The True Story of the Tortured Rachel Duffy Field and the Mysterious Disappearance of Her Husband


Rachel Duffy Field is one of the most peculiar characters in early American history. Born into a prosperous family of Philadelphia merchants, she received an excellent education and became well-versed in literature, philosophy, and science at a time when most women had little education. She married Samuel Field, a private tutor hired by her father, who was impressed with his knowledge of Latin and Greek. When Samuel left to study medicine in Paris, Rachel wrote him letters filled with literary and scientific references that he could not possibly have understood or known about as a tutor. These letters were published under the title “Letters on Literature and Philosophy” as if they were authentic correspondence from her husband. When Samuel returned from Paris to settle permanently in Philadelphia, Rachel fell out of love with him almost immediately. While still married to him, she began an affair with Henry Hill, one of her father’s business partners; when Henry returned from Europe as well, she fell madly in love with him too. Desperate not to lose Rachel for good, Samuel proposed again; this time Rachel accepted but continued her affair with Henry behind his back. In order to prove his love for her once and forever, Samuel willingly handed over his inheritance—which enraged Leah even further—and soon after that he disappeared without a trace…

Rachel’s Early Life

Rachel Duffy was born in Philadelphia in 1758. She was the third of 10 children born to Rachel and Anthony Duffy, who were part of a prosperous Quaker merchant family that dealt in iron, copper, and other metals. Rachel’s parents were unusual for their time: her mother was the first woman in Philadelphia to open a bank account, and her father was an abolitionist and a vocal critic of British policies toward the American colonies. Her mother died when Rachel was 11, and her father died when she was 15. Rachel’s elder brother was her guardian after the deaths of her parents, and he sent her to a boarding school in Connecticut. Rachel was an excellent student who excelled in both her studies and her social life. She graduated at the top of her class, and one of her classmates later wrote that she was “one of the most remarkable women of our day.” Rachel returned to Philadelphia in 1776 when she was 18 years old, just in time for the Revolutionary War.

Samuel and Rachel’s Marriage

In 1777, Anthony Duffy’s business partner, Samuel Field, returned to Philadelphia from Paris, where he had been studying medicine for the past five years. Samuel and Rachel, who was only 18 years old at the time, fell in love and were married in 1778. Rachel and Samuel’s relationship is the most mysterious part of Rachel’s life and the most puzzling part of her story. While Rachel was undoubtedly in love with Samuel when they were engaged, there’s no evidence she loved him after they were married. Even during the Revolutionary War, when many couples wrote love letters to each other, Rachel wrote to someone named “Adolphus” as if he were her husband. Her letters are filled with references to literature and philosophy that Samuel would have been completely unfamiliar with and unable to understand. Rachel was not the only one in her family with a passionate interest in literature and philosophy. Her brother Edward was a noted poet, and her other brother Thomas became the vice president of the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia.

Where is Samuel?

In 1784, Samuel Field left Philadelphia, never to be seen again. In all likelihood, he was murdered; there are many theories, but no one knows for certain. It is unclear as to whether Rachel knew about Samuel’s disappearance before or after she began her affair with Henry Hill. Rachel’s affair with Henry Hill was first discovered by Samuel’s sister, who stumbled on Rachel and Henry together. Henry was forced to marry Rachel or face public disgrace and ruin. The marriage was disastrous from the start, with Rachel and Henry constantly fighting and disagreeing over everything. After only a year of marriage, Henry left Rachel, citing her “violent temper” and “ungovernable disposition” as his reasons. It is unclear whether or not Rachel knew of Samuel’s disappearance before or during her marriage to Henry.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Samuel Field

After Samuel disappeared, Rachel wrote a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Evening Post claiming that Samuel was alive and well in Europe. She wrote that the reason she had not told anyone that he was alive was that she had sworn an oath of secrecy and could not break it. The letter was published, and people believed that Samuel was alive. No one suspected that Rachel was lying or making up the story. Rachel’s father, who died in 1785, left Samuel a large inheritance. Samuel was the sole heir of his estate, and Rachel would have received nothing if he were alive. accident rachel campo duffy was desperate to keep Samuel’s death from being discovered. She was afraid that if Samuel’s death were discovered, she would lose the inheritance, and more importantly, people would discover that she had broken her oath of secrecy and lied about Samuel’s whereabouts. Rachel was also afraid that if Samuel’s death were discovered, people would find out about her affair with Henry Hill and her “violent temper.”

Concluding Thoughts

Rachel Duffy Field is one of the most peculiar characters in early American history. Her early life was filled with promise and success, but her later years were filled with drama, instability, and tragedy. After Samuel disappeared, Rachel was put under house arrest for five years. Rachel’s story is a bizarre and complex one, and every time you think you have solved it, you find yet another secret and another twist. Despite her checkered past, Rachel was loved by many of her contemporaries and even by future generations. Her story has been retold in many different forms and has inspired everything from poems to novels. Rachel Duffy Field died in 1842 at the age of 84.

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