Women in the American Revolution: 3 Forces Driving Freedom
Not all wars are on won on the battlefield. For some, fighting behind the lines signified a greater cost to personal safety, all in the name of liberty and freedom for every soon-to-be American citizen. We know the stories of male greats in the American Revolution like George Washington (and even some female greats like Molly Pitcher), but what of the influential ladies that helped our cause? Today we go through a short list of three of the most important and lesser-known women in the American Revolution.
Mercy Otis Warren
Few knew of Mercy Warren’s accomplishments at the time because she went by a pseudonym: the Columbian Patriot. She was a propagandist and influential writer who helped sway public opinion against royalist supporters. Many of her columns were political in nature, calling for independence against the British regime. She later produced poems and plays under her own name, which was a daring feat as very few (if any) female writers were writing using their own credentials at the time. Warren is also credited with one of the earliest histories of the American Revolution, and it’s the first of its kind written by a woman.
Standing at 5’9” (quite tall for her day), Deborah Sampson didn’t sit idly by on the sidelines, waiting for the Revolution to sort itself out. She took things into her own hands and enlisted with the Light Infantry Company of Massachusetts in 1782. Her first battle a few months later in New York left Sampson with two musket balls lodged in her thigh from enemy fire. One she dug out herself, and the other, too deep, she left and it never fully healed. After a year and a half of service, she was honorably discharged by General Paterson without being reprimanded for illegally joining the armed forces.
Though few records remain of Sybil Ludington’s achievements, her story is an inspiring one. On a late night in April 1777, Sybil rode her horse forty miles through New York to alert soldiers that Danbury, Connecticut was going to come under fire from British forces. Though her actions didn’t save the town, she helped save lives by warning the people of the town. Her heroism also proved useful as the militiamen she warned were able to drive the British forces back in the Battle of Ridgefield. She didn’t stop there, either. Sybil saved her father from capture by fooling loyalists into thinking her house was guarded with a small force of soldiers.
Though their stories were forgotten for some time, these influential women in the American Revolution have been brought up more and more because of their courageous acts, both on and off the battlefield!