Henry Knox

An 1806 portrait of Knox by [[Gilbert Stuart]] now housed in the [[Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|Museum of Fine Arts]] in [[Boston]] Henry Knox (July 25, 1750 – October 25, 1806), a Founding Father of the United States, was a Boston bookseller who became a senior general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, serving as chief of artillery in most of Washington's campaigns. Following the revolution, he oversaw the War Department under the Articles of Confederation from 1785 to 1789. Washington, at the start of his first administration, appointed Knox the nation's first Secretary of War, a position he held from 1789 to 1794. He is well known today as the namesake of Fort Knox in Kentucky, the repository of a large portion of the nation's gold reserves.

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Knox owned and operated a bookstore there, cultivating an interest in military history and joining a local artillery company. Knox was also on the scene of the 1770 Boston Massacre. Though barely 25 when the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, he engineered the transport of captured artillery from New York's Fort Ticonderoga, which proved decisive in driving the British out of Boston in early 1776. Knox quickly rose to become the chief artillery officer of the Continental Army. In this role, he accompanied Washington on most of his campaigns and was engaged in many major actions of the war. He established training centers for artillerymen and manufacturing facilities for weaponry that were valuable assets in winning the war for independence. Knox saw himself as the embodiment of revolutionary republican ideals. In early 1783, as the war drew to a close, he initiated the concept of The Society of the Cincinnati, authoring its founding document and establishing the organization as a fraternal, hereditary society of veteran officers that survives to this day.

In 1785, the Congress of the Confederation appointed Knox as Secretary of War, where he dealt primarily with Indian affairs. Following the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789, he became President Washington's Secretary of War. In this role he oversaw the development of coastal fortifications, worked to improve the preparedness of local militia, and directed the nation’s military operations in the Northwest Indian War. He was formally responsible for the nation's relationship with the Indian population in the territories it claimed, articulating a policy that established federal government supremacy over the states in relation to Indian nations and called for treating Indian nations as sovereign. Knox's idealistic views on the subject were frustrated by ongoing illegal settlements and fraudulent land transfers of Indian lands. He retired to Thomaston, District of Maine in 1795, where he oversaw the rise of a business empire built on borrowed money. He died in 1806, leaving an estate that was bankrupt. Provided by Wikipedia
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    Published 1786
    [New York] : [Publisher not identified], [1786]
    1 online resource (1 sheet)
    Other Authors: ...Knox, Henry, 1750-1806...
    LLMC Digital
    Online Resource

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