Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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KNOX, William, British politician, born in Ireland in 1732; died in Ealing, England, 25 August, 1810. He accompanied Governor Henry Ellis to Georgia as provost-marshal in 1756, and returned to England in 1761. After the close of the French war he sent a memorial to Lord Bute recommending the creation of a colonial aristocracy, and representation of the colonies in the British parliament. Soon afterward he was appointed agent in Great Britain for Georgia and East Florida; but his commission was withdrawn in 1765 in consequence of his publishing two pamphlets in defence of the stamp-act, which he considered a mode of taxation least likely to meet with objection in America. One of them was entitled " A Letter to a Member of Parliament," the other "The Claims of the Colonies to an Ex-eruption from Internal Taxes." In 1768 he published his principal political work, " The Present State of the Nation." The views of colonial policy that he expressed in this book were controverted by Edmund Burke, whose reply elicited a new pamphlet from Knox in 1769. The same year he published "the Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies Reviewed." In 1770 he was made under-secretary of state for American affairs, he published a pamphlet in defence of the Quebec act in 1774, and soon afterward drew up a project for the permanent union of the colonies and settlement with them. Lord North's conciliatory proposition of 1776 was probably based on this report. In 1780 he suggested the creation of a separate loyalist colony in the part of Maine that lies east of Penobscot river, with Thomas Oliver for governor and Daniel Leonard for chief justice. The king and ministers were in favor of this project, but it was abandoned because the attorney-general held that the district was a part of Massachusetts. Knox continued under-secretary for America until the post was abolished at the close of the war of independence. He was still consulted after that with regard to the remaining colonies, and in duly, 1783, drafted an order in council excluding American shipping from the West Indies. At his suggestion the province of New Brunswick was created in 1784, and lands were granted to the expelled loyalists of New England and New York. After the death of Sir dames Wright he was attorney for the loyalists of Georgia, to press their claims on the British government for compensation on account of losses of property through the war. He secured a pension for himself and for his wife as American sufferers. He also published a valuable collection of " Extra-Official State Papers " (1789).
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