Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Marquis de Lafayette

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.03276 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 June 1786 Pagination: 8 p. ; 32 x 20.7 cm.

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.03276 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 June 1786 Pagination: 8 p. ; 32 x 20.7 cm.

Summary of Content: References Lafayette's letter of 11 February 1786. Thanks Lafayette for his kindness toward his brother William when he was ill. Says that William has recovered and has been with him since October 1785. Hopes the recovery is permanent. Discusses the affair of Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who had been sent to France in 1783 to purchase jeweled eagle badges for the members of the Society of the Cincinnati. L'Enfant returned to America in 1784 and brought back many badges purchased on credit. The price proved too high for some officers, which left L'Enfant in a bind. Goes on to say that the Society approved of L'Enfant's conduct and owed 630 dollars to him for his services in France, which Knox says was recently offered to him. L'Enfant refused the payment until the entire issue of the badges purchased on credit is cleared up with the Society. Says L'Enfant will write to Lafayette. Reports he will keep Washington informed. Knox also notes that he gave "our friend Baron Steuben" an extract from Lafayette's letter about von Steuben and also had it published. Thanks Lafayette for offering to watch over his son's education in France. Knox hopes they can exchange sons in the future. Talks of government and says "The revolution has presented us with the opportunity of [pursuing] a strong republican government - But nothing more than the opportunity[.] every home provinces, exchange in opinion But the federal government must be strengthened." Speaks of the character of the American people after the peace treaty with Britain. Reports that "The indians ... of the Ohio are troublesome to the Settlers." Believes the cause is "indiscretions on the part of the Settlers." Says there are 600 troops in the Ohio country and they are there to keep the public lands free from lawless settlers. Says there is enough western land to cancel the debt if it is sold properly. Says "The british were not [leaving] the posts this Summer." The British claim they will not leave them as they were not captured and because the Americans have not complied with treaty stipulations on refugees and debt. Knox says "I wish this was not true." Sends greetings to friends.


Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Society of the CincinnatiAmerican Indian HistoryRevolutionary War GeneralChildren and FamilyMental HealthHealth and MedicalFraternal OrganizationFranceGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFinanceDebtClothing and AccessoriesPresidentImmigration and MigrationJournalismEducationRevolutionary WarContinental ArmyMilitary HistoryArticles of ConfederationUS ConstitutionTreatyFrontiers and ExplorationWestward ExpansionLawDebtEconomicsLand TransactionImmigration and MigrationFortificationRefugeesLoyalist

Sub Era: Creating a New Government

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources