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Collection Reference Number GLC02437.03874
From Archive Folder The Henry Knox Papers [0084] April-June 1788 
Title Henry Knox to Marquis de Lafayette on George Washington Greene's education and state conventions on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution
Date 15 May 1788
Author Knox, Henry (1750-1806)  
Recipient Lafayette, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de  
Document Type Correspondence; Government document
Content Description Marked "Copy." Letter in a secretarial hand. Says that Joel Barlow, later known as one of the Connecticut Wits, will deliver this letter. Knox identifies Barlow as the author of "The vision of Columbus," a long epic poem in heroic couplets. Barlow went to Europe as an agent for a company that wanted to sell western lands to French emigrants. Knox says Barlow is traveling with the son of Nathanael Greene, George Washington Greene, who is to study with Lafayette in France. Says Catharine Greene and Colonel Wadsworth have written him on the subject of "Master Washington's education," and he will not say much on it. Proceeds to say "The Classics and modern languages as being the work of memory will probably constitute his first studies, together with learning the necessary personal exercises to form his manners." Says mathematics, geography, astronomy, and drawing should come later. Says his removal to France will "honor the memory of his father." Praises the young man's character and disposition. Says his last letter to Lafayette was on 26 April. Thanks Lafayette for sending the Dutch patriot Vander Kemp to meet him. Updates him on state conventions on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Says Maryland was the 7th state to ratify. Says the election for the New York convention delegates has recently taken place, but that the results are not known yet. Believes it will be a balanced delegation of those for and against it. Says "Were the New Constitution to have required the Unanimous assent of all the states it would never have been adopted - But as it require only nine states in the first instance, it may be in full operation, in one year from the present time." In the hand of William Knox.
Subjects US Constitution  Ratification  Revolutionary War General  Letter of Introduction or Recommendation  Literature and Language Arts  France  Poetry  Global History and Civics  Education  Children and Family  Classical World and Ancient Civilization  Mathematics  Science and Technology  Art, Music, Theater, and Film  Death  Military History  Politics  Federalists  Election  Government and Civics  
People Lafayette, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de (1757-1834)  Knox, Henry (1750-1806)  
Place written New York, New York
Theme Creating a New Government; Children & Family; Arts & Literature; Education; Foreign Affairs; Government & Politics
Sub-collection The Henry Knox Papers
Additional Information "The Vision of Columbus," published in 1787, was dedicated to the king of France and sponsored by George Washington. It brought Barlow something more than local fame as a forecaster in verse of what the new United States might become, both in commerce and in art.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
Related documents Letter from Jeremiah Wadsworth to Henry Knox on political matters  
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