George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 17 August 1789

From Henry Knox

[New York] August 17th 1789


I have enclosed the copies of the letters you have been pleased to request. I am persuaded the senate will when they understand the matter fully concur with the house.1

I will wait on you this afternoon or tomorrow morning with some heads of instructions for the Commissioners.2

I sincerely thank you for Your kind condolance on the loss of our child—we must submit to events we cannot control.3 I am most respectfully Sir Your obedient humble Servant

H. Knox


1GW’s request may have been verbal since no request for letters around this date has been found. Knox may be referring to the fact that the House of Representatives had passed an act “providing for the expences which may attend negociations or treaties with the Indian tribes, and the appointment of commissioners for managing the same” on 13 Aug. and sent the bill to the Senate. There was considerable disagreement in the Senate and it was not until 20 Aug. that the bill was passed with one amendment (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 3:148, 1:120–124). See GW to the Commissioners to the Southern Indians, 29 Aug., source note.

3Henry and Lucy Knox’s youngest son George Washington Knox was “seized on the 28th day of June with a violent dysentery” and died on 16 Aug. (Knox to Samuel Ogden, 9 July 1789, NNGL: Knox Papers; Gazette of the United States [New York], 19 Aug. 1789).

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