Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Revolutionary War]. George Washington Letter Signed. One page, 8" x 12.5", "Head Quarters," August 3, 1780, to Brigadier General Henry Knox. Within the first years of the Revolutionary War, Henry Knox had risen to the role as Chief of Artillery under General Washington. The two had met in 1775 and got on famously, forging a lifelong friendship. Following the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, Washington's army took up positions around New York and over the next two years, in addition to running the first officer and artillery training school, Knox was tasked with obtaining supplies for the army. After six long years of war, Congress had bankrupted their resources and French assistance was yet to arrive. The extreme depreciation of the Continental dollar made it completely useless. Washington writes to his friend begging for any supplies to relieve his beleaguered troops, in full:

    "I wish to be informed, whether what Arms and Accoutrements you have on hand, together with those in the Magazines capable of being put in repair in three weeks; are sufficient to equip five thousand men, exclusive of the troops now on this grounds, who are destitute and must be supplied.

    "If there are not Arms and Accoutrements to this amount, I beg you will give me the best information you can of the number, in an hour after the receipt of this."

    This letter is found on page 311 in the "Writings of Washington, Volume 19, June 1780-September 1780." Weakened folds have entirely detached, but the letter has been archivally repaired. Some ink is smudged at the folds, but the letter is still legible. Minor paper loss at right, obscuring one word, and two holes at the left edge are also repaired. Bottom left corner damaged. Slight chipping along the right edge. Unevenly toned throughout. Washington's signature is bold and unaffected by damage.

    One month later, in September 1780, Knox would serve on the court-martial of Major John Andre which would expose Benedict Arnold's treachery. Knox would continue to serve Washington as the first Secretary of War.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,760

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 36 days left to consign to the 2020 May 3 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424