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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Chevalier [Francois Jean] de Chastellux

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.02165 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: West Point, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 June 1783 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 34.3 x 22 cm.

Summary of Content: Discusses the character of the people of the new nation and hopes that the central government will be strong to prevent anarchy.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Westpoint 16 June 1783

My dear General. I have to render you a thousand thanks for your favor from annapolis just at your departure from America - I consider this as ...a precious pledge of that friendship [inserted: with] which I was exceedingly anxious to [struck: inspire] [inserted: impress] you [struck: with]. [struck line: I always wished to be thought well of by you and it was [inserted & struck: is a] exceedingly grateful to be] It is a great [struck: happiness] [inserted: pleasure] to find myself in your thoughts amid the hurry and bustle of an embarkation
Your predictions of the peace last year when at this [struck: place] post have been realized. A Glorious peace for France, and doubly happy for America! - [struck: It [illegible] our existence] It opens to our view the fairest prospects of happiness and places human liberty upon the broadest basiss - No [struck: nation] [inserted: People] ever were possessed of such a combination of [struck: events] circumstances, to form a [strikeout] national character [inserted: that should charm the world for its purity & Justice] - unshackled by [struck: poli] religious [struck: or political] prejudices, we are at liberty to carry our [researches] [strikeout] [inserted: on every subject] to the greatest extent of our [struck: facility] faculties - And I flatter myself this will be the case. I have no gloomy apprehensions [2] that [inserted: we shall have] a loose and unconnected Government [inserted: which] will open the doors to anarchy or tyranny - We have disarmed our prejudices which were extremely strong in favor of Britain, and I see but few impediments to our surmounting any local prejudices which have hitherto prevented our forming General [funds], and making more strong the supreme power lodged in the hands of Congress - The minds of men [struck: are mutuable and] [inserted: will] generally [struck: will] yield to the [struck: force of] conviction of truth - and the truth is conspicuous that without [struck: union] permanent Union [struck: in all things] we shall be a wretched people This opinion gains ground daily and will have its full operation - We are yet young and unfledged but we shall get our pinions soon and then I hope we shall by their strength [strikeout] [inserted: to] march into the regions of [strikeout] [inserted: Wisdom] and true Philosophy
The assistance, which has been given by your eminently illustrious nation [struck: from] is of so nobly disinterested and [struck: decid] decisive a nature as to impress upon the [inserted: minds of the] people of america as one [from] the most [struck: durable] [inserted: permanent] gratitude and affection. Our schools and our pulpits will resound [struck: with this] [inserted: & perpetuate] this [strikeout] [inserted: pleasing] theme.
The officers of the American Army [3] with our General at our head have formed a society [struck: designed] [strikeout] denomiated [sic] the Cincinnati, in which we have taken the freedom, grounded upon the principle of affection to associate the Generals and [struck: officers] Colonels of your army who served in America - We flatter ourselves this mark of our love will be accepted & received [by] you as it was dictated by the best of intentions. Colonel Gouvion will more fully explain this matter [struck: to you].
[struck: We have not yet received the definitive treaty of peace but hope it will soon arrive -]
Permit me to flatter myself with the hope of your correspondence directed to me at Boston - I dare not say I shall make you any valuable return, but I will venture to assure you I shall always [strikeout] [inserted: retain] the most earnest wishes for your health and happiness.
I am [struck: Dear Sir] my Dear General
Your affectionate
[struck: I beg the favor]
If you should be in the vicinity of the good General Rochambeau I beg you to present him my warmest respects, [struck: and to]
To General Chastelax 16 June
See More

People: Chastellux, François Jean, marquis de, 1734-1788
Chastellux, François Jean, marquis de, 1734-1788
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: TreatyFranceSociety of the CincinnatiMilitary HistoryRevolutionary War GeneralGovernment and CivicsArticles of ConfederationPhilosophyContinental CongressCongressReligionPresident

Sub Era:

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