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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Remember women of revolutionary times

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In a letter dated March 31, 1776, written to John Adams, Abigail Adams told her husband, “I desire you would remember the ladies.”

She cited how women worked the farms while their husbands were fighting for freedom. Some cared for the sick and others uprooted their families to follow their husbands. The Journal of the American Revolution (www.allthingsliberty.com) published an article in 2021 titled “Amazing Women in the Revolutionary War.”

The first woman mentioned was Mary Ball Washington. She was widowed at the age of 35 when George was 11 years old. She worked hard to raise her five children and is credited for instilling the strong values that shaped the character of George.

The contributions made by Martha Curtis Washington cannot be forgotten. She managed the family home, Mount Vernon. She brought supplies form the farm to Valley Forge. While staying there for the winter, she organized a sewing circle of officers’ wives to help mend the soldiers’ uniforms. Two of those women were Kitty Green and Lucy Knox.

In a movie, Martha is shown burning letters. It’s stated that she felt some things between her and husband should be held private after they’d led such a public life.

Lucy Flucker Knox’s family were Loyalists to the King of England. She left her family to marry General Knox. She traveled with him during the war. They finally were able to purchase land and establish a permanent home after 20 years of marriage.

Abigail Adams was appointed as a judge of Tory ladies to help determine which ladies supported the revolution. She managed the Adams farm. There is an extensive collection of the correspondence between Abigail and John. Those letters show that John asked for her counsel on many issues. She fought for equal legal status for men and women.

Mercy Otis Warren was a prolific writer and the first women playwright. In addition to fighting for independence she also pushed for the establishment of schools for women and girls.

Margaret Moore Barry was an excellent horsewoman and served as a scout for the American forces. She is credited with being the Heroine of the Battle of Cowpens.

Esther DeBerdt Reed established “The Ladies of Philadelphia.” She is credited with raising $300,000 by going door to door, asking for donations. The Ladies used the funds to support the troops including buying linen and making shirts for the American troops.

Margaret Cochran Corbin was with her husband, John, on November 16, 1776, at Fort Washington. She became known as “Captain Molly” after she took over the job of firing a cannon. She continued doing that job by herself until she was injured.

As we remember these women and celebrate our independence, let us remember the many spouses who support the members of our Armed Forces in current times. They keep the “home fires burning” as their spouses continue to serve during these troubling times.

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Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek welcomes story ideas from ship to shore. Contact her at jelinst@sbcglobal.net.
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