The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Collection Reference Number GLC02437.01912
From Archive Folder The Henry Knox Papers [0053] 1-13 February 1783 
Title Alexander McDougall to Henry Knox concerning half-pay pensions for officers
Date 12 February 1783
Author McDougall, Alexander (1732-1786)  
Recipient Knox, Henry  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description Written by General McDougall, but signed anonymously as "Brutus" to Major General Knox. McDougall reports that he seems to be making progress in lobbying Congress for funding for half-pay pensions for the officers. Says that since the Committee of the Army (made up of McDougall and Colonels Brooks and Ogden) came to Philadelphia that "the Sentiment is daily gaining ground, that the Army will not, nor ought not, to disband till Justice is done to them." Says a motion might be brought up by supportive Congressmen to not disband the army until "Justice is done to them." Asks Knox to keep quiet on the subject until the vote takes place. Says he is lobbying members of Congress for funding. Hopes the country will have enough sense to do justice to the army without any violent declarations from the officers. Says the army needs to prepare for what might happen. "Free" stamped on address leaf with no signature.
Subjects Newburgh Conspiracy  Revolutionary War  Revolutionary War General  Continental Congress  Congress  Continental Army  Military History  Soldier's Pay  Finance  Pension  Petition  Government and Civics  Mutiny  Rebellion  
Place written Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Theme The American Revolution; Government & Politics
Sub-collection The Henry Knox Papers
Additional Information For information on the identity of Brutus see Richard H. Kohn, "The Inside History of the Newburgh Conspiracy: America and the Coup d'Etat," William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 2 (April 1970), 187-220. A footnote on page 197 says that Mary-Jo Kline noted that McDougall tried to mask his handwriting in the body of the letter, but not in the address leaf. She compared it to another McDougall letter, which is now GLC02437.01933, to identify the writer. She could have also noted that both letters use the same slightly blue-tinted paper.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
Related documents Further letter from Alexander McDougall to Henry Knox concerning half-pay pensions for officers  
Transcript Show/hide   Download PDF