Washington. Letter copy: Head Quarters, to General Benjamin Lincoln, 1783 June
6. 2 p. + doc.
to Sec. at War
attentively perused the letter from Major Genl Knox to you, respecting extra
allowances to him, which you committed to my consideration, I can with great
truth and justice say, that the requests made by Gen Knox appear to me to be
perfectly reasonable and well founded.
the first instance, the duties of his command from the time of his first
entering the Service have been arduous and important – and if it was necessary
to make the Observation to you I could add, they have been executed with the
greatest attention, ability and satisfaction, as well as with great prudence and
oeconomy for the public. If therefore Congress should be pleased to give him the
allowances for the time mentioned, for his extra Services as Master of the
Ordnance, I think it would be no more than what justice demands for his
particular merits, and will involve no disagreeable Consequences.
the other head - although the extra allowances have been discontinued to
Officers in separate departments, yet General Knox’s situation has been very
peculiar for the time he has commanded at West Point; particulary last year,
while the French Army was in the Neighborhood, Curiosity led many of their most
respectable officers to visit that post, which circumstance alone led him, for
the honor of our Country as well as his own, into many unavoidable  expences,
beyond what any other Situation would have subjected him to. Independent of this
particular reason, West Point, being a post of great importance and much famed
for the peculiarity of its Situation and Strength, is at all time subject to
much company, many of whom are so respectable as to claim the attention of the
Commandant. In this view, exclusive of his particular merits at that post, I
think the request of General Knox is extremely reasonable and just. And if
Congress should be pleased to grant him some extra allowance therefor, it would
be exceedingly grateful to me and perfectly conformable to my Wishes.
am, dear Sir,
most obedient Servant
Secretary at War
of a letter from his Ex: Genl Washington to the Secretary at War 6 June 1783
This is a copy of letter to General Benjamin Lincoln which was sent to
Knox by Washington. Original
letter published in Fitzpatrick, John C. The Writings of George Washington. v.
25, pp. 475--6