Lucy Dougherty Tucker
Patron Saint of the Revolutionary Period
“Little Lucy” Doughetry she was called in old Fort Dayton, where Charles Dougherty, Assistant Commissary General of the Continental Army, took his little daughter for protection after the war, when the Indian uprising along the Mohawk River threatened every family in the valley with death. There were other children in the fort and merry times they had, notwithstanding the dangers lurking outside, and the privations which were felt by their elders only added to the zest of living for the little folks.
She was a lithe, lightfooted [sic] lass and could outrun all her companions, an accomplishment that was to stand her in good stead before many weeks. As the Indian depredations grew less frequent, the children were allowed to go outside of the fort, though not out of sight, as it was known that the savages were still in the vicinity. One day, however, tempted by the blackberries which hung on ripening from the bushes, the children wandered far afield. Suddenly, several Indians who had been hiding sprang out upon them. Almost paralysed [sic] with terror, the children were easily caught—all except Little Lucy, who ran as she had never run before and reached the fort in safety. It was more than a year before the other children were recovered by their parents and not all of them then.
In the fort at the same time as Little Lucy Dougherty, there was a bright-eyed and sunburned lad from New Hampshire, named Josiah Tucker, who had been so fired with patriotic enthusiasm when the shot at Lexington was heard echoing around the world that he begged to be allowed to go to war in the little company of which his schoolmaster was captain, and was nightly drilling on the village green of their home in Salisbury, N.H. His brother, Dr. John Tucker, was already enlisted as a surgeon in the company.
The stern Puritan father had said, “the battle-field is no place for a boy of eleven,” but Josiah, though in the main an obedient son, felt the patriotic fervour [sic] burning in him until his filial obedience was forgotten, and one night he stole away and joined his brother and schoolmaster at camp. Because of his unusual size and manly bearing, the boy was given a gun and knapsack and took part in many important battles of the Revolution. He always gloried in the fact that he was present and played his little part in the raising of the first American flag unfurled in the battle, at Fort Schuyler, August, 1777, when the battle of Oriskany was fought, the engagement believed by many authorities to have been the decisive battle of the Revolution.
After the war was over Josiah found refuge with other patriots in Fort Dayton (now Herkimer, N.Y.) and there he met his future wife, whose father, after the war was over, had moved to German Flatts and started the first school for children in the Mohawk Valley, until the depredations of the Indians had driven them into Fort Dayton. When conditions warranted, the people moved back to their cabin homes and the young Josiah married the Little Lucy, now grown to fifteen years of age, moved into the town of Frankfort, built a little cabin, cleared a home in the forest, and became, in time, the father of eighteen children.
Mrs. Lucy Tucker was possessed of unusual qualities as a nurse and in that sparsely settled country, where doctors were seldom available, the services of “Little Mother Tucker” were in great demand in cases of sickness and especially in cases of childbirth. And it is said, that she always found a way to leave her own numerous brood to meet emergencies in the families of her neighbours [sic], near or far.
It is told of her, also, that she was wont to ride from her home, on horseback through what is now the city of Utica to the older town of Whitesboro, with a bag of grain across the pommel of her saddle, carrying it to the mill to be ground. This she did for years and sometimes a week after the birth of a child. In spite of her strenuous life, Lucy Tucker lived to a good old age, always cheerful and happy. Though slight and small of a person, she was very strong and used to walk four miles every Sunday to her favourite [sic] church, the Methodist, and seemed never to know what it was to be tired.
The closing years of her life the old lady spent with her seventeenth child, Julia Tucker, in the city of Utica. This child, Julia Tucker, married Nicholas White,m a prominent citizen of Utica, and her daughter became a Daughter of the American Revolution and in the process of time was made State Regent of the organisation [sic] and lived in the Mohawk Valley and under the very shadow of old Fort Schuyler.
Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.