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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 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.

Butler, Pierce (1744-1822) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.05148 Author/Creator: Butler, Pierce (1744-1822) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 September 1791 Pagination: 1 p. ; 24.3 x 19.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Asks Knox's pardon "for the intrusion of a letter on business yesterday morning - I had not heard 'till late in the afternoon of your House being a House of Mourning, or I shou[l]d never have broke in on you at such a season." This is in reference to the death of Knox's son Marcus (see GLC02437.05152 and .05162). Sends his sympathies. Tells Knox that "true indeed is the observation of the Poet that We are all Pensioners on the bounty of an hour. Such are the terms on which He who Wills all things gave us life; and we must submit." Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

Background Information: Pierce Butler of South Carolina was a signer of the Constitution. He served as a Continental Congressman (in 1787) and as a U.S. senator (from 1789-1796 and 1802-1804).

People: Butler, Pierce, 1744-1822
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Revolutionary War GeneralChildren and FamilyDeathPhilosophyPoetryLiterature and Language ArtsReligion

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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