Originally published as Independent Heart.
I still can't believe what I saw from Aunt Letitia's parlor window last night. The whole City, south of her house, was aflame. We were afraid, and the servants stood before the door with muskets. So much smoke blowing! We were coughing, and the whole sky turned red, while crowds carrying pitiful bundles of their possessions ran and wept, driving their poor cows and horses down the street! I hadn't believed that General Washington could be driven out of New York and that the British would rule here again, but that's what has come to pass.
My Aunt believes that American sympathizers set fire to the City, that the occupying British troops were not responsible. This morning it still burns, and we've heard that more than half of the buildings have fallen. Auntie and I had hot words on the subject at bre…