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Knox, Henry (1750-1806) to Lucy Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00363 Author/Creator: Knox, Henry (1750-1806) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 8 July 1776 Pagination: 3 p.: address : docket ; 31.8 x 19.5 cm. Order a Copy

Tells Lucy she was right not to return to New York because it is unsafe. Henry would be too worried if she were in danger. Discusses a Mrs. G[reene], who shocked her husband by coming to the city. Remarks that "the peace of this Town & of the safety of the ladies is upon the most precarious tenor imaginable." Explains that the British are close and could strike any time, giving the Continentals only ten minutes to prepare, and Lucy only ten minutes to escape if she were with Henry. It would be even more dangerous because Lucy has a new baby and the road conditions would be unknown. Explains that the British have 10,000 men on Staten Island and are getting reinforcements. Discusses the importance of defending New York, stating that "The eyes of all America are upon us" and "posterity will bless or curse us." Comments skeptically on having "their dear little pledge at Fairfield." Informs her that the ladies are telling "dismal stories of [Lucy's] living." Tells Lucy not to take advice from Palfrey's wife, who is also in Fairfield, Connecticut, because, in part, "she wants to see her husband and he wants to see her because she is a woman." Informs Lucy that an artillery party destroyed a British ship, after which the British burned the remains. Comments on shooting at ships. In a note at the end, comments that he does not like Mr. A., and he believes Packard cheated Lucy in his market accounts.

New York July 8. 6 oClock in the Morng.
My dear Lucy
I received yours of last Saturday by Mr Belford, M.rs Greene Return to was a vast surprize to us as to miss Airey I conjecture he whimsical mother sent these Gentlemen up after her. - my Lucy acted herself and acted right in not returning to this place - It is a happiness and the greatest happiness for me to be with you, but to be under a continued uneasiness on account of your safety is what You would not wish - as to M.rs G. husband being happy to see her in all times and in all places [&] much mistaken if it would not have Diabled him from the service whether he had not have rather lost his arm than have seen her here at this time - he was over here at this time she arriv'd and would not beleive she was coming untill he saw her - Genl Putnam ask'd her if she had ever read Betsey Thoutghtely [sic: Betsy Thoughtless], - [struck: other Gentlemen] other people may view the light in a different manner from me - But we must stand and fall by our own opinion and not by theirs - The peace of this Town and [inserted: &] the safety [strikeout] Safety of the Ladies is upon the most precarious tenor imaginable - The enemy at farthest not more than three quarters of an hours sail from us, and if they should come of a dark night not more possibly than ten [2] minutes before we must be in action - Think my dear Lucy of ten minutes to get your carriage tuck'd to get [on] and dress yourself and get out of Town in a dark night not knowing whether to go not knowing the road the Carrige [sic] as likely as not oversetting & my dear Girl fright'd to death - add her heavenly Gift the sweet babe to it & the very view would be insupportable, the reality would kill me - You say the enemy are landed on Staten Island waiting a reinforcement, what security have we of this? by the best accounts they are 10,000, and the reinforcement may be in to day - The eyes of all America are upon us, - the matters which we are to act are of infinitely high importance as we play our part posterity will bless or curse us - and my dear it will be no common blessing or cursing - it will be In the most divine gratitude or the keenest execrations of the heart - As to what you mention of Leaving our dear little pledge at Fairfield I am very certain you could not be serious. - I know not what You will do for a servant I think it must be difficult where you are, if possible I will send you one by the return of Mrs. Green which I think cannot be long - the Ladies tell dismal stories of your Living - you did not go where you were told to - but there were some of you who think you know more than you surly do - advice when it comes from Disinterested parties ought to be followed - I am really afraid of one thing. Palfrey tells me he has wrote for his Wife & she is at Fairfield - take not her advice in the [3] present circumstances of things it must be certained she wants to see her husband and he wants to see her because she is a Woman - I don't mean to say that is solely the reason - besides Mr Palfrey is in very different department from me - he must fly & shall as Mrs Palfrey - they are at a distance from where the action must commence - we are at advanc'd post he is two miles in the rear - a peice of News. a party of [struck: men] [inserted: Artillery] with 2-12 pounders last thursday morning shatter'd one of his majestys sloops or tenders so much that the people quitted her - she mounted 14. Guns mostly six pounders - it is reported the enemy have since burnt her - we kill'd a few and wounded some more - the enemy were so supriz'd they [Descern'd] very little spirit - we also have had another shooting match at the ships as they come [text loss] narrows we like to have killd [inserted: a] Capt [inserted: of one of] [text loss] shot away his bed from under him and kill'd a number of his people - write me my love as often as lays in Your power and beleive me to have no other Earthly love but you
Harry Knox
Kiss and bless your babe for me -
remember me to Mrs Pollard

I live at the house - I don't like Mrs. A.
I have turn'd packard away - I think he must have cheated you in his market accounts most egregiously.
[address leaf]
M.rs Knox
Col to Mrs K
[struck: 75] 76
Coll Henry

Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Knox, Lucy Flucker, 1756-1824
Packard, Isaac, 1737-1795
Cazneau, Susanna, 1740-1793
Palfrey, William, 1741-1780

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