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Collection Reference Number GLC02437.03118
From Archive Folder The Henry Knox Papers [0074] January-April 1785 
Title Henry Knox to George Washington informing Washington he has accepted the role of Secretary at War and other business matters
Date 24 March 1785
Author Knox, Henry (1750-1806)  
Recipient Washington, George  
Document Type Government document; Correspondence
Content Description Requests a certificate from Washington for Winthrop Sargent, who Knox describes as "really clever and... an excellent artillery officer." Promises to procure limestone when the weather improves. Discusses Washington's refusal of a gift from the Legislature of Virginia. States, "My jealousy for your fame is so high, that I should prefer seeing you cincinnatus like, following your plow rather than accepting the least pecuniary reward for services, which fairly challenge the approbation of posterity, but thank the supreme God, you are happily placed above the necessity of receiving any assistance." Suggests the money should instead go to "the maintenance of the widows, and the support and education of the orphans of those men of their own line..." Reports that he accepted the appointment of Secretary at War, noting "From the habits imbibed during the War, and from the opinion of my friends, that I should make but an indifferent trader, I thought upon mature consideration that it was well to accept it..." Complains of the position's low salary ($2450 per year), discussing his relatively precarious financial state. Text extends into the margins of pages two and three. Knox's retained draft.
Subjects Revolutionary War General  Military History  Continental Army  Artillery  Industry  Government and Civics  President  Society of the Cincinnati  Classical World and Ancient Civilization  Finance  Soldier's Pay  Charity and Philanthropy  Women's History  Education  Commerce  Merchants and Trade  Children and Family  
People Knox, Henry (1750-1806)  Washington, George (1732-1799)  Sargent, Winthrop (1753-1820)  
Place written Boston, Massachusetts
Theme Religion; Government & Politics; Education; The Presidency; Creating a New Government
Sub-collection The Henry Knox Papers
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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