POLLARD, Robert (1755-1838)
Lady Harriet Ackland [sic]....
London: R. Pollard, 1784. Aquatint and line engraving. Platemark: 17 5/8 x 22 inches. Ample margins. Sheet size: 19 x 24 inches.
Very rare Revolutionary War print.
The title continues, describing the scene depicted: "This amiable Lady accompanied her Husband to Canada in the Year 1776, & during two Campaigns, under went such fatigue & distress as female fortitude was thought incapable of supporting; and once She narrowly escaped with life from her Tent which was set on fire in the Night. The Event here commemorated deserves to be recorded in History. In the unfortunate Action between G. Burgoyne & G. Gates Oct,, 7, 1777, Major Ackland was wounded & made Prisoner, when his Lady received the news She formed the heroic Resolution of delivering herself into the hands of the Enemy that she might attend him during the Captivity For this purpose, with a Letter from G. Burgoyne to G. Gates, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Brudinell who carried a Flag of Truce, one female servant, & her husband's Valet, she rowed down Hudsons River in an open boat towards the America Camp, but Night coming on before she reached their outposts the Guards on duty refused to receive her & threatened to fire upon her if she moved till morning. In this dreadful situation for 7 or 8 dark & cold hours, she was compelled to wait on the Water half dead with anxiety & terror. The morning put an end to her distress, she was receiv'd by Gen. Gates & restored to her husband with that politeness & humanity her sex, quality, & Virtue so justly merited." Lady Harriet Caroline Fox-Strangways Acland (1749-1815) was the wife of John Dyke Acland, 7th Baronet (1746-1778), then major in the 20th Regiment of Foot. Unwilling to be a stay-at-home, she accompanied her husband to Canada and down the Hudson River corridor during the campaigns of 1776 and 1777. During the latter, Major Acland was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Bemis Heights, 7 October 1777. The now-pregnant Lady Harriet, accompanied by a chaplain, her maid and the major's servant, bravely crossed the Hudson and made her way to the camp of the American army. The following morning, she entered the camp and so impressed General Horatio Gates that she was allowed to care for him and after his health returned, he was paroled and they were allowed to return to England.