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Collection Reference Number GLC02437.01994
From Archive Folder The Henry Knox Papers [0055] 1-15 March 1783 
Title Address to the Officers of the Army [The Newburgh Conspiracy]
Date 10 March 1783
Document Type Military document
Content Description Written in the hand of Samuel Shaw, this is Henry Knox's copy, and is docketed by Knox. An anonymous address to the officers of the Army, along with a call for a general meeting of officers. This particular copy was sent to the officers at West Point. Gives high-minded praise to the troops, extolling their virtue, bravery, and patriotism -- but then transitions into an emotional-laden section about America's inability to provide for them after the war is over. Says "If this then be your treatment, while the swords you wear are necessary for the defence of America - what have you to expect from peace - when your voice shall sink and your strength dissipate by division?" Makes a reference to "the plain coat of republicanism" (the contemporary use of this word in writing was somewhat rare in the 18th century). Wants them to come together and make a decision about what they are willing to accept and what they are willing to do to get it. Tells them "Let two or three men, who can feel as well as write, be appointed to draw up your last remonstrance." Says that they need to start applying more pressure to Congress and should refuse to disarm until their situation is rectified. Postscript says there is a meeting of general and field officers at 10 a.m. next Tuesday to discuss the report of the committee sent to Philadelphia to air their grievances. Says an officer from each company is expected to attend. Docket in Knox's hand.
Subjects Newburgh Conspiracy  Revolutionary War  Revolutionary War General  Military History  Continental Army  Soldier's Pay  Finance  West Point (US Military Academy)  Patriotism  Bravery  Petition  Continental Congress  Congress  Government and Civics  Rebellion  Mutiny  Pension  
Theme The American Revolution; Government & Politics; Creating a New Government
Sub-collection The Henry Knox Papers
Additional Information This unsigned letter (as well as others written in subsequent days) are thought to have been composed by General Horatio Gates's aide-de-camp Major John Armstrong, Jr., although he denied this.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
Related documents Letter from Henry Knox to George Washington on the recent letter to Colonel Crane  Letter from Henry Knox to Alexander McDougall concerning unrest in the army  
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