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berty, a firm patriot, a friend to his country, and a patron of useful public institutions. He possessed a sound and discriminating mind, and a clear and comprehensive understanding; was alike distinguished for his public and private virtues, being an able and faithful public officer, and an eminently useful private citizen.
Governor Hopkins finished his long, honourable and useful life, on the 20th July, 1785, in the 79th year of his age. . · KNOX, HENRY, major-general in the American army during the revolutionary war, was born in Boston, July 25, 1750. His parents were of Scottish descent. Before our revolutionary war, which afforded an opportunity for the devolopement of his patriotic feelings and military talents, he was engaged in a bookstore. By means of his early education, and this honourable employment, he acquired a taste for literary pursuits, which he retained through life.
Young Knox gave early proofs of his attachment to the cause of freedom and his country. It will be recollected, that, in various parts of the state, volunteer companies were formed in 1774, with a view to awaken the martial spirit of the people, and as a sort of preparation for the contest which was apprehended. Knox was an officer in a military corps of this denomination; and was distinguished by his activity and discipline. There is evidence of his giving uncommon attention to military tactics at this period, especially to the branch of enginery and artillery, in which he afterwards 60 greatly excelled.
It is also to be recorded, in proof of his predominant love of country, and its liberties, that he had before this time, become connected with a very respectable family, which adhered to the measures of the British ministry, and had received great promises both of honour and profit, if he would
follow the standard of his sovereign. Even at this time his talents were too great to be overlooked; and it was wished, if possible, to prevent him from attaching himself to the cause of the provincials. He was one of those whose departure from Boston was interdicted by governor Gage, soon after the affair of Lexington. The object of Gage was probably not so much to keep these eminent characters as hostages, as to deprive the Americans of their talents and services. In June, however, he found means to make his way through the British lines, to the American army at Cambridge. He was here received with joyful enthusiasm: for his knowledge of the military art, and his zeal for the liberties of the coumtry, were admitted by all. The provincial congress then convened at Watertown, immediately sent for him, and entrusted solely to him the erection of such fortresses as might be necessary to prevent a sudden attack from the enemy in Boston.
The little army of militia, collected in and about Cambridge, in the spring of 1775, soon after the battle of Lexington, was without order and discipline. All was insubordination and confusion. General Washington did not arrive to take cominand of the troops until after this period. In this state of things, Knox declined any particular commission, though he readily directed his attention and exertions to the objects which congress requestel.
It was in the course of this season, and before he had formally undertaken the command of the artillery, that Knox volunteered his services to go to St. John's, in the province of Canada, and to bring thence to Cambridge, all the heavy ordnance and military stores. This hazardous enterprize he effected in a manner which astonished all who knew the difficulty of the service.
Soon after his return from this fortunate expe
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 cominand 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 partwith him.”
No officer in the army, it is believed, more largely 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.