“With the ladies on our side, we can make every Tory tremble.”Samuel Adams
|Abigail Adams, 1766|
artist: Benjamin Blythe
source: Wikimedia Commons
this image is in public domain in
the United States because its copyright
When Abigail Adams advised her husband, “don’t forget the ladies,” as he headed off toward Philadelphia to help draft the Declaration of Independence, she was more right than perhaps either of them knew. Although women wouldn’t obtain a prominent place in the history books just yet, their support during the American Revolution should not be discounted.
One such group was the Daughters of Liberty.
Even though this group of determined women formed in Boston shortly after the Sons of Liberty came into being, nothing in my research suggests it was an offshoot of the group. I think prominent members of the Daughters of Liberty such as Abigail Adams and Martha Washington might have objected to the rather violent methods of the Sons of Liberty…but perhaps not.
While the Sons of Liberty are more widely known due to their exploits such as The Boston Tea Party, here are a few of the contributions of the Daughters of Liberty:
- Supported the boycott of British goods. Without the support of the women does anyone honestly think the boycott of everyday household goods would have succeeded?
- Promoted the making and wearing of “homespun” to replace the use of British textiles. There was a time in America when being unfashionable was the fashion.
- Concocted substitutes for tea such as Liberty Tea, which was a concoction of boiled basil leaves. I think I would have just opted for the coffee!
- Made bullets and sewed uniforms during the war.
- Raised funds and distributed petitions.
- Refused to accept gentleman callers for themselves or their daughters unless they support the patriot’s cause. This one is my favorite as it would fit really well into a romance novel.
So while the Sons of Liberty were off tearing down the houses of the government officials, hanging people in effigy and dressing up like Indians, the women were doing some pretty serious work. We should, as Abigail Adams suggested, remember the ladies.
Giving Credit where credit is due
If you’d like to learn more, here are a couple of sources I used while fact checking this post:Sons and Daughters of Liberty http://www.ushistory.org/us/10b.asp
I also ran across a site for the Boston Tea Party Historical Society while researching. Although I didn't use any material from this site for this post, I thought I'd mention it because it's such an intriguing resource.
Finally, I want to thank fellow members of the American History Group on LinkedIn for their knowledge and opinions on this subject. As always, you guys are a blast to debate with and I learn so much!