General Knox appeals to Governor Hancock to consider the plight of disabled veterans: "The states have too much dignity and too high a character to support, to suffer the men who have shed their blood in its cause, and who in consequence are untimely cut off from all the sweet enjoyments of society to solicit the icy hand of charity for that food, which a less decided conduct would have given them in ease and plenty."
In August 1782 Henry Knox took command of the fortifications at West Point, while the British were negotiating to evacuate New York. As Washington's Secretary of War, Knox was anxious to redress the grievances of the underpaid and ill-fed continental army. He brings to the attention of the Massachusetts governor the fate of a citizen of that state: "I am constrained to state to Your Excellency a subject which will be as distressing to you as it is painful to humanity. Capt. Slewman, of Colonel Crane's regiment of artillery, was dangerously wounded in the battle of Germantown. Although he lingered for a long time, yet unfortunately for him, the wound did not prove mortal. He is incapacitated from further service by its effects, which are such as to subject him to continual apprehensions, and totally to deprive him from pursuing any business to obtain a subsistence."
"Congress have recommended to the several states to make provision for their wounded officers but Captain Slewman represents that he never has been able to derive any benefit from it, as the states have passed no laws for that purpose. I was inclined to believe he was mistaken until upon further enquiry, I found he was certainly right in his information."
Knox urges the governor to "... take this matter into consideration, and use such measures as will effect the relief of the gallant unfortunates, whose sufferings, if too long continued, will tend to tarnish the lustre of the revolution."
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