The following reviews were published in the Fall 2020 issue of the St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly (pp. 91-92)
Women Patriots in the American Revolution: Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Compassion. By Jack Darrell Crowder. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2018. 102 pages. Illustrations, bibliography, index. Softcover. $24.95.
Strange, Amazing, and Funny Events that Happened during the Revolutionary War. By Jack Darrell Crowder. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2019. 145 pages. Illustrations, bibliography, index. Softcover. $30.00.
Former high school teacher, Jack Darrell Crowder, has compiled little-known stories of the American Revolution drawn from his years researching events and people found outside mainstream history books. For these two books, he has selected stories that add insight and sometimes humor, bringing the American Revolution and the women and men involved in that conflict more fully alive.
In Women Patriots in the American Revolution: Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Compassion, Mr. Crowder profiles eighty-eight girls and women, telling of their various contributions to the war for independence. The entries range from a single paragraph to several pages, complete with illustrations. At the end of each story, he carefully cites one or more sources of the account.
The women featured are drawn from all of the colonies. They range in age from a child of eight years to grandmothers and come from all socio-economic classes, including African American slaves, Native Americans, the wealthy, and the poor. They were mothers, widows, and single women who nursed the wounded and diseased, acted as spies, carried secret messages, published articles, melted their pewter dishes to mold bullets, defended their homes, and actively fought as soldiers.
You will recognize a few of the names, but most of the women described in Women Patriots have been obscured by history. Through his extensive research, Jack Crowder has shown that colonial women were “the secret weapon” the British could not defeat.
In the first six chapters of his second book, Strange, Amazing, and Funny Events that Happened during the Revolutionary War, Jack Darrell Crowder chronicles the Revolutionary War from Ebenezer Richardson’s 1770 shooting of eleven year old Christopher Seider to the war’s conclusion in 1783. In weaving together personal stories of the famous with those of the forgotten, Mr. Crowder reveals our history in a very different perspective than that found in history books. Chapter seven describes thirty-nine “Strange Events,” and chapter eight provides another twenty-seven little known Notable Facts” including:
- By 1779 fifteen percent of the army were Black. These men served in an integrated army, which would be the last one until the Korean War.
- The average height of American men was five feet, eight inches, about three inches taller than the British soldier. The tallest American soldier was al most eight feet tall.
- More than 11,000 Americans died on British prison ships from 1776 to 1783—three times greater than the number of men who died in combat.
His stories help us to understand the determination, stamina, sacrifice, and heroism of ordinary people caught up in the struggle for independence. As in the first book, Mr. Crowder cites multiple sources after each story that contains specific information about the persons and events.
Mr. Crowder’s purpose in writing both books was to make the people and events of the American Revolution come alive and to inspire us to read more about them. As his books are readable, entertaining, and enlightening, he has succeeded.
Reviewed by Judy Belford