Jonus Hubbard, an 8th great-granduncle to my wife, was born in Worcester MA and was an active businessman of ample means as the Revolution began. He was a first lieutenant in Captain Timothy Bigelow’s Company of Minute-Men and later became a Captain in Colonel Jonathan Ward’s Regiment. His commission was signed by none other than John Hancock.
While at Fort Western on the Kennebec, he wrote to his wife the following: “I know not if I shall ever see you again. The weather grows severe cold and the woods, they say, are terrible to pass. But I do not value life or property if I can secure liberty for my children.”
He was on the Kennebec taking part in the first major initiative by the new Continental Army. The goal was to capture the British-held province of Quebec and persuade French speaking Canadians to join their cause. It was a dismal failure, as smallpox became a major problem. It is presumed a British officer intentionally sent out infected civilians to the American lines. Whether an intentional act or not, smallpox decimated the attackers. Over half of the 10,000 troops contracted the disease and died. Only a small fraction of men remained healthy enough to storm the fortified city guarded by a now superior force. Jonus Hubbard was captured and taken prisoner on Dec 31, 1775. He died of his wounds between Jan 5 and 6, 1776.
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