Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

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.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01230 Author/Creator: Knox, Lucy Flucker (ca. 1756-1824) Place Written: Mount Vernon, Virginia Type: Autograph letter Date: 16 October 1781 Pagination: 2 p.

Writes that Martha Washington and Nellie Calvert Custis received letters from their husbands letting them know how they are and what is happening in the war. Chastises Henry for not writing. She misses their daughter Lucy, who was living in Philadelphia, but has heard that she is well. Urges him to write back. Knox was then engaged in the siege of Yorktown. The letter is not complete.

[draft]
Mount Vernon October 16th 1781 -
Mrs Washington & Mrs Custis have just been made happy by the receipt of long letters; from their husbands, while I poor unhappy girl, am not worthy of a line. it is not possible for any person to be more low spirited, than I have been for more than a week past, heavens that I should be neglected at such a time - if you were so immersed in business that not a moment could be devoted to my peace, surly Major Shaw has goodness enough to lett me know that you live - the generals letter to Mrs Washington is dated the 12th wherin he informs her of every manuvere however trifling, which has taken place since the opening of the trenches - in conquesence [sic] of these letters she with Mrs Custis setts off tomorrow morning for Williamsburg in full expectation of being in camp very shortly -
I shall remain here [2] probably ignorant of what is passing at the place where my all is at stake -
My last account from you was a few lines of the 6th instant left at Alexandrie, by Capt Peirce, on the same day I received a letter from Mrs Biddle informing me, that my little girl, was well and tollerably contented - I miss her more than I could have immagined, her little prattle has diverted many an hours chagrin - but now when I retire to my room I have no companion but my little Boy - who I hug and weep over -
Mrs Washington will inform you of [struck: my] my reasons for not accompanying her if you have forgot them - and will either deliver or forward this. When you can spare time to write, lett me know when you intend to come to me [struck: and say something]
Why you do not write
[The following line appears in the margin on page one in the hand of Lucy Knox]
I mentioned a bag to Major Shaw which was put into the waggon at N.W if Wm. can bring it I should be glad

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources