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Patriotic Ladies: 'Republican Mothers'

James Peale , The Artist and His Family, (1795) (Source:  Republican motherhood - Wikipedia ) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ While reading biographies of Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams, who were not only peers, but also close friends during the War for Independence, I often find the term "Republican Motherhood" used to describe them and other ladies of that time who cherished their role as homemakers, but also did what they could to promote liberty. These founding ladies weren't "feminists," but they were intelligent and helpful to their husbands and the other men leading the charge for our independence from Great Britain. They also believed education for both sexes would be instrumental for a free society.  Wikipedia tells us: "Republican Motherhood" is an 18th-century term for an attitude toward women's roles present in the emerging United States before, during, and after the American Revolution . It centered on the belief that the patriots' d

Patriotic Ladies: Mercy Otis Warren

I'm presently reading Minds & Hearts: The Story of James Otis Jr. and Mercy Otis Warren by Jeffrey H. Hacker  published in June of 2021 by Bright Leaf.  I appreciate the author giving us a closer look into the Otis family and especially these two siblings to whom we owe so much of our independence from Great Britain.  Something I've gleaned from the book are the traditional values Mercy Otis Warren held. I've read biographies of her that emphasize her writing and politcal insight, but not so much of her dedication to her husband, sons and home. It's truly wonderful to read of this housewife whom the Lord has used so greatly in our American history.  I encourage you to get this book and read her amazing story. Here is a review posted at The Journal of the American Revolution website:  Review: Mind and Hearts: The Story of James Otis Jr. and Mercy Otis Warren - Journal of the American Revolution (allthingsliberty.com) For Mercy's professional accomplishments I a

Patriotic Ladies: First Lady Abigail Adams

"You have this day to declare yourself head of a nation. "And now, O Lord, my God, Thou hast made thy servant ruler over the people. "Give unto him an understanding heart, that he may know how to go out and come in before this great people; that he may discern between good and bad. "For who is able to judge this thy so great a people?" were the words of a royal Sovereign; and not less applicable to him who is invested with the Chief Magistracy of a nation, though he wear not a crown nor robes of royalty... "Though personally absent...my petitions to Heaven are that 'the things which make for peace may not be hidden from your eyes.' "That you may be enabled to discharge them with honor to yourself, with justice and impartiality to your country, and with satisfaction to this great people, shall be the daily prayer of your Abigail Adams." (Taken from America's God and Country , by William J. Federer) And so we have the words of one of Am

Essential Reading for American Patriots: 'History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution'

 Liberty Fund has made available History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution written by Mercy Otis Warren . According to the book's description, Mrs. Warren had a unique perspective on the historical events unfolding in her lifetime and was "Steeped in the classical, republican tradition, Warren was a strong proponent of the American Revolution. She was also suspicious of the newly emerging commercial republic of the 1780s and hostile to the Constitution from an Anti-Federalist perspective, a position that gave her history some notoriety." You can purchase Mrs. Warren's book here:  History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution - Liberty Fund . Kirsten Anderson Birkhaug has written a review of the book which is posted at Law & Liberty .  Here are some highlights from her review  Enduring Memories of the American Revolution: Alexis de Tocqueville metaphorized his thoughts on nations when he wrote that “the

Patriotic Ladies: 'Women's Tea Parties'

"On October 25, 1774, women in Edenton resolved to stop buying English tea and cloth to protest taxation without representation. The event became known as the Edenton Tea Party ." Source:  Women of Edenton Resolve to Forego English Tea, 1774 | NC DNCR (ncdcr.gov) Mr. Bert Dunkerly writes this of the Tea Tax concerns and the ladies involvement in protesting it during the period before the War for Independence at the Emerging Revolutionary War Era blog : "Examples of women’s political participation in the Revolutionary movement are hard to find. Women were not permitted to be politically active in the eighteenth century, yet many got involved anyway and pushed back against prevailing social norms. There are two examples of women organizing protests within six months of each other in 1774, both in North Carolina. Unfortunately, few details exist of these happenings. Primary sources on many colonial-era events are limited, and they are even more so with these two examples. &

Patriotic Betty Washington Lewis

George Washington's Mount Vernon has a biography of Betty Washington Lewis which tells us something of her character and that of the Washington children; they were a hard-working, moral. loyal and patriotic family.  Please read Betty's biography here . I've also posted some select excerpts below.   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Betty Washington Lewis was more than just the only sister of George Washington to survive to adulthood; she was also a patriot. Lewis and her husband, Fielding, contributed a considerable amount of their personal wealth and time toward the American Revolution. Their devotion and loyalty to the wartime effort and to its leader, George Washington, inadvertently led them to financial hardship. "Born on June 20, 1733, Betty Washington was the second child and only surviving daughter of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington . Christened Elizabeth, Betty was most likely named after her mother’s beloved half-sister, Elizabeth Johnson Bonhum. Along

Examining the Religious Habits of the Washington Family

 What were the religious practices of George and Martha Washington, you might ask? Let's take a look and see if their Christian faith played an important part of their lives. Sampler made by Martha Parke Custis (Martha Washington’s second granddaughter) in 1784 at age seven. Her rendering of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments can be seen as lessons in sewing, reading, writing, and also as instruction in the Christian faith.  Image Source:  George Washington's Mount Vernon The website  George Washington's Mount Vernon   reports   that  " Martha Washington was a devout Christian, her granddaughter Eleanor 'Nelly' Parke Custis Lewis noted that she 'never omitted her private devotions, or her public duties…'" and goes on to say "Mrs. Washington regularly retired to her room between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning 'for an hour of meditation reading & prayer and that hour no one was ever allowed to interfere with.' She and Ne

Choosing Love and Liberty: Lucy Knox

Lucy Flucker Knox (August 2, 1756 – June 20, 1824)  "Lucy hailed from the Flucker family, a wealthy Massachusetts family with deep loyalty to King George III . The family patriarch was Thomas Flucker, Secretary of Massachusetts, and Lucy’s mother was Hannah Waldo, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. The land her family owned and held trading rights to eventually became Maine. Lucy grew up in New England wealth and extravagance with her younger sister, Hannah, and her older brother, Thomas (both named after their parents). "However, Lucy’s unique story begins the moment she met her future husband. While out-and-about in Boston, Lucy noticed a uniformed man mounted on horseback riding around Boston Common. She was immediately enchanted by him and soon learned his name: Henry Knox. Lucy discovered Henry ran a small bookshop across from Williams Court in Cornhill, a popular location for British officers. An avid reader herself, Lucy frequented the bookshop. Henry also became quit

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 ex