Though it is remembered as a war between the colonies and Great Britain, the American Revolution was more like a civil war for the colonists who lived through it. Every community was divided into opposing sides, and many families were torn apart by conflicting loyalties.
Lucy Knox experienced this firsthand. Her father, Thomas Flucker, was a prominent member of the colonial government of Massachusetts, and everyone in her family were Loyalists. In 1772, 16-year-old Lucy met and fell in love with Patriot bookseller Henry Knox. Her family condemned the relationship, and when she secretly married Henry in 1774, they disowned her.
When the war broke out a year later, Henry quickly rose to the rank of commander of the Continental Army’s artillery. He left Lucy behind in Worcester, Massachusetts, to care for their home and children. Lucy had to survive the war as best she could with no husband or extended family to support her.
In these letters to her husband, Henry, whom she lovingly calls Harry, Lucy Knox describes life on the home front. Though she was in a position of privilege compared to many other women in the American Revolution, the war still caused great hardships for her and her family. Without her husband or her extended family to help her, Lucy had to face every challenge alone.