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dition, he took command of the whole corps of the artillery of our army, and retained it until the close of the war. To him the country was chiefly indebted for the organization of the artillery and ordnance department. He gave it both form and efficiency; and it was distinguished alike for its expertness of discipline and promptness of exccution.
At the battle of Monmouth, in New Jersey, in June, 1778, general Knox exhibited new proofs of his bravery and skill. Under his personal and immediate direction, the artillery gave great effect to the success of that memorable day. It will be remembered, that the British troops were much more numerous than ours; and that general Lee was charged with keeping back the battalion he commanded from the field of battle. The situation of our army was most critical. General Washington was personally engaged in rallying and directing the troops in the most dangerous positions. The affair terminated in favour of our gallant army; and generals Knox and Wayne received the particular commendations of the commander-in-chief, the following day, in the orders issued on the occasion. After mentioning the good conduct and bravery of general Wayne, and thanking the gallant officers and men who distinguished themselves, general Washington says, "he can with pleasure inform general Knox, and the officers of the artillery, that the enemy have done them the justice to acknowledge that no artillery could be better served than ours.”
When general Greene was offered the arduous command of the southern department, he replied to the commander-in-chief, Knox is the man for this difficult undertaking; all obstacles vanish before him; his resources are infinite." • True," replied Washington, "and therefore I cannot part with him."
No officer in the army, it is believed, more la! gely shared in the affection and confidence of the illustrious Washington. In every action where be appeared, Knox was with him: at every council of war, he bore a part. In truth, he possessed talents and qualities, which could not fail to recommend him to a man of the discriminating mind of Washington. He was intelligent, brave, patriotic, humane, honourable. Washington soon became sensible of his merits, and bestowed on him his esteem, his friendship, and confidence.
On the resignation of major-general Benjamin Lincoln, Knox was appointed secretary of the war department. by congress, during the period of the confederation. And when the federal government was organized in 1789, he was designated by president Washington, for the same honourable and responsible office.
This office he held for about five years; enjoying the confidence of the president. and esteemed by all his colleagues in the administration of the federal government. Of his talents, his integrity, and his devotion to the interests and prosperity of his country, no one had ever any reason to doubt. In 1794, he retired from office to a private station, followed by the esteem and love of all who had been honoured with his acquaintance.
At this time he removed with his family to Thomaston, on St. George's river, in the district of Maine, 200 miles north-east of Boston. He was possessed of extensive landed property in that part of the country, which had formerly belonged to general Waldo, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Knox.
At the request of his fellow-citizens, though unsolicited on his part, he filled a seat at the councilboard of Massachusetts, during several years of his residence at Thomaston; and the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him by the president and trustees of Dartmouth college.
The amiable virtues of the citizen and the man, were as conspicuous in the character of general Knox, as the more brilliant and commanding talents of the hero and statesman. The afflicted and destitute were sure to share of his compassion and charity. “His heart was made of tenderness;" and he often disregarded his own wishes and convenience, in kind endeavours to promote the interest and happiness of his friends.
The possession of extensive property and high office, is too apt to engender pride and insolence. But general Knox was entirely exempt, both in disposition and manners, from this common frailty. Mildness ever-beamed in his countenance; "on his tongue were the words of kindness;" and equanimity and generosity, always marked his intercourse with his fellow men. The poor he never oppressed: the more obscure citizen, we believe, could never complain of injustice at his hands. With all classes of people he dealt on the most fair and honourable principles: and would sooner submit to a sacrifice of property himself, than injure or defraud another.
In his person, general Knox was above the common stature; of noble and commanding form; of manners elegant, conciliating, and dignified.
To the amiable qualities and moral excellencies of general Knox, which have already been enumerated, we may justly add his prevailing disposition to piety. With much of the manners of the gay world, and opposed, as he was, to all superstition and bigotry, he might not appear to those, ignorant of his better feelings, to possess religious and devout affections. But to his friends it was abundantly evident, that he cherished exalted sentiments of devotion and piety to God.
He was a firm believer in the natural and moral attributes of the Deity, and his overruling and all-pervading providence.
General Knox, died at Thomaston, October 25, 1806, aged 56 years. His death wa. Oci asioned by his swallowing the bone of a chicken.
LAURENS, HENRY, was born in Charleston, South Carolina. in the year 1724.
He took an early part in opposing the arbitrary claims of Great Britain, at the commencement of the American revolution. When the provincial congress of Carolina met in June, 1775, he was appointed its president; in which capacity he drew up a form of association. to be signed by all the friends of liberty, which indicated a most determined spirit. After the establishment of the temporary constitution in 1776, be was elected vice-president. Being appointed a member of the general congress, after the resignation of Hancock, he was appointed president of that illustrious body, in November, 1777. In 1780, he was deputed to solicit a loan from Holland, and to negociate a treaty with the United Netherlands. But on his passage. he was captured by a British vessel, on the banks of Newfoundland. He threw his papers overboard, but they were recovered by a sailor. Being sent to England, he was committed to the tower, on the 6th of October, as a state prisoner: upon a charge of high treason Here he was confined more than a year, and was treated with great severity, being denied, for the most part, all intercourse with his friends and forbidden the use of pen, ink, and paper. His capture occasioned no small embarrassment to the ministry. They dared not condemn him as a rebel, through fear of retaliation; and they were unwilling to release him, lest he should accomplish the object of bis mission. The discoveries found in his papers. led to a war with Great Britain and Holland, and Mr. Adams was appointed in his place to carry on the negociation with the United Provinces.
Many propositions were then made to him,
which were repelled with indignation. At length, news being received that his eldest son, a youth of such uncommon talents, exalted sentiments, and prepossessing manners and appearance, that a romantic interest is still attached to his name, had been appointed the special minister of congress to the French court, and was there urging the suit of his country, with winning eloquence, the father was requested to write to his son, and urge
his turn to America; it being farther hinted, that, as he was held a prisoner, in the light of a rebel, his life should depend upon compliance. “My son is of age,” replied the heroic father of an heroic son, 66 and has a will of his own. I know him to be a man of honour. He loves me dearly, and would lay down his life to save mine, but I am sure that he would not sacrifice his honour to save my life, and I applaud him.” This veteran was not many months after released, with a request from lord Shelburne that he would pass to the continent and assist in negotiating a peace between Great Britain and the free United States of America, and France their ally.
Towards the close of the year 1781, his sufferings, which had, by that time, become well known, excited the utmost sympathy for himself, but kindled the warmest indignation against the authors of his cruel confinement. Every attempt to draw concessions from this inflexible patriot having proved more than useless, his enlargement was resolved upon, but difficulties arose as to the mode of effecting it. Pursuing the same high-minded course which he had at first adopted, and influenced by the noblest feelings of the heart, he obstinately refused his consent to any act which might imply a confession that he was a British subject, for as such he had been committed on a charge of high treason. It was finally proposed to take bail for his appearance at the court of king's bench, and