Transcriptions closed on May 15, 2018. Read more details here.

Shay's Rebellion

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionJames S. Copley Library: General Collection view image
Document Information
Date February 14, 1787
Author Name Henry Knox (primary) Location: New York
Recipient Name Benjamin Lincoln (primary)
Summary Knox congratulates Gen. Lincoln on his success defeating the insurgents during Shays' Rebellion and speculates about the upcoming Philadelphia convention intended to correct the defects in the current government.
Document Format Autograph Letter/Document Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Benjamin Lincoln; Henry Knox; Daniel Shays; Major North; continental recruits; Colonel Jackson; recruiting service; Colonel Humphrey; our old friend General Washington; Congress; insurgents; delegates; Mr. King; Mr. Higginson;
Related Places New York; Massachusetts; Connecticut; Philadelphia; ;
Keywords military reputation; Shays' Rebellion; laurels; accord; violent storm; magazine; expense; money; rendezvous; stores; history of your movements; complete success; convention proposed by the commercial convention; liberty; defects of the proposed system; mature deliberation; assent of the people of the respective states; original compact; continental convention; differently constructed republican government;
Key Phrases The convention proposed by the commercial convention last September to meet in Philadelphia in May next engrosses a great portion of the attention of the men of reflection--

[Note: Transcriptions are works in progress and maybe partial. Please help us correct any errors or omissions by signing up for a transcription account.]
New York 14 February 1787
My Dear Sir
While I thank you for your kind communications of the 5th instant, I most heartily congratulate you on the successful events contained therein. Were not your military reputation already highly (undecipherable) your manovors would have elevated it, but circumstanced as you are in the opinion of your friends and the world, Shay's Rebellion, is not (undecipherable) in which you could gather (undecipherable). It will be a sufficient satisfaction to you that you have dissipated accord that threatened a violent storm. But I must (undecipherable)(undecipherable) subjects or I may launch out into (undecipherable) which must not be so well received by you.
I wrote you by Major North on the 9th instant and informed you, that I had directed the continental recruits in Massachusetts, and Connecticut, to repair to Springfield to serve as a guard for the Continental arsenal and magazine. But since you have
Genl Lincoln

have completely (undecipherable) the insungents, I have countermanded the orders to Colonel Jackson, on the priniciple that the expence prefunatory to and consequent on the (undecipherable) would (undecipherable) the money he has, what is destined to the recruiting service alone, and also that the alteration of his rendevouz would materially insure his happiness of (undecipherable). I have however continued the orders of Col Humphrey when full (undecipherable) (undecipherable) (undecipherable) probably amount to one hundred men who will probably be an adequate protection to the stones. If however you should be of a different opinion and will inform me thereof I will order Col Jacksons recruits to Springfield.
I have communicated at the request of our old friend General Washington the history of your movements from time to time and I

have also submitted the substance of your information to congress - the solicitence discoverer for your complete success has been very considerable - I am happy that it has been so amply qualified.
The convention proposed by the commercial convention last September, to meet in Philadelphia in May next (undecipherable) a great portion of the attention of the men (undecipherble) reflection - some are for and some against it, but the preponderance of opinion is for it - None of the new (undecipherable) court states have yet chosen and it appears quite problematic whether any will choose unless Massachusetts. I have endeavoured to investigate all that has been alledged against the convention, and I confess I do not think the objections (undepherable) will founded as many people do - the convention will beat liberty to consider more
(undecipherable) the defects of the (undecipherable) system, that congress, can, who are the execution of a called system. It what they should think proper to propose after mature (undecipherable), should acquire the aspect of the people of the reflective states, which is supposed necessary (undecipherable) original compact, the convention, could recommend to the respective (undecipherable)local state conventions, for the sole purpose of choosing delegates to represent them in a continental convention, (undecipherable) to confirm and finally decide on a general (undecipherable) public the same for observance -The differently constituted republican government should be the object, the shortest road back will be found to be the convention - I hope therefore that (undecipherable) would choose, and that you Mr Kigs, and Mr (undecipherable) should be three of the delegates.
I am your truly affectionate friend and humble servant
H Knox