Knox, Henry

Knox, Henry, 1750–1806, American Revolutionary officer, b. Boston. He volunteered for service and went, in 1775, to Ticonderoga to retrieve the captured cannon and mortar there for use in the siege of Boston. The fortification of Dorchester Heights with this artillery compelled the evacuation of Boston by the British. From that time he was a trusted companion of George Washington. The artillery, under his charge, took a conspicuous part in the battles of Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He commanded at West Point (1782–84) and was a founder (1783) of the Society of the Cincinnati. Knox was Secretary of War both under the Articles of Confederation and under the Constitution (1785–94). A conservative, he attempted to raise a force to oppose Shays's Rebellion, and he favored a strong federal government.

See biography by N. Callahan (1958).

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