Mr John Randall
My dear sir,
It is my melancholy duty to inform you of the death of my dear father. He expired today at one o'clock noon. His health had appeared to be much the same as when you was here last, until last Sunday, when he changed for the worse & continued to fail till death ended his sufferings.
Although the event has been expected as inevitable for a long time past and we were therefore in some measure prepared for it, yet now that it has occurred and we are bereft of a kind parent, we are all plunged in gloom & affliction, and can scarcely realize that it is so.
But, my friend, we must bow to the will of providence. The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon and I wish you to inform Dr. Vantine and his family and also your mother and brother's family, also the Coggins of this most melancholy event, and an invitation to all to attend the funeral, should it be convenient for any to leave.
The funeral will probably take place at the house occupied by Wm Marcy and ourselves in Albany. I have no time to add any more.
Yours very truly
Aug. 23 (1839) Benjamin Knower died, aged 64. He was a resident of the city nearly forty years; and although he began life as a mechanic, soon entered upon extensive commercial transactions. His career was distinguished for enterprise and public spirit, and he passed through it with a reputation for integrity unsullied, and for business capacity unsurpassed. He was for a long time connected with, and took an active part in the management of the Mechanics and Farmers' Bank, of which he was president. In 1821, he was solicited to take the office of state treasurer, which he held until the fall of 1824, when he resigned. Mr. Knower was a hatter by occupation, and having many apprentices, most of them, as a matter of course, were without pecuniary means or friends able to assist them. He seemed to regard it not only as a duty, but a source of personal gratification, to extend to them a helping hand at this critical moment in their lives. His place of business was a few doors below the corner of Hudson Street, in Broadway, on the west side. (Notes from the Newspapers, p. 295)