The Role of Women in the Revolution Monday, March 10, 2014
Martha Washington • Her first husband died and left her all his fortune. • She married George Washington already having two kids of her own.
Martha Continued… • She maintained a private life, but followed her husband wherever he went. • Her happy optimistic personality kept the soldiers uplifted and maintained the level of morale among the officers.
Abigail Adams • “…remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands.”
Abigail Again… • She taught herself how to read using her father’s large collection of books. • She married John Adams and is remembered today for the collection of letters she sent to him during the Revolution regarding women’s rights and government.
Phillis Wheatley • She was sold into slavery at the age of seven. Her new household taught her how to read and write. • At age 13, she wrote her first poem. At age 16, her poems were published in London and she became the first African American poet.
Mercy Otis Warren • She was a very educated woman and dedicated to the Revolutionary cause, but because she was a girl, this kept her out of participating in politics. • A way to express herself and her ideas was through writing patriotic poetry, and later, political plays.
Mercy Continued… • She became the first woman to officially publish books as a professional writer in America. • She focused on educational reform (e.g., girls should be allowed to go to school, not just boys).
Molly Pitcher • There were several women who fought along the battlefields during the Revolution; all of whom fall under the category of “molly pitcher” because some researchers regard her as a myth, while others say she was real.
Women in Battle • Molly Hayes is one example of a woman who traveled with her husband and got her nickname by carrying pitchers of water to the soldiers. It is said that her husband got wounded and she took over. • Deborah Sampson enlisted in the Army disguised as a man. She was discovered when she got wounded and had to be examined by a doctor. She was unfortunately discharged and later gave lectures about her experience, all while proudly wearing her uniform.
Nancy Ward • Cherokee woman who warned soldiers of attacks. • Became business oriented and introduced her tribe to cattle to help their economy.
Sybil Ludington • Along with Deborah Champion, she is regarded as the “Female Paul Revere.” • She carried messages past enemy lines to warn the colonists that the British were coming! She was only 16 years old.
Betsy Ross • Believed to have designed the first American Flag in June 1776 because George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris (members of the Continental Congress) asked for her help. • The flag had 13 stripes, and thirteen stars on a blue background.
Conclusion • Women are an important part of US History. • Some fought for female rights. • Others became inspirational writers. • Many fought in battles disguised as men. • All are significant and worth learning about.
Resources • http://en.wikipedia.org • http://www.nps.gov/fopo/exhibits/women/women2.htm • http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/winter96/wheatley.html