Revolutionary War Women

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When most people think of the Revolutionary War, they envision heroic battles fought by men such as George Washington and Paul Revere. But equally important in America’s victory were the heroic deeds of the women of the time, both on the front lines and behind the scenes.. One of the first ways women got involved in the revolutionary movement was by boycotting British items. Men believed that it was going to be hard to get the women to boycott, however it was not (Slavicek 17). Since the Patriots would not buy supplies from the British, women now needed to step up and take the job of making their own cloth and turning it into clothes (Slavicek). Women also banded together and began signing petitions which was almost unheard of during this time …show more content…

Other women used their feminine wiles to trick people and gather information. One important female spy was Nancy Morgan Hart. Hart was very good at spying on British troops, and many times brought back extremely important information. Hart and her husband Benjamin were well respected supporters of the Patriot cause. It is said that Hart single handedly captured six Tories when they came to her house looking for a Patriot leader. After being forced to cook for them, she plied them with whiskey, took their guns and shot two of them, leaving the other four to later be hanged (Shenkman). Women used many different tactics in order to get information about the opposing side. Patience Wright, a sculptor, gained information by chatting with the people who she was sculpting. Lydia Darragh, a midwife and undertaker, was forced to quarter British soldiers in her house. While she was supposed to be sleeping, Darragh spied on the meeting being held in her downstairs parlor (Kneib). Her skills resulted in obtaining information that Washington’s troops were to be ambushed in early December. Darragh’s dedication showed when she walked through the snow to deliver her message to the military. Women were not thought to be as clever or as smart as men so they were often overlooked and thus privy to classified …show more content…

It is not known how many women messengers there were, nor are many known by name. This is because they would simply walk into an army camp, deliver their message, and be on their way (Zeinert 32). Sybil Ludington was a notable messenger who is many times compared to Paul Revere. She rode for miles spreading the word that men were needed in the fight immediately. Anna Strong was in charge of delivering messages to the Patriots in the New York area. She did not deliver the messages herself, however she told people when and where to receive them. Anna, along with other messengers, had a system of letting each other know where a message was. They assigned each inlet a number and would hang the corresponding number of clothes over a clothesline. This ensured secrecy to their methods, as no message was written on the cloth. Another important woman messenger was Emily Geiger, who was just sixteen at the time. While she was out delivering a message, she was captured by the British. However, before they could search her for any documents, Geiger memorized the message and ate it. Not finding anything on her, they let her go on her

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