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Brett discusses war with Spain to Knox

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionPierpont Morgan Library: Henry Knox Papers view image
Document Information
Date July 7, 1790
Author Name P. Brett (primary) Location: London
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Letter, discusses prospects of war with Spain.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; P Brett; General Maunsell; General Knox; John Maunsell; Dutch Fleet; Spaniards; France; national assembly; Spanish ambassador; ;
Related Places London; England; Madrid, Spain; Portsmouth; St. James'; Halifax; ;
Keywords voyage; war; fleet; army; sail of the line; frigates; dispute; expense; ;
Key Phrases Ever since the beginning of May last we have been in daily expectation of a war with Spain;

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P.Brett Esq
London 7 July 1790
[indecipherable] Duke 477 [indecipherable]
London. 7th July 1790
I have great in embracing any opportunity of opinions & correspondence with a gentleman, I so highly respect as General Knox, whose amiable character and great abilities I have been made acquainted with by our esteemed and mutual friend General Maunsell, who arrived here yesterday in good health and spirits after a short and pleasant passage of sixteen days from Halifax. He is a little fatigued as you may naturally suppose, and as he is just dressing to pay his respects at St. Jame's, I take up the pen for him to communicate this intelligence, and to acquaint you as he desires, that when he recovers a little, and is more at leisure, he will give you a particular account of his voyage.
Ever since the beginning of a May last we have in been in daily expectation of a war with Spain; in consequence of which we have made vigorous exertions to be prepared for that event-fitted out fleets & augmented our army-and a few days ago, sixteen sail of the line and some Frigates, under the command of Admiral [Undecipherable], sailed from Portsmouth, and at Torbay
expect to be joined by a Dutch Fleet consisting of seven sail of the line and some frigates but, the destination of this [undecipherable] is not known, and whether we are to have a war, after all our preparations, is still uncertain, for matters relative to the dispute between our court and that of Spain is kept so secret, that whatever reports are heard: broad upon the subject cannot be depended on. Messenger after messenger arrives from Madrid without bringing anything decisive. Some say that the Spaniards are arming and equipping with expedition and activity, fully determined to settle the dispute only by the point of the sword. [undecipherable] other maintain that they have no serious intention of quarreling with us: on the contrary that they are willing to reasonable concessions and the expense they have incurred since the commencement of this [Disagreeable?] [bustle?]. [Undecipherable] first however fall in with any of the Spanish [undecipherable]. [Undecipherable] uncertainty will no longer exist. Yes[?] much in favor at this time that France is not in a capacity of assisting the Spaniards, and if She were, that the National assembly is decidedly against taking any part against England. The Spanish Ambassador remains here still, as does ours at Madrid.
If upon any occasion my services in this Country can be any way useful to you, I beg leave to say that I shall be happy to receive your commands, and to assure you that I have the honor to be with the [undecipherable] respect, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant
P Brett