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Ralph Inman to Elizabeth [Murray] Inman, 13 June 1775, J. M. Robbins Papers, Courtesy, Massachusetts Historical Society. Page 1

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Ralph Inman to Elizabeth [Murray] Inman, 13 June 1775, J. M. Robbins Papers

During the spring and summer of 1775, Elizabeth [Murray] Inman and her husband Ralph were separated. She was in Cambridge on the family farm, while he was in Boston, an occupied town under siege since the British troops retreated there after the April fighting at Lexington and Concord. Conflict arose between the two over whether he should try to leave Boston to join her or she should leave the farm and property to join him in town. The decision was an important one, as leaving the farm would signal allegiance to Great Britain and therefore make the estate vulnerable to seizure by rebel authorities.

Ralph Inman refers to several relatives and friends in this letter, including Jackie Day, the daughter of Elizabeth Murray’s good friend Jannette Day, and Anne Murray, Elizabeth’s niece, whom she had brought back from England in 1771. The two young women, along with Anne’s older sister Mary (Polly) Murray, kept shop in Boston. After Polly returned for a visit to England in 1774, Anne continued in the shop on her own. Jackie became engaged to be married, and Anne began a romance with William Powell; Ralph refers to both relationships in this letter.

See Patricia Cleary, Elizabeth Murray: A Woman’s Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-Century America (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000); for more on Anne Murray, see Katherine M. J. McKenna, A Life of Propriety: Anne Murray Powell and Her Family, 1755-1849 (Buffalo: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994).

seealsoFor more on the exchanges between the Ralph Inman and Elizabeth [Murray] Inman in the spring and summer of 1775, see also Elizabeth [Murray] Inman to [Ralph Inman], 22 April 1775; Elizabeth [Murray] Inman to Ralph Inman, 14 June 1775; Elizabeth [Murray] Inman to Ralph Inman, 30 July 1775.