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Women of the American Revolution Vols. I and II


Women of the American Revolution Volumes I and II

Elizabeth F. Ellet  [1817-1877] 

We are often encouraged to study the adventures and exploits of the men who participated in our country’s War for Independence. But, as Abigail Adams reminded us in a letter to her husband John on March 31, 1776, we should also be encouraged to “Remember the Ladies”. Their contributions were just as vital, and in many cases quite comparable to that of their male counterparts during the struggle for colonial autonomy.

The years during the American Revolution were times of changing loyalties, fierce battles and internecine rivalries, and the women’s perspective provided a fresh view for interpretation of the times. In her 1849 volumes "The Women of the American Revolution I and II", Elizabeth F. Ellet took this task to heart as she recounted in detail the stories of over 120 women who assisted in the fight for freedom. Drawing from a wealth of material - personal interviews, diaries, biographies, and manuscript letters - she probed the details of their personal triumphs and tragedies, and presented them in a popular style easily appreciated by contemporary readers. With her unique documentation, much of which is now lost to present historians, she was able to set intimate scenes for the period and breathe life into her characterizations. She presented women at the hearth and on the battlefield in the same factual yet entertaining manner.

While the author recounted the lives of many of the more popular participants – Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Jane McCrea, and Mercy Warren - she included many lesser-known individuals, as well as women of several nationalities, lending a more balanced and credible view to the course of the narrative. Anecdotes of personal bravery, clever escapes, and valiant stands mark the pages of  "The Women of the American Revolution", and even a brief review will entice any reader. These stories were not dry historical accounts; they were meant to be read as incidents in the lives of real Americans during trying times. More than a few of the participants were contemporary with the author and this reveals itself in the personal style of her writing.

An instant bestseller in its time, we are proud to once again offer these volumes as testimony to the deeds of these courageous women. Their lives and deeds deserve to be recalled and imitated for ages to come. This is an idea read for members of patriotic organizations and their sons and daughters as well.

This book, which is two volumes in one, includes stories from the exciting lives of Mary Washington, Esther Reed, Catharine Schuyler, Catharine Greene, Mercy Warren, Janet Montgomery, Hannah Winthrop, Catharine Livingston, Lucia Knox, Mrs. Gates, Mary Draper, Mrs. Pond, Frederica de Riedesel, Dorothy Hancock, Sarah Hull, Harriet Ackland, Hannah Erwin Israel, Mary Redmond, Lydia Darrah, Rebecca Franks, Elizabeth Ferguson, Mary Philipse, Sarah Reeve Gibbes, Mary Anna Gibbes, Eliza Wilkinson, Martha Bratton, Mrs. Adair, Jane Thomas, Isaballa Sims, Mrs. Jolly, Mrs. Otterson, Nancy Jackson, Jane McJunkin, Dorcas Richardson, Elizabeth Martin, Grace martin, Rachel Martin, Mrs. Spalding, Dicey Langston, Mrs. Dillard, Mrs. Potter, Mrs. Beckham, Elizabeth Steele, Mrs. Brevard, Mrs. Jackson, Mary Slocumb, Esther Wake, Sarah Bache, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Cranch, Elizabeth Clay, Martha Wilson, Rebecca Motte, Mrs. Brewton, Susannah Elliott, Sabina Elliott, Mrs. Lewis Morris, Jane Washington, Anna Elliott, Sarah Hopton, Behethland Foote Butler, Hannah Caldwell, Susan Livingston, Catherine Livingston, Susannah Livingston, Lady Stirling, Deborah Samson, Margaret Gaston, Flora McDonald, Rachel Caldwell, Mary Long, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Skinner, Mrs. Myers, Mrs. Ives, Mrs. Bidlack, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Dana, Frances Slocum, Wyoming women, Wawasink women, Mrs. Bevier, Catharine Vernooy, Jane Campbell, Cornelia Beekman, Frances Allen, Margaret Arnold, Jane McCrea, Nancy Hart, Rebecca Biddle, Mrs. Graydon, Ann Eliza Bleecker, Margaretta Faugeres, Alice Izard, Mrs. Ralph Izard, Anna Bailey, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Shattuck, Rebecca Barlow, Kentucky women, Mrs. Boone, Mrs. Whitley, Mrs. harvey, Mrs. Daviess, Mrs. Russell, Mrs. Woods, Mrs. Merrill, Elizabeth Zane, Margaret Morris, Mrs. Maxwell, Mrs. Dissosway, Mrs. Jackson, Mary Bowen, Mrs. Walker, Emily Geiger, Mrs. Griswold, Hannah Mooney, Mrs. Wadsworth, Mrs. Munro, Mrs. Borden, Mrs. Heyward, Mrs. Shubrick, Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Conyngham.


Pages: 683
Originally Published: 1850
Reprinted: August 2004
Format: Perfect bound paperback 6" x 9"
ISBN 10: 0-9753667-2-6

ISBN 13: 978-0-9753667-2-1
Price: $26.95

About the Author

Elizabeth F. Ellet, author of "Women of the American Revolution"

Born in western New York, Elizabeth Ellet attended the girls' school in Aurora, New York, where she studied French, German, and Italian, among other subjects. She began publishing translations of European literature as well as her own poetry in her teens and early twenties in the American Ladies' Magazine. A volume entitled Poems, Translated and Original appeared as her first printed collection in 1835.

She married chemistry professor William Henry Ellet in 1835 and continued to write prolifically, contributing to literary periodicals in both New York and Columbia, South Carolina, where Professor Ellet received teaching appointments. Resettling in New York City in 1845 while her husband remained in the South, Elizabeth Ellet began to compose flirtatious letters to Edgar Allan Poe, thus competing with poet Frances Osgood for his affections. She also spread rumors that Poe and Osgood, both of whom were married, were engaged in an illicit affair. Though her gossip-mongering came to an end when Osgood's husband threatened her with a libel suit and her own husband joined her in New York, she already had managed to incur permanent damage to Frances Osgood's reputation.

Interested in the roles and accomplishments of early American women, Elizabeth Ellet's most notable literary contributions were her popular historical accounts of women's participation in the American Revolution and in the settling of the western frontiers. Though these histories idealized a passive, politically unambitious image of Republican femininity, they were the very first to recognize the contributions of women to the formation of the United States.

Poetess - Historian - Authoress

The daughter of Dr. Willam N. Lummis, Elizabeth F. Lummis was educated at the female seminary in Aurora, New York. She married William H. Ellet "at an early age" and they moved to South Carolina, where she wrote several books of poetry and contributed articles on poetry and literature. Returning to New York, she wrote a three-volume book, "Women of the American Revolution" (1848), "derived from original sources," followed by many other books, including "Domestic History of the American Revolution" (1850), "Watching Spirits" (1851),  "Pioneer Women of the West" (1852), "Queens of American Society" (1865), and "The Court Circles of the Republic, or the Beauties and Celebrities of the Nation" (1869).

See DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY by Francis S. Drake (Boston, 1872), p. 301.

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