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Choosing Love and Liberty: Lucy Knox

 "Lucy hailed from the Flucker family, a wealthy Massachusetts family with deep loyalty to King George III. The family patriarch was Thomas Flucker, Secretary of Massachusetts, and Lucy’s mother was Hannah Waldo, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. The land her family owned and held trading rights to eventually became Maine. Lucy grew up in New England wealth and extravagance with her younger sister, Hannah, and her older brother, Thomas (both named after their parents).

"However, Lucy’s unique story begins the moment she met her future husband. While out-and-about in Boston, Lucy noticed a uniformed man mounted on horseback riding around Boston Common. She was immediately enchanted by him and soon learned his name: Henry Knox. Lucy discovered Henry ran a small bookshop across from Williams Court in Cornhill, a popular location for British officers. An avid reader herself, Lucy frequented the bookshop. Henry also became quite enamored with her. The two conversed, became better acquainted and fell madly in love in this small little bookshop in Boston in 1772.


"In June 1774, the pair married secretly despite Lucy’s parents’ wishes. Lucy knew she would not live a life of wealth, but she adored Henry and insisted that was all she needed. Upon discovery of their marriage, Lucy’s parents disowned her.

"War simmered on the horizon in 1775. British General Thomas Gage controlled Boston, keeping the city under lock-and-key. Newlyweds, Lucy and Henry Knox had to make a choice: stay in Boston and become loyal subjects to King George III or leave Boston and join the American cause. The British officers in Boston wanted Henry to join them, but he refused. Fearful of her husband’s safety, Lucy sewed a sword into his cape. The couple escaped Boston on horseback, joining the Continental Army encampment in Cambridge. The camp scene soon became familiar to Lucy as a Patriot and officer’s wife.


"Lucy occasionally joined Henry in the military camps. Typically, this was for a short period during the winter or early spring. During the actual campaigns, most officers’ wives were sent back to the more distant homefront. Lucy, when not with her husband, rented lodgings in taverns or stayed at friends’ homes. Her letters reveal her desire to have Henry beside her and her fears for his safety. 'I wrote you a line by the last post just to let you know I was alive, which [illegible] was all I could then say with propriety for I then had serious thoughts that I never should see you again.'

You may read more about Lucy and her husband General Henry Knox here:

(July 25, 1750 - October 25, 1806)


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