George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Henry Knox, 27 November 1775

From Colonel Henry Knox

New York Novr 27. 1775

May it please your Excellency

I arriv’d here last saturday morning1 and immediately made inquiry whether Colo. Read had done any thing in the buissness with which he was charg’d—I found his Stay had been short during which time the Committee that sit during the recess of Congress could not be gotten together so that he went away without being able to forward the matter—The Committee met Yesterday and after having consider’d of your Excellency’s Letter to them2 Colo. McDougal waited upon me & gave such reasons for not complying with the requisition for the heavy Cannon as would not be prudent to put on paper, he has promis’d me that he will use his utmost influence in the Congress which meets tomorrow & has no doubt of Success that 12 exceeding good Iron 4 pounders with a Quantity of shells & shot shall be directly sent to Camp & also he has promis’d the Loan of 2 fine brass six-pounders cast in a foundery in this City3—they have finish’d six—I very sincerely wish Your Excellency had been acquainted with this Circumstance & charg’d me with a commission to have had a number cast for the Camp—they turn out cheaper than the ones imported from Engld these cost 3/9 N.Y. per lb.—the English 2/6 sterg per lb.—they weigh About 600 lb. a peice.

If Sir you should think proper to have some done & will give Orders to Colo. McDougal or some other Gentleman of this City—the foundery will execute one in two days after he Shall receive the orders—and so any number in proportion—he also can cast brass Mortars—Colo. McDougal has promis’d me that those articles shall be forwarded to the Camp with the utmost expedition4—You will please sir to give Orders to Col. Burbeck to ge⟨t⟩ light field Carriages & appurtanances made for these Gun⟨s⟩.

I shall set out by land tomorow morning for Ticonderoga & proceed with the utmost dispatch as k⟨nowing⟩ our whole dependance for heavy cannon will be from that part—perhaps by my return to Ca⟨mp⟩ the reasons which now operate against my getg them here may then cease to exist. I am most Resp[e]ctfully Your Excellency’s Most Ob. & Most Humble Servant

Henry Knox

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NNGL: Knox Papers. The draft includes an account of the surrender of Montreal and Arnold’s arrival at Pointe de Lévy which is omitted from the ALS.

125 November.

3The New York provincial congress, which recessed on 4 Nov., did not sit again until 6 Dec. for lack of a quorum and did not then take up the matter of the cannon, being annoyed that some gunpowder previously sent to the Continental army had not been repaid. See Alexander McDougall to GW, 2 Jan. 1776. The New York committee of safety agreed on 6 Jan. 1776 that McDougall could send the cannon to GW if their owners could be convinced to spare them (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:240).

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