I just finished reading Founding Mother – The Women who Raised our Nation by Cokie Roberts.
Founding Mothers gives a totally different perspective on the revolutionary era and the women who were a part of it. Here are a few tantalizing tidbits from Founding Mothers.
- Eliza Lucas Pinckney was the mother of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Thomas Pinckney both of whom were key figures in early American politics. In 1746 when Eliza was 16 she was left in charges of her family's plantations in South Carolina. She ran them for many years and figured out how to grow indigo commercially in South Carolina when no one thought it was possible. She led a long and heroic life and when she died in 1793 at about 70 her friend George Washington, at his request, was a pallbearer.
- Not the only, but the most famous woman who fought as a man in the American revolution was Deborah Sampson. She served in the army for three years, fought in several battles and was only discovered after became very ill and almost died. She was eventually granted a soldier's pension by congress and after she died her husband received a special survivors' pension.
- The British General Cornwallis said that even if he destroyed all the men in America, he'd still have the women to contend with.
- Peggy, the wife of the infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold was an active participant in Arnold's spying for the British. She claimed innocence and escaped persecution.
- Elizabeth Monroe the wife of James Monroe, the future president probably saved the life of the wife of the Marquis de Lafayette. The Marchioness was in jail during the French revolution when James Monroe was an American diplomat in Paris. Adrienne Lafayette's mother and grandmother had both been beheaded and she was expecting the same fate. "Elizabeth Monroe, in the official American carriage, went to the prison where Adrienne Lafayette was held and asked to speak to her. That show of interest resulted in the Marchioness's release."
I've added Founding Mothers to my list of books read in 2009. I'm working hard to finish the traditional books in my reading pile so I can start using my Kindle 2 when it arrive in the next day or two. I can't wait!