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The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox

'The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox' cover image

The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox

Love and marriage during the Revolutionary War through the letters of Lucy and Henry Knox.

Honorable Mention of the Book of the Year Award of the Journal of The American Revolution

In 1774, Boston bookseller Henry Knox married Lucy Waldo Flucker, the daughter of a prominent Tory family. Although Lucy’s father was the third-ranking colonial official in Massachusetts, the couple joined the American cause after the Battles of Lexington and Concord and fled British-occupied Boston. Knox became a soldier in the Continental Army, where he served until the war’s end as Washington’s artillery commander.

While Henry is well known to historians, his private life and marriage to Lucy remain largely unexplored. Phillip Hamilton tells the fascinating story of the Knoxes’ relationship amid the upheavals of war. Like John and Abigail Adams, the Knoxes were often separated by the revolution and spent much of their time writing to one another. They penned nearly 200 letters during the conflict, more than half of which are reproduced and annotated for this volume.

This correspondence—one of the few collections of letters between revolutionary-era spouses that spans the entire war—provides a remarkable window into the couple’s marriage. Placed at the center of great events, struggling to cope with a momentous conflict, and attempting to preserve their marriage and family, the Knoxes wrote to each other in a direct and accessible manner as they negotiated shifts in gender and power relations. Working together, Henry and Lucy maintained their household and protected their property, raised and educated their children, and emotionally adjusted to other dramatic changes within their family, including a total break between Lucy and her Tory family. Combining original epistles with Hamilton’s introductory essays, The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox offers important insights into how this relatable and highly individual couple overcame the war’s challenges.