Henry Knox (1750-1806) was born in Boston to William Knox and Mary Campbell. He married Lucy Flucker (1756--1824) in 1774. They had 12 children, but only three lived to adulthood. Before his military career, Knox owned a bookstore in Boston. He joined the local militia, and at the outbreak of the American Revolution, befriended General George Washington and served as his civilian military advisor. In November 1775, Washington appointed Knox chief of artillery for the Continental Army. Knox participated in many key events in the Revolution. He headed the mission to bring the arsenal at Fort Ticonderoga to Cambridge, Massachusetts, which Washington used in the siege of Dorchester Heights. He accompanied Washington in the campaigns in New York and New Jersey (1776-1777); trained troops and officers in the use of artillery at Pluckemin, New Jersey (1778-1779); and was a member of John André's court martial in 1780. He was promoted major general in 1782, and established a headquarters at West Point.
The Continental Congress appointed Knox secretary of war on March 8, 1785, and he retained the post until 1794. Knox focused much of his attention on managing Indian affairs in the Ohio territory. He was in charge of supplying the frontier forces, and involved in the decision-making that lead to Brigadier General Josiah Harmar's defeat at Fort Washington in 1790, St. Clair's defeat (Battle of the Wabash) in 1791, and the ongoing negotiations with the Western Indian Confederacy (the Miami, Shawnee, and Delaware Indians) between 1792 and 1794. Knox left the War Department in 1794 and retired to a mansion called Montpelier, in Thomaston, Maine, which Lucy Knox had inherited. Henry speculated heavily in land and various local industries, such as lumber, shipbuilding, brick making, and quarrying. His investments all failed and debtors forced him to sell much of his land. Knox died in 1806 from an infection after swallowing a chicken bone.
Lucy Flucker Knox was born in Boston to Thomas Flucker, the royal secretary of Massachusetts Bay. Her family, who had strong Loyalist ties, disapproved of her marriage to Henry, and became estranged from her after the Revolution. During the war, Lucy split her time between staying with friends and living with Henry at various military camps. After Henry's death, Lucy was forced to sell much of her belongings to pay off outstanding debts. She remained in Montpelier until her death in 1824.