was an American inventor during the Revolutionary War. His birth date appears as 1740 in some sources and 1742 in others. His death date appears as either 1824 ...or 1826 in most sources. In 1775 he is credited with creating the first submarine ever used in combat, known as the Turtle. His idea of using water as ballast for submerging and raising his submarine is still in use today, as is the screw propeller, which was first used in the Turtle. While at Yale, he proved that gunpowder exploded under water. With this, he also came up with mine barrage in 1777. He also invented the first time bomb. He combined his ideas in an attempt to attack British ships which were blockading New York Harbor in the summer of 1776 by boring through their hulls and implanting time bombs, but failed every time due to a metal lining in the ships hull to protect against parasites in their previous station, the Caribbean.
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People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Bushnell, David, ca. 1740-1826

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryContinental ArmyMilitary HistoryScience and Technology

Sub Era:

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