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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 Gouverneur Morris

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.10098 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: West Point, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 February 1783 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 35.3 x 22.2 cm.

Summary of Content: Knox, Commander at West Point, writes to Morris, Superintendent of Finance. Remarks, "The Army generally have always reprobated being thirteen Armies. Their ardent desires have been to be one continental body looking up to one sovereign..." Calls for a central government to preserve the anticipated peace. Declares, "America will have fought and bled to little purpose if the powers of Government shall be insufficient to preserve the peace...why do not you great men call the people together and tell them so, that is have a convention of the States to form a better Constitution. It appears to us who have a superficial view only to be [the] most efficacious remedy. Let something be done before a peace takes place, or we shall be in a worse situation than we were at the commencement of the War."

People: Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Articles of ConfederationUS ConstitutionGovernment and CivicsPeaceMilitary HistoryRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralContinental Army

Sub Era:

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