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|Collection Reference Number
|From Archive Folder
|The Henry Knox Papers  January-March 1787
|George Washington to Henry Knox discussing the constitutional rights of Massachusetts and Shays' Rebellion
|3 February 1787
|Washington, George (1732-1799)
|Correspondence; Government document
|Refers to the constitutional rights of Massachusetts. Also discusses insurgents in that state (Shays' Rebellion was losing momentum). Relates in confidence that he does not want to go to the Constitutional Convention (to be held in Philadelphia) but that convention organizers have included him and implored him not to make a final decision regarding whether or not he will attend. Admits that "powers are wanting" in government, but takes a pessimistic view, wondering how such powers shall be derived. Comments that Knox's opinion, to build a central national government, is energetic and favorable compared to the existing system, which he calls "slow - debilitated - and liable to be thwarted by every breath." Warns that those in favor of strong state governments will oppose a powerful national system of government. Admits that his opinions might be sheltered, as he never leaves his farms. Reflects that he would never have previously predicted a rebellion "against the laws & constitutions of our own making." Sends his and Martha's love to Knox and his wife Lucy.
|President Government and Civics Articles of Confederation US Constitution US Constitutional Convention Politics Mount Vernon Rebellion Shays' Rebellion Mobs and Riots First Lady
|Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Washington, George (1732-1799) Washington, Martha (1731-1802) Knox, Lucy Flucker (1756-1824)
|Mount Vernon, Virginia
|The Presidency; Women in American History; Children & Family; Government & Politics; Agriculture; Creating a New Government
|The Henry Knox Papers
|Signer of the U.S. Constitution.
|The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
|Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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