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The 4th of July is all about stars and stripes, fireworks, picnics, and thinking about the Founding Fathers. But have you stopped to consider the women once behind the scenes of forming a brand-new country? Celebrate the United States' diverse history with just a handful of amazing women!
Abigail Adams is known as the wife of U.S. President John Adams, but history fails to give her proper credit as a hardworking activist, political and financial advisor, and yes—a feminist. Even before feminism was a defined concept, Adams was one of many women during the Revolutionary period who proved to be a progressive force for women’s rights.
From youth, Adams was determined to defy the blockades against women’s formal education by teaching herself from any books should could find. She later managed her family’s farm while her husband was away and successfully handled his investments. She pressed him to consider women’s rights in the founding of America, writing, “whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives.”
When president, John Adams consulted Abigail for all crucial decisions.“I never wanted your Advice and assistance more in my life…The Times are critical and dangerous, and I must have you here to assist me,” he wrote. Throughout her time as First Lady, she was an influential voice and representative of women’s rights.
Though purchased as a slave at age seven, Phillis Wheatley became an extremely well-educated and respected woman. She learned English at a rapid rate from the daughter of her owner, Mary, and went on to learn Latin, read Milton and Pope, and translated Ovid’s poetry. Wheatley rose to a surprisingly high status that contradicted societal restrictions at the time. She published a book of poetry, making her the first black poet in America to be published. Today she is considered one of the best known poets of Pre-19th Century America.
Often called the “female Paul Revere” (though perhaps Paul Revere should be called the “male Sybil Ludington?), Ludington rode her horse Star 40 miles in the night to gather her colonel father’s regiment to fight off the British that ambushed a town in Connecticut. She successfully rounded up her father’s men and they were assembled in time for battle. Impressed with her valiant act, George Washington came to Sybil to congratulate and thank her. Did we mention she was only 16?
Margaret Cochran Corbin
Refusing to stay at home while her husband fought in the militia, Margaret Corbin took over the cannon when he was wounded. She was referred to as “Captain Molly” and the first woman to receive a military pension in the U.S.
Corbin’s story is similar to the “Molly Pitcher” folktale, thought to be Mary Ludwig Hays or just a generic depiction of all female war efforts. Regardless, any woman as dauntless as Corbin should be recognized.
#Real #IndependenceDay #Feminism #BadassWomen #RevolutionaryWar #4thOfJuly
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