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By Jack Darrell Crowder
Historians and genealogists have mostly overlooked the role of women in the American Revolution, even though women’s roles in working their farms, raising their children, and generally supporting the morale of the Patriot side were of great importance. The suffering of the men at Valley Forge, on the British prison ships, and during long marches are well documented; however, women also faced daily pain and hardship. Many times they watched their homes burn, were threatened with physical harm, or had to bury their loved ones. Women also faced dangers working as spies, nursing, boycotting British goods, publishing writings in support of the American cause, and, when necessary, they defended their homes against attacks from the British or their allies.
The purpose of this new book, by Jack Crowder, is to highlight roughly 90 women who went beyond the norm in supporting America’s struggle for Independence. In a series of vignettes, some of them illustrated and all of them documented, the author recounts the heroism of the women who rendered service in the various theaters of the conflict. While some of these heroines, such as “Molly Pitcher” or Anna Strong (member of General Washington’s spy ring) are already the stuff of legend, thanks to Mr. Crowder, most researchers will be making the acquaintance of these women patriots for the first time. Accordingly, we have listed each of them below, followed by the state or region in which they served: Hannah White Arnett (NY), Mrs. Ashe (SC), Agnes Hobson Bacon (VA), Ann Bailey (MA), Ann Hennis Bailey (OH), Penelope Pagett Barker (NC), Rebecca & Miliscent Barrett (MA), Hannah Barron (MA), Kate Barry (NC), Margaret Galbraith Barton (VA), Mother Batherick (MA), Sarah Matthews Reed Osborn Benjamin (NY), Elizabeth Gilmore Berry (PA), Katherine Montgomery Bledsoe (VA), Susanna Bolling (VA), Jemima Boone (NC), Margaret Louisa Smith Bowen (VA), Martha Bratton (NC), Elizabeth Burgin (NH), Nancy Butler (SC), Rachel Caldwell (PA), Deborah Champion (CT), Ann Robertson Cockrill (NC), Henrietta Maria Cole (SC), Polly Cooper (PA), Margaret Cochran Corbin (PA), Lydia Darragh (PA), Ann Simpson Davis (PA), Catharine Martin Davidson (PA), Mary Ramage Dillard (SC), Rachel Donelson (VA), Betsy Dowdy (NC), Phoebe Reynolds Drake (NY), Mary Draper (MA), Anna Elliott (SC), Rosanna Waters Farrow (VA), Phoebe Fraunces (NY), Aunt Betty Frazee (NJ), Mary “Polly” Worall Taylor Frazer (PA), Elizabeth Freeman “Mum Bett” (MA), Sarah Bradlee Fulton (MA), Deborah Sampson Gannett (MA), Emily Geiger (SC), Mary Katherine Goddard (RI), Hannah Gorton (RI), Elizabeth Hager (PA), Anne Kennedy Hamilton (SC), Nancy Hart (GA), Molly Ludwig Hays [“Molly Pitcher”] (PA), Hannah Israel (DE), Mammy Kate (GA), Mary Knight (PA), Anna Maria Lane (VA), Dicey Langston (SC), Mrs. Latham (NY), Agnes Dickinson Lee (CT), Jeannette Leman (SC), Sybil Ludington (NY), Lydia Mackey (SC), Elizabeth, Grace & Rachel Martin (SC), Mary McClure (SC), Behethland Moore (VA), Mary Murry (NY), Mary Redmond (PA), Esther de Berdt Reed (PA), Molly “Mom” Rinker (PA), Sally Salter (NC), Sarah Hartwell Shattuck (MA), Mary Slocumb (NC), Elizabeth (Molly) Page Stark (MA), Elizabeth Steele (SC), Sally St. Clair (GA), Anna Strong (NY), Sarah Tarrant (MA), Jane Black Thomas (SC), Sarah Townsend (NY), Martha Lott van Doren (NJ), Catherine Van Winkle (NJ), Nanyehi aka Nancy Ward (TN), Hannah Watts Weston (MA), Mrs. Whitall (NJ), Eleanor Carruthers Wilson (SC), Abigail Wright (MA), Prudence Cummings Wright (MA), Mary “Polly” Wyckoff (NJ), and Elizabeth Zane (VA/WV).
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