“your duty to come home to your family”

While Joseph Hodgkins was serving with the American forces in October of 1776 his wife Sarah struggled to care for their family back in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She begged him not to reenlist.

My Dear . . . It greives me to think what you have to undergo but I hope it will be for our good. By what you write I think you are not in so Dificult a Situation as when you wrote before. I am glad to hear you are So well off as to have a log house to live in and I Should be glad if you could have more of the Comfortable nesecaries of Life than you have, but I hope you will be carried through all you are to meet with in the way of your duty & in Gods good time be returned home in Safty. I want very much to See you. I hope we Live to See this Campaign out we shall have the happiness of living together again.
I dont know what you think about Staying again but I think it cant be inconsistant with your duty to come home to your family. It will troble me very much if you Should ingage again. I dont know but you may think I am too free in expressing my mind & that it would have been time enough when I was asked but I was afraid I Should not have that oppertunity So I hope will excuse my freedom . . . It grows Late So I must conclude at this time by subscribing myself
your most afectionate Companion till Death Sarah Hodgkins

Joseph survived the American loss of New York City and did come home that winter. He stayed long enough to conceive another child before enlisting for a third term of service. He returned to his family a few months before his term was up, thereby disqualifying himself for a pension. Did Sarah’s entreaties finally get to him?

Sarah’s letter can be can be found on pages 59-60 of In the Words of Women.

posted August 5th, 2013 by Janet, CATEGORIES: American soldiers, Military Service, New York

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