“I have nothing to send you but love. I hope I shall have some money soon.”
So wrote Lt. Joseph Hodgkins from his “Camp on Long Island” to his wife, Sarah, back home in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The letter was dated June 10, 1776, so Sarah’s husband had already been away from his wife and family for a year. Life was not easy for colonial families, even when the supporting breadwinner was living at home. But Joseph Hodgkins was like so many patriot militiamen who heeded the call for the Cause, having left their families, relatives and friends to fight for liberty. With Joseph gone, life was now doubly hard for Sarah, alone, back home in Ipswich.
But it hadn’t always been like that. In spring 1775, Joseph and Sarah Hodgkins had been married for three years and had a thriving family life in Ipswich, north of Boston. They lived in a (still-standing) house on East Street at Jeffrey’s Neck Road, north of the Ipswich River and just a short distance from town