In celebration of Prince Harry’s wedding to an American, it seems an appropriate time to remember another British Prince who married an American—in 1779.
This wedding was far less well known, far less exotic, and, while this Prince was not in fact British royalty, his name was Prince. Daniel Prince.
Both men were veterans of war. Prince Harry served two deployments in Afghanistan. Daniel Prince sailed across the Atlantic to serve in the King’s Army and fought at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. Sadly, for Daniel Prince, he was on the losing side and became a prisoner of war. Taking matters into his own hands, he slipped out of the line of prisoners leaving for POW camp and escaped into the Massachusetts wilderness.
The details lie hidden in history concerning the circumstances of their first meeting. But somewhere in western Massachusetts, Daniel Prince met Mary Packard. And somewhere amidst the beautiful woods of that romantic countryside, love blossomed.
Daniel and Mary married in far humbler circumstances and perhaps shrouded in fear, as the Revolutionary War raged on. Was the wedding held in secret? The King’s Army would have considered him a deserter. Did he try to hide his identity from some? Again, these details are hidden in history.
What is known is that Daniel and Mary remained married until death parted them. While they lived and loved, Mary birthed eight children. Her third pregnancy birthed twin sons, Daniel Jr. and James.
While this marriage went unnoticed by most, in some ways it seems far more romantic to me. Perhaps because Daniel Prince was my 4th Great-Grandfather. I am descended from Daniel, Jr.
Although Mary passed away in 1816 and Daniel in 1828, there is an actual monument to them in Williamsburg, MA. I had the joy of visiting this monument in 2009.
It’s difficult to express the emotions I experienced when standing on the same ground trod by my ancestors. I suppose I can sum it up by saying, I felt like I’d come home.
While I am happy for the upcoming nuptials of veteran Prince Harry, the wedding of the veteran Daniel Prince holds far more meaning to me. My Prince is also my Grandfather.
My first novel, Road to Deer Run, is loosely based on my ancestors, Daniel and Mary. It was a joy to write and, I hope, a joy for you to read.
To read more about this book you can read the description at Amazon and purchase if you like. Click here.
Janet Grunst says
Great segue and a terrific story.
Thanks, Janet. I always like to find a segue for a romantic tale. 😉
Tina Rice says
What an amazing family history! Thank you for sharing and the pictures.
I love your book, Road to Deer Run!
Tina, they say you can’t pick your family and, as a child, I was deeply embarrassed that my ancestor was a Redcoat! If I’d known then that his story would be the basis for my novels, I would have been shocked! Thanks for your sweet words!