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Mercy Otis Warren: 'published poet, political playwright and satirist during the age of the American Revolution'

"Born on September 14, 1728 in Barnstable, Massachusetts, Warren was the third of thirteen children of James Otis and Mary Allyne Otis. Her exposure to politics began early; her father was an attorney who was elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1745. Like most girls at the time, Warren had no formal education; hers came from sitting in on her brother’s lessons, where she took a particular interest in history and politics. She also made extensive use of her uncle’s large book collection to educate herself.

"In 1754, she wed the politically active James Warren, a classmate of her brother’s at Harvard, who encouraged her to pursue writing. The couple had five sons. After James Warren’s election to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1766, the Warrens began hosting leading citizens in their Plymouth home, particularly those opposed to British policies. In fact, Warren herself would maintain a lifelong, though at times tumultuous, friendship with John Adams, which included extensive letters on the nature of the new republic.

"An avid patriot, Warren began writing political dramas that denounced British policies and key officials in Massachusetts, notably Governor Thomas Hutchinson. Her 1772 satire, 'The Adulator' (published anonymously in the Massachusetts Spy newspaper), criticized the British colonial governor’s policies a full four years before Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Warren also published two additional plays skewering British colonial leaders, Defeat (1773) and The Group (1775.) She supported the Boston Tea Party and boycotts of British imports and urged other women to follow suit.

You may read more of Mrs. Warren's biography by Debra Michals, Ph.D. at: Biography: Mercy Otis Warren (womenshistory.org)





Excerpts and image taken from: 
MLA - Michals, Debra. "Mercy Otis Warren." National Women's History Museum. National Women's History Museum, 2015. Date accessed: 2/21/2023.
Chicago - Michals, Debra. "Mercy Otis Warren." National Women's History Museum. 2015. www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/mercy-otis-warren.

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