An 8-cent regular stamp in the Great Americans Series commemorating the 200th anniversary year of Henry Knox's appointment as the first secretary of war was issued on July 25, 1985, in Thomaston, Maine .
General Henry Knox (1750-1806) participated in nearly every important military engagement throughout the American Revolution. He was a trusted adviser and close friend of George Washington, who described him as "a man of great military reading, sound judgment, and clear conceptions."
After joining the Continental Army in 1775, Knox was commissioned a colonel and placed in charge of the artillery. That winter he captured fifty-five pieces of artillery from the British at Fort Ticonderoga, which were used to defend besieged cities such as Boston, Trenton, Princeton, and Germantown. This equipment formed the basis for the US Army artillery.
Under Washington, Knox was in charge of the forces which crossed the Delaware River to surprise the Hessian soldiers at Trenton on Christmas night in 1776. He also was with Washington at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777.
Knox was promoted to major general after the British surrendered at the battle of Yorktown in 1781 and succeeded Washington as general-in-chief of the Army in 1783. He was appointed secretary of war under the Articles of Confederation in 1785 and was retained in this position as a member of President Washington's cabinet.
General Knox was placed in command of the US Military Academy at West Point, which he had initially organized as a temporary military academy, in 1782.
Arthur Lidov of Poughquaq, New York, designed the stamp. It was printed in the intaglio process and issued in panes of 100. The art director was Howard Paine; typographer was Bradbury Thompson; modeler was Ronald C. Sharpe; engravers were John S. Wallace (vignette) and Gary Slaght (lettering and numerals).
Postal Bulletin (June 20, 1985).