Mary Fuller Percival
Patron Saint of the Revolutionary Period
1737 – 1819 A.D.
Mary Fuller Percival, wife of Captain Timothy Percival, one of the pioneers of Boone County, Ky., is the “patron saint” of the Van Buren, Ark., Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a Connecticut girl by birth, a direct descendant of Matthew Fuller of Barnstable, Mass., surgeon-general of the Colonial troops a century before she first saw the light in 1737. Her father and mother were Elkanah and Mary Andrews Fuller of East Haddam, where she was married in 1754 to Timothy Percival, when she was seventeen.
She was at that time, writes a descendant, “a beautiful girl, with blue eyes and black hair; bright, witty, and full of fun. There is still preserved among her descendants various writings of hers considerable of merit. I have two poems in her own hand, written while her husband and son were in the British prison ship in 1777. There are letters in possession of descendants, giving an account of a pilgrimage made by her from the village of Chatham, Conn., to Long Island in 1777, to see her husband and her son Elkanah who were imprisoned on the prison ship, Darlmouth. They had been there thirteen months and the British officials would not allow her to see them. Her son died of hunger and thirst. Her husband, Captain Percival, was exchanged, September , 1777, and served in the Continental Army until the close of the war. Jabez Percival, another son, only seventeen at the time of his enlistment, was in the ‘Sugar House Prison’ in New York, from August, 1781, until September, 1783.”
Among the family records, we find a description of the hospital that Mrs. Percival made of her home. Indeed she spent most of her time administering to the sick and wounded soldiers. She was an expert knitter and she and her daughters knit socks by the score for sick soldiers and made bread dough to bind on their blistered feet.
At the close of the Revolutionary War, Captain Percival and his family moved to Ohio and eventually to Boone County, Ky., where they established a permanent residence. The history of that county makes mention of the hospitable home of Captain Timothy Percival and the many kind deeds done by his wife—a home where a soldier was always sure of a welcome. She was a devout member of the Congregational church and lived to be eighty-two years old, dying in 1819, four years after her husband, and the two sleep side by side in the “Old Graveyard” in Boone County.
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.