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Collection Reference Number GLC02437.05135
From Archive Folder The Henry Knox Papers [0101] July-August 1791 
Title Extract of a letter from Mr. Priestly to Mrs. Lapsly on the Northwest Indian War
Date 28 August 1791
Author Williams, Jonathan (1750-1815)  
Recipient Lapsly, Mrs.  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description Creator from docket, which is in Knox's hand. Williams sent an extract of a letter from Mr. Priestly of Beardstown, Kentucky to Mrs. Lapsly who was residing at the warm springs in Bath County, Virginia. The extract says "The men are returned from the Expedition under the Command of Genl Wilkinson all safe but two who were killed. They killed seven Indians took thirty prisoners and destroyed two Towns and the Crops at them. they brought in one white white [sic] child but her mother who was at the Same Town they could not find." The extract was dated 28 August, while the docket is dated 16 September. This document originally accompanied by GLC02437.05156.
Subjects American Indian History  Northwest Indian War  Revolutionary War General  Northwest Territory  Frontiers and Exploration  Westward Expansion  Military History  Prisoner  Children and Family  Women of the Founding Era  Women's History  
People Williams, Jonathan (1750-1815)  Knox, Henry (1750-1806)  
Theme Native Americans; Women in American History; Government & Politics; Westward Expansion
Sub-collection The Henry Knox Papers
Additional Information Williams was born on May 26, 1750 in Boston. He was the son of Jonathan Williams, merchant, and Grace (Harris) Williams, daughter of Benjamin Franklin's sister, Anne. Educated in Boston schools, Williams travelled to London in 1770 to complete training and to make contacts under Franklin's tutelage. In 1776 he joined Franklin in France and was immediately appointed by the commissioners of the Continental Congress to France as their agent at Nantes. After becoming involved in a controversy between Silas Deane and Arthur Lee he resigned as agent, but remained in Europe and engaged in various business ventures until Franklin returned home in 1785. On 12 September 1779 he married Marianne Alexander of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1796 became associate judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia. At different times he served as secretary, councilor, and vice-president of the American Philosophical Society. Scientific interests brought him into contact with Thomas Jefferson, who appointed him Inspector of fortifications and superintendent at West Point with the rank of major in 1801. He resigned in 1803 and was reappointed in 1805 with the rank of lieutenant colonel of engineers. Williams planned and supervised the construction of defenses of New York Harbor. He resigned from the army on 31 July, 1812. In the War of 1812 Williams served as brevet brigadier general of New York Militia and served on a committee in Philadelphia for preparing defenses for the Delaware River. He was elected to Congress in 1814 but died on May 16, 1815 before taking office.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
Related documents Letter from Jonathan Williams to Henry Knox regarding his plans to return home and the Northwest Indian War