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Request for Character Witness Concerning Officers

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionRhode Island Historical Society: Jeremiah Olney Papers view image
Document Information
Date April 14, 1791
Author Name Jeremiah Olney (primary) Location: Providence
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Letter, discusses recommendations of character for officers.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Jeremiah Olney; Colonel Dexter; Captain Holden; Captains; subaltern officers; Lieutenant S; Major Franklin; Colonel Daniel Tillinghast; ;
Related Places Providence; Philadelphia; ;
Keywords military character; business; health; military glory; recommend; appointment; reputation; intemperance; supply; clothing; ;
Key Phrases unpleasing and delicate task to draw the dark side of a persons character; officer who served with tollerable reputation in the army; thought him very enterprising; fallen intothe habbits of intmeperance; residence in the south part of the state; leaves this town in ten days; officer of excellent character; his health is now and has been for a year past much impaired which would prevent his acceptance of the company even did his heart again thirst for military glory; subaltern officers; not in my power at present to recommend a person from among them that would accept; do honor to the appointment; opportunity to advise with any of them; private; honor'd with your (confidential) letter; all the old captains of reputation being now settled with their families; engaged in some cost of business; do not again to incline to assume a military character;

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28 [circled] (private)
Providence 14th April 1791
Dr Sir
I have been honor'd with your (Confidential) Letter of the 5' Inst., Respecting appointments &c.
All the old Captains of Reputation being now settled [undecipherable} with their Families, & having engaged in some sort of business, do not again incline to assume a millitary Character. Capt. Holden, whom you mention, was as Officer of Excellant Character; but his health is now, and has been for a year past, much impaired,--which would prevent his acceptance of the Company, even did his Heart again Thirst for millitary Glory-- and the Subaltern Officers are much Distressed, some of whom are gone from have left the State; it is therefore out of my power at present to recommend a person from among them that would accept, & Do honor to the Appointment, as I have not had an opportunity to advise with any of them; but will endeavour to as soon as possible, & acquaint you by Capt. [undecipherable] who leaves this Town in Ten days, for Philadelpha
It is a very unpleasing and Delicate Task to draw the dark side of a persons character, but Sir, as you have, in Confidence, Requested this of me Respecting Lieut. S_____ I will give it you in a few Words. he was an officer who served with Tollerable Reputation in the army; Tho, I never thought him very Enterprising-- and since the
War [undecipherable] he has rather fallen into the Habbits of [undecipherable]. This I have from good Authority, I seldom see him myself, as he Resides in the South part of the State--[undecipherable] [undecipherable] [undecipherable] [undecipherable]
Major Franks has left this Town yesterday morning; Colo. Danl. Tellinghart has undertaken to supply the Company &c--- I will attend to the Cloathing when it arrives--
I am with much EsteemD Sir your obed. Humb. SertJereh Olney.
Henry Knox Esquire--Secretary at War
[along lower left margin]To Genl Knox, Secy of War13th April 1791