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Collection Reference Number GLC02437.09401
From Archive Folder The Henry Knox Papers [0065] 16-30 September 1783 
Title George Washington to Henry Knox on lands in Virginia, the position of Secretary at War and the Society of the Cincinnati
Date 23 September 1783
Author Washington, George (1732-1799)  
Recipient Knox, Henry  
Document Type Correspondence; Government document
Content Description Expresses gratitude for Knox's praise of Washington in the context of Congress’s resolution “That an equestrian statue of General Washington, be erected at the place where the residence of Congress shall be established,” passed on 7 August 1783 (and later completed by sculptor Thomas Crawford in the nineteenth century). Informs Knox that he has continued to lobby in support of the Officers’ Petition for a large land grant in the Ohio Valley in lieu of back pay, but that the petition is being held up by continued negotiations between Congress and the state of Virginia (in whose territory the lands were located) over Virginia’s territorial cession. Argues that the continued dispute between the United States and Virginia only emboldens land jobbers and squatters at the expense of military officers. Notes that Congress recently accepted the Virginia Cession (on 13 September, as Washington notes, with “some exceptions,” meaning that Congress would not agree to guarantee Virginia’s territorial claims that had not been included within the Cession). Washington correctly anticipates that the Virginia legislature would agree to Congress’s terms (as they would on 1 March 1784). In response to Knox’s proposal that an office of master general of ordnance be created (with Knox occupying), Washington encourages Knox to hold out for the resignation of Benjamin Lincoln from the position of Secretary at War upon the arrival of the Definitive Treaty (the 1783 Treaty of Paris). Though Lincoln’s resignation has not been suggested by any member of Congress, Washington had spoken personally with Lincoln on the topic. Asks Knox, commanding at West Point, if he can learn "by indirect means" which engineers at West Point plan to remain in the army. Asks Knox precisely what is required of the President of the Society of the Cincinnati. Comments on the illnesses of (David) Humphreys and (Benjamin) Walker, two of Washington’s aides-de-camp. Sends his and Martha's best wishes to Knox and his family.
Subjects President  Revolutionary War  Revolutionary War General  Continental Congress  Congress  Art, Music, Theater, and Film  Land Transaction  Westward Expansion  Northwest Territory  Soldier's Pay  Continental Army  Military History  Petition  Government and Civics  Ammunition  Treaty  Peace  West Point (US Military Academy)  First Lady  Society of the Cincinnati  Fraternal Organization  Health and Medical  
People Knox, Henry (1750-1806)  Washington, George (1732-1799)  Lincoln, Benjamin (1733-1810)  
Place written Rocky Hill, New Jersey
Theme The Presidency; Government & Politics; The American Revolution; Health & Medicine; Women in American History; Creating a New Government
Sub-collection The Henry Knox Papers
Additional Information In the Newburgh Petition, dissatisfied officers requested to receive their pay, in many cases long overdue, in the form of land from the Ohio Country. Signer of the U.S. Constitution.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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