George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Henry Knox, 10 February 1781

To Brigadier General Henry Knox

Head Quarters New Windsor February 10th 1781


Mr De Granger has represented to me that his delay in executing the experiments prescribed to him proceeded from the want of the materials requisite for making them, the composition and prepartion of which, he wishes to undertake himself, as the justness of his experiments depends upon the goodness of his materials and the accuracy with which they are prepared, and as his reputation and Military existance in this country depend on the success of those experiments—He declares himself willing and desirous to execute them as soon as these materials are ready.1 As what he requires is not unreasonable, I am to desire you will immediately have him furnished with the ingredients he asks, and afford him the assistance necessary to prepare them as speedily as possible—After we have gone so far it will have an air of disingenuity not to give him a fair and decisive trial: if his pretensions are just we may employ him usefully and in a manner that will not interfere with the corps of Artillery: if they are not good, we can reject his application and put an end to all trouble.2 I am with great regard Sir Your Most Obed. servant

Go: Washington

LS, in William Colfax’s writing, NNGL: Henry Knox Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For Lewis Garanger’s experiments in artillery gunnery, see Knox to GW, 19 Oct. 1780, and n.2 to that document; see Document XIX with The Discovery of Major General Benedict Arnold’s Treachery, 25 Sept.–24 Nov. 1780, editorial note; and Heath to GW, 24 October.

2For the conclusion of the experiments and their evaluation, see Knox to GW, 18 April, and the enclosed report of Sebastian Bauman to Knox, 17 April (both DLC:GW). For the skepticism of GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton regarding Garanger and his experiments, see Hamilton to Bauman, 14 Feb., in Hamilton Papers description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends , 2:559–60.

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