George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Captain James Knox, 19 November 1777

From Captain James Knox

White-marsh Camp [Pa.] Novr 19th 1777

To his Excellency George Washington, Esquire General and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States.

The Representation of James Knox, a Captain in the Eighth Virginia Regiment sheweth

That some time in July last he received of the Continent a considerable Sum of Money for the purpose of paying the Wages and arrears of pay due to the Officers and Soldiers that were under his Command in Carolina. That he paid off a Number of them at Middle-Brook, and was soon after ordered to join the Rifle Regiment under Colo. Morgan at Morristown. At this time he had Nineteen Thirty Dollar Bills, Eighteen Two Dollar Bills, & four Three Dollar Bills amounting to six hundred & Eighteen Dollars, of the Officers and Mens money remaining in his hands. That when he marched with Colo. Morgan, as well for Safety, as for paying the said Bills to the Owners, he delivered them to Capt. Thomas Berry, who locked them up in his Chest and that while Capt. Knox was in New-England, some Villian broke open the Chest and stole the said Bills.1

Capt. Knox humbly begs leave to submit his Case to your Excellency, that as he had taken every necessary Step for the Ease & Conveniency of paying the Men their Money, as he had no Interest in the same, and some of the People are now come and claim their wages, he thinks it hard to pay so large a Sum out of his own pocket. he therefore prays your Excellency will be pleased to order an Examination into this Affair, and afford him such Relief as the Nature of the Case will admit of.2

J. Knox Capt. 8th Virga Regt

ADS, DNA:PCC, item 41.

James Knox of Fincastle County, Va., was appointed a captain in the 8th Virginia Regiment on 4 April 1776 and became major of the 9th Virginia on 6 July 1778. Knox retired from the Continental army on 30 Sept. 1778.

1Thomas Berry (1735–1818) served as a captain in the 8th Virginia Regiment from 27 Mar. 1776 to 30 Sept. 1778. Berry’s deposition of 31 Mar. 1778 on this matter is in DNA:PCC, item 41.

2GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade wrote to Peter Muhlenberg on 22 Nov. 1777 requesting that he instruct Knox to petition Congress about this matter, “as his Excellency has not power to determine in a matter of this nature” (DNA:PCC, item 41). The Continental Congress read Knox’s petition on 18 April 1778 and referred it to the Board of Treasury, which ruled in August 1778 that Knox’s claim was unproven and gave him leave to withdraw the petition (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:366, 11:842–43). Knox’s petition has not been located.

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