Knox, Lucy Flucker (ca. 1756-1824) to Henry Knox
High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.
A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.00582 Author/Creator: Knox, Lucy Flucker (ca. 1756-1824) Place Written: Brookline, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: circa 1 May 1777 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 31 x 18.2 cm. Order a Copy
Misses Henry, her husband. Gives details of her recent bout with smallpox, noting "I have more than two hundred of them- twenty in my face..." Notes that their daughter, Lucy, has one pox. Discusses the difficulty of hiring men and boys for assistance with chores, noting they are more apt to seek work in the ports. Complains of her current lodging, an officers room in a military barracks: "but a few rough plan was my guard from the weather... two soals [soles] of old shoes served for hinges to the door, on which was chalked- the cloven footed gentleman upon his head- in short I never was so horror struck in my life..." Praises the doctor who treated her small pox. Asks Henry to explain a topic in his earlier correspondence. Describes a man with small pox inoculated at the same time she was who "lay in the last agonies his pock proved the purple sort." Expresses sympathy for the man's wife. Worries that Henry, who she calls "the dear partner of my soul," might be exposed to pox. Notes, "I cannot live at this distance from you." Dated 31 April, likely meaning May 1st. Second page measures 21.5 x 19.8 cm.
Bro[c]kline April 31st 1777 -
My dearest dear friend -
In what words shall I convey an idea to my Harry how dear he is to me or how much I want to see him - indeed indeed we must not live so - I am unhappy - and that I am sure will make my H - so -
join with me my love, in humble gratitude to him who hath preserved your Lucy and her sweet babe: and thus far carried them thro the Small pox - no person [struck: were] [inserted: was] ever more highly favored than I have been since it came out - but before for three days - I suffered exceedingly - I have [inserted: more than] two hundred of them - twenty in my face - which is four times as many as you bid me have - but I believe none of them will leave a mark - Lucy has but one - and has not had an Ill hour with it - both hers and mine have turned and are drying away - and now for a jaunt to Morristown - what hinders my coming with Peter - only think my love of his being absent all this time - he writes me he has no prospect of returning soon nor do I know how to manage upon my return - [Munson?] (who prevailed upon my compassion to take him back) has inlisted - nor is there a man to be hired under 10 dollars a month - Boys are not to be had as they can earn much more by working in the forts - and standing ocasional centrys in short I am in a very disagreable Situation - and unless - you will take me under your wing I know not what will [strikeout] become of me
I thank you ten thousand times for your kind letters eaight of which I have received - but alas - not one encouraging word of meeting soon  I must describe the place I am in at present - it is called an officers room and is to be sure some degrees better than the common ones - when I first came which was last Wednesday - it was enlightened by one chearful window of about 2 foot square - but it was glass - there were two others of boards which were some bigger - neither clabboards upon the outside nor plaistering within - but a few rough plank was my gaurd from the weather - which answered very well when the wind was calm - two soals of old showes served for hinges [struck: upon] the door on which was cha[lked?] - the cloven footed gentleman upon his head - in short I was never so horror struck in my life - but presuming upon my connection with the military sent for the barrack master who gave orders that the carpenters should obey my directions by which means I am much more comfortable -
I have no glass but from the feel of my face I am almost glad you do not see it - I dont beleive I should get one kiss - and yet Dr tells me it is very becoming [he?] the Dr. has been very kind and attentive for which I desire you will write him a letter of thanks - and not call me by the formal name of Mrs K - I want an answer to a very saucy letter I wrote you before I was sick by a Mr Spooner - wherein I returned you a part of one of yours - for an explanation - what you meant by it I cannot [strikeout] tell - unless it was to rally me upon a subject which is too delicate to be played with - I have just come from a scene my Harry which has roused my very soul - in gratitude to my bountiful benefactor  a man who was inoculated at [inserted: or about] the time I was lay in the last agonies his pock proved the purple sort - and he poor soul must die - his brother had just arrived from his wife, who was near laying in - and very impatient for his return - and as a proof of her affection - had sent him some good things such as he might venture to eat - he sent for Mr Gardiner (who is in the next room to me) to make his will - and I had curiosity to go - he is just now dead - what a stroke will it be to that poor miserable woman - but oh my God my own situation will not bear reflection - how do I know to what the dear partener of my Soul is at this minet exposed - indeed my Harry I am serious, I cannot live at this distance from you - what has become of Springfield - have you no prospect you sure are not indifferent about it - if you are you are greatly altered since
You parted from your
Mrs. Lucy Knox
Apr: 31st 1777
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.