View full screen - View 1 of Lot 98. Washington, George | Who goes there?.

Washington, George | Who goes there?

Washington, George | Who goes there?

Washington, George | Who goes there?

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Washington, George

Autograph letter signed ("Go: Washington") as Commander-in-Chief to Henry Knox, relaying paroles and countersigns for the week

One page (225 x 187 mm), [Headquarters, Newburgh, New York], 9 November 1782, autograph address on verso directed "Private | Maj. Gen. Knox | West Point," reception docket on verso; seal tear costing a portion of the left margin but not affecting text, a few scattered stains.

From his headquarters in Newburgh, Washington writes Knox about security measures at West Point: "I had the inclosed in my pocket but forgot to give it to you yesterday [enclosure not present]. I pray you to let the Parole &c. of the day only be known at a time, keeping the others to your self to avoid the evil of a premature discovery."

Knox replied to Washington on 10 November: "I had the honor yesterday to receive the paroles and countersigns up to the 16th inclusive. I shall carefully obey the injunction against a premature discovery. I also received the general orders of the 9th." 

Knox had been appointed to the command of West Point on 29 August 1782. The Continental army moved from the encampment at Verplanck's Point to winter quarters in huts at New Windsor three months later. The cessation of military activity contributed to the increase in discontent of the army, compelling Washington to remain at his Newburgh headquarters instead of retiring to Mount Vernon.

REFERENCE: (Early Access Document, The Papers of George Washington)

This letter was exhibited at The General Henry Knox Museum, Thomaston, Maine, in 2008.


The Dr. Robert Small Trust (Sotheby's New York, 3 April 2008, lot 39)

Condition as described in catalogue entry.

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