Last modified on 2 November 2014, at 15:16

Henry Knox

The eyes of all America are upon us, as we play our part in posterity will bless or curse us.

Henry Knox (July 25, 1750October 25, 1806) was an American bookseller from Boston who became the chief artillery officer of the Continental Army and later the nation's first Secretary of War. He was a trusted advisor, and a life-long friend, of George Washington.


  • It is not easy to conceive the difficulties we have had.
    • Knox to George Washington on the difficulties of taking to Boston.-McCullough pg 83
  • I most earnestly beg you to spare no trouble or necessary expense in getting these.
    • Knox to a local officer while taking cannon to Boston.-McCullough pg 83
  • It is a melancholy reflection that our modes of population have been more destructive to the Indian natives than the conduct of the conquerors of Mexico and Peru. The evidence of this is the utter extirpation of nearly all the Indians in the most populous parts of the Union. A future historian may mark the causes of this destruction of the human race in sable colors. Although the present Government of the United States cannot with propriety be involved in the oppropbrium, yet it seems necessary however, in order to render their attention upon this subject strongly characteristic of their justice, that some powerful attempts should be made to tranquilize the frontiers, particularly those south of the Ohio.
    • Report by then Secretary of War Henry Knox to the president, 1790
  • Trusting that...we shall have a fine fall of snow....I hope in sixteen or seventeen days to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery.
    • Knox to George Washington on when the cannon would arrive.-McCullough pg 83
  • We shall cut no small figure through the country with our cannon.
    • Knox to his wife, on the difficulties of dragging Cannon.-McCullough pg 83
  • The eyes of all America are upon us, as we play our part in posterity will bless or curse us.
    • Knox on the Declaration of Independence.-McCullough pg 83
  • We want great men who, when fortune frowns, will not be discouraged.
    • McCullough, pg 201
  • Were an energetic and judicious system to be proposed with your signature it would be a circumstance highly honorable to your fame . . . and doubly entitle you to the glorious republican epithet, The Father of your Country.
    • Letter to Washington, urging Washington to attend the Philadelphia Convention

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