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The contributions of women during the american revolution

Historian Cokie Roberts considers these women our Founding Mothers.

Women’s Role in the American Revolution

Warren, just as politically astute as Adams, was a prolific writer, not only recording her thoughts about the confluence of events swirling around Boston but also dabbling in playwriting.

These women, known as camp followers, often tended to the domestic side of army organization, washing, cooking, mending clothes, and providing medical help when necessary. Sometimes they were flung into the vortex of battle. Hays first brought soldiers water from a local well to quench their thirst on an extremely hot and humid day and then replaced her wounded husband at his artillery piece, firing at the oncoming British.

In a similar vein, Margaret Corbin was severely wounded during the British assault on Fort Washington in November 1776 and left for dead alongside her husband, also an artilleryman, until she was attended by a physician.

  • Judith Sargent Murray kept copies of most of the letters she sent;
  • Scholars interested in social history should consult the court records of each colony or state;
  • Rebecca Barrett, wife of a Concord, Massachusetts, militia colonel, hid military stores and equipment on her farm, then remained at home to protect her family and property from the British;
  • They were fickle and frivolous, and above all irrational, and thus not suited to make the decisions that a healthy polity required.

She lived, though her wounds left her permanently disabled. Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved African American living in Boston, took up the pen and wrote poetry, becoming one of the first published female authors in America and the first African American woman to be published.

Her poems focused on patriotism and human virtues. Her visit was the result of an invitation from Washington.

Wheatley obtained her freedom upon the death of her master in 1778. New York teenager Sibyl Ludington, was the female equivalent of Paul Reverethough she rode twice as far as Revere and in a driving rainstorm in April, 1777. Her ride took her through Putnam and Dutchess Counties, New York where she roused local militia to fight a British force that had attacked nearby Danbury, Connecticut.

The Daughters of the American Revolution erected a heroic equestrian statue to Ludington in Carmel, New York along the forty mile route she traveled. The story of one of the most famous revolutionary women, Betsy Ross, is likely just that - a story. Ross is often credited with sewing the first American flag, thirteen red and white stripes with thirteen stars in a field of blue in the corner.

Given that Congress passed the Flag Act in June of 1777, nearly a year after Ross is purported to have made the flag, the story is likely apocryphal. Wikimedia Commons As wives of the common soldier often followed the Continental Army so, too, did the wives of general officers.

Women and Politics in the Era of the American Revolution

Once she and Henry were married, all ties between her and her family were cut. Henry and Lucy were devoted to one another and she would join him whenever she could while he was on campaign. She endured the bitter encampment at Valley Forge and became fast friends with the wife of General Nathanael Greenethe equally popular Kitty.

Women in the American Revolution

In fact, once George Washington left his beloved Mount Vernon estate in 1775 to attend the 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia, he did not return to his home until 1781, as the combined American and French Army maneuvered south from the city of New York to YorktownVirginia, where the war was eventually won. The wives of generals were as equally helpful in matters of caring and providing compassion to sick and wounded soldiers, as were the wives of the common soldiers. Ordinary women also endured the horrors of the battlefield when those fights came to their doorstep.

We heard them whis. Not unlike women eighty years later who disguised themselves as men to serve in the armies of the Civil War, women of the Revolutionary Era also itched to get into the fight, do their part for the cause, and be engaged in a historical moment. One of the best examples of a woman who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Continental Army was Deborah Sampson from Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Amazingly, she also has a paper trail concerning her combat service in the army, where she fought under the alias of Robert Shurtliff, the name of her deceased brother, in the light infantry company of the Fourth Massachusetts The contributions of women during the american revolution.

She mustered into service in the spring of 1782 and saw action in Westchester County, New York just north of the City of New York where she was wounded in her thigh and forehead. Not wanting her identity to be revealed during medical care she permitted physicians to treat her head wound and then slipped out of the field hospital unnoticed, where she extracted one of the bullets from her thigh with a penknife and sewing needle.

The other bullet was lodged too deep and her leg never fully healed. Her identity was finally revealed during the summer of 1783 when she contracted a fever while on duty in Philadelphia. The physician who treated her kept her secret and cared for her. After the Treaty of Paris she was given an honorable discharge from the army by Henry Knox.

Like other veterans of the Continental Army she was continually petitioning the state and federal government for her service pension. She later married and had three children settling down in Sharon, Massachusetts. To help make ends meet she often gave public lectures about her wartime service. By the time she died in 1827, she was collecting minimal pensions for her service the contributions of women during the american revolution Massachusetts and the federal government.

In her memory a statue stands today outside the public library, in Sharon, honoring her Revolutionary War service and sacrifices. Many women of all stripes and from all backgrounds recognized the value of the American cause and stepped up to serve the cause of the new nation as best they could.