George Washington Papers

Henry Knox to Tobias Lear, 3 June 1792

Henry Knox to Tobias Lear

[Philadelphia] 3 June 1792. Asks Lear “to inform the President of the United States that I propose to avail myself of his permission to go to New York by the early stage tomorrow Morning, and to return on thursday or at furthest on friday evening next.”1


1Knox’s journey north apparently was a business trip. On Thursday, 7 June, Knox wrote his wife, Lucy Flucker Knox, from New York: “Here I am yet. But I hope to get away tomorrow—most certainly my public business is suffering. Upon the fullest consideratio⟨n⟩ of the subject I have agreed with Mr [William] Duer to relinquish all claims to the eastern [Massachusetts] purchases, provided he shall on or before the first day of March next give me real or personal security to my approbation or public stock . . . 37500 Dollars or fifteen thousand pounds New York Curry divided into three equal installments” to be paid over the next three years. In a postscript Knox added that his wife should “Remember however the Agreement with Duer is a secret” (NNGL: Knox Papers). On the following evening, 8 June, Knox wrote his wife from Elizabeth, N.J.: “I am here on my return having staid longer than I expected—I finished my business in New York agreably to the plan I mentioned whether it will be productive time will discover—If the first payment shall be made in time all may be well—every thing will therefore depend on that point” (NNGL: Knox Papers). Knox returned to Philadelphia by 14 June (see Knox’s letter to his daughter Lucy, 14 June 1792, NNGL: Knox Papers). For the background to Henry Knox’s land speculations, see Knox to GW, 21 Dec. 1788, note 1.

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