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 #: GLC05895 Author/Creator: Knox, Lucy Flucker (ca. 1756-1824) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: May 1777 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 32.2 x 21.2 cm. Order a Copy
Writes a very detailed letter to her husband in Morristown, New Jersey during the American Revolution. Discusses the arrival in Boston of General Charles Tronson du Coudray, a French military engineer "who stiles himself Commander in Chief of the Continental Artillery" (Knox's current position) and claimed the appointment was from Silas Deane. Discusses the illness of Henry's brother William ("Billy") and her "fear we shall lose him, or at least that the humour in the blood has taken such deep root, as to embitter his future days." Also comments on various items she sent to Knox. Discusses escalating prices of foodstuff: "Indeed it is difficult to get the neccessarys of life here at any price." Critically discusses the political situation and mob in Boston - jailing suspected loyalists, the confiscation of property, and a scheduled execution. Comments: "the behavior at our town meeting has almost made me a tory." Cites Colonels [Thomas] Crafts, [Paul] Revere and [Isaac] Sears as leaders of the movement. Docket indicates Knox replied on 6 June 1777.
Tronson du Coudray had been offered an appointment as a major general in command of the artillery by Silas Deane. But threats to resign from generals Knox, Nathanael Greene, and John Sullivan, prompted congress to appoint Tronson du Coudray inspector general in charge of the works in Delaware instead. On 11 September 1777 Du Coudray drowned while crossing the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia.
Boston May -
As I can think of no address which would convey an idea of my affection and esteem, I will [inserted: it] omit intirely rather than do injustice to my heart, a heart wholy absorbed [struck: if] [inserted: in] love and anxiety for you - I cannot at this time tell where you are nor form any judgment where you are going - we hear both Armys are in motion but what thier rout is, we cannot hear. [struck: nor form any judgment] nor have we yet been able to conjecture - what a situation, for us who are at such a distance - how much more we suffer for you than you for yourselves - all my hopes. are that it will not, cannot last, - A french general, who stiles himself commander in Chief of the Continetal Artillery, is now in town he says his appointment is from Mr Dean that he is going immediately to head quarters. to take the command. that he is a major gen.l and a [deal] of it. Who knows but I may have my Harry again - this I am sure of he will never suffer any [strikeout] to command him in that department - if he does. he has not that Soul. which I now think him possessed of -
Billy is very unwell - he has a terrible breaking out [strikeout] which Dr [Bullfich] says is very like a leprosy, Dr Gardiner thinks it the itch. which has lain so long in his blood, as to [strikeout] [inserted: corrupt] it to that degree that the cure will be difficult - he is as thin as gabriel Johonnot was but in good spirits, and says he has an appetite - but that he is not permitted to indulge - I am very anxious about him - and at times fear we shall lose him. or at least that the humour in the blood, has taken such deep root as to embitter  his future days - this will be handed you by Capt Seargent who will also deliver you your box of [struck: pic[inserted: k]les]pickles - I have got seven yards of linnen for breeches for you. am affraid to have it made up here, for fear it should [struck: not] be spoiled. as it cost twenty shillings pr yard - sure there must be a tailor in morristown - if there is not dont scold at me - seven pound lawful - for two pair of breeches is a great deal of money - too much not to have them made neat - the pretty waistcoat I wrote you of upon examining I found to be painted - that the first washing would have spoiled - but I [inserted: will] be upon the look out for you - I wrote you last thursday by Colo Henley - and the same day by the post - can you not get some covers franked, it would save us a very great expence - an object at this day. when the price of every thing is so exorbitant indeed it is difficult. to get the necessarys of life here, at any price - the evil increases daily - beef is at eaight pence a pound [struck: of] if you will take half an ox neck, shins, and all you may get it for seven pence - for butter we give two shillings a pound - for eggs two pence a [struck: peaice peice peaice] [inserted: piece] - and for very ordinary lisbon wine, twenty shillings a gallon - as for flour it is not to be had at any price, nor cyder; nor Spirit - a pretty box we are in - this and the behaviour of our town meeting has almost made me a tory - will you believe me when I tell you that old Mr Erving is among the number who they have passed a vote to confine in close jail untill they can determine what farther is to be done with them - this upon the suspicion of thier being torys - I do not mean to blame them for rid[inserted: d]ing themselves of those persons - who in case of an attack, would take a part against them but there meddling with that old gentleman who has been superannated this ten years can be from no other motive but to share his estate - the Colonels - Grafts, Revere, Sears  are the three leading men of the place - the first of these motioned to dissolve the meeting and lett the people revenge their own cause - quite milatary was it not - in short the mob have so much the up[inserted: p]er hand at present - that there was a man to have been shot on thursday next - and the gent dare not execute him, for fear of the consequences he is one brother to Dr Olivers wife Son to Colo Frye of Salem - but so much for the present. my hand trembles to such a degree that it has been as much trouble to me to write what I have, as it will be to you to read it, I believe my nerves are much
weakened by the mercury I have taken in the true meaning of the
Lucy Knox -
our lovely baby sends her pap - par - (as she calls him) a kiss -
I want much to know, if your Soup is good for any thing - do [inserted: not]
mortify me by saying no
Henry Knox Esqr
favored by Capt Searjent
Mrs Knox's Letter by
Capt Sarjent and
answerd 6th June
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.