We cannot forget the mamas…
The term, “Founders”, has long been in use, however the term, “Founding Fathers” wasn’t used until 1916. Warren Harding first used the term in his RNC Convention address in 1916 and again in his inaugural speech in 1921.
However, no one should let that latter term distract from the real work of freedom, which was fought for by America’s Founding FAMILIES…papas, mamas and sometimes also their children.
While much focus has gone to George, Thomas, Ben, and their cohorts, it cannot be forgotten that America’s Founding Families faced incredible challenges and sacrifices in the name of freedom.
Unlike today’s politicians, the colonial era leaders all had thriving businesses along with farms to feed their families, which they managed, while also serving their office. Their travels meant the mamas were left to handle the hard work of maintaining those livelihoods, while the papas were traveling or otherwise engaged in political roles.
The hard work of managing businesses and farms in the absence of the adult male of the family equated to long days for the wives tending the work and raising their families alone, often while also farming.
Along with their daily work load, the mamas also faced more hardships, because their husbands were sometimes jailed for their stand on freedom. This oppression left wives without their husbands for months or years and sometimes some of these men lost their lives in prison.
It was the mamas who were often also significantly influential in their husbands’ endeavors for freedom. In addition, some women were also a powerful voice for the public via writings circulated to citizens.
With the Revolutionary War, women also took their places next to men and served their new nation in roles as nurses, loading cannons, and directly fighting.
A few of the many examples of the women involved in the Founding of America:
Often credited with the first words of equality, it was Abigail Adams who strongly encouraged her husband and America’s second president, John Adams, to “remember the ladies” in his efforts toward freedom. (Find more info on Mrs. Adams featured in the TFP article by Clay Blanche on this website.)
Martha Washington journeyed with George to army encampments, serving as nurse, counsel and support. Many other wives did the same, following Martha’s example. Teams of women followed their husbands’ and sons’ military units cooking, sewing, nursing the wounded, supplying water and even manning equipment.
Mercy Otis Warren is credited with the discussions that led to initiating the Committees of Correspondence and wrote plays considered to be a crucial part of the campaign to unite the colonies against the British.
Molly Pitcher (and hundreds of women like her) became the name associated with the women who took her husband’s place loading a cannon, when he was too exhausted to continue. Her story inspired numerous others. (For the story of Molly Pitcher, see the TFP website article about her.)
Paul Revere may have received most of the billing for his warnings. But, Paul had a double in the likes of Sybil Ludington, who is credited with warning Americans of the looming British attack on Danbury, Connecticut.
One of the first American poets and the first known one of African decent, Phillis Wheatley, wrote poems about George Washington, documenting his appointment as commander of the Continental Army and other achievements.
Phillis was born into slavery, but was educated by her owning family. She served as an inspiration to other writers. Phillis, most of all, is known as the first writer to be financed solely by women and as the first African-American to publish a book.
Hannah Adams was the first American woman to make a living as a writer. Her writings included instruction on the role of women in wartime and served as a guide to colonial women. Additionally, her books on history and religion were noteworthy for providing education.
A courageous woman, Nancy Hart, became a legendary hero of the American Revolution. Known for her bravery both as a spy and as a soldier, she is credited with the capture of British soldiers on her own and also with the help of her daughter, along with other valiant endeavors.
The list of important women to the Founding of America continues with the likes of…
Betsy Ross, the seamstress often associated with the American flag and the many women just like her, who served the nation in supporting roles.
Laura Collins Walcott, whose writings on freedom and divine destiny, influenced a nation.
Dolley Madison and her efforts to save crucial historic artifacts and support her husband’s efforts for freedom.
The Founding Project will explore the stories of women crucial to the fight for freedom and the Founding of America in current and future articles featured on our website.
The story of the Founding of America encompasses many brave individuals over decades and culminates in a renowned freedom and spirit of unity unlike any the world had ever witnessed. It is a story generations must know to understand the freedom we enjoy today and the complex history of liberty and our country.
The Founding Project is dedicated to telling this story, along with delivering crucial information about the U. S. Constitution and Civics Education, and asks our members to partner with us in a MOVEMENT to Take Civics to Citizens.
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This article is dedicated to the Women, who continue the quest for freedom, and America’s dedicated Mothers, in honor of Mothers Day. Mamas, TFP salutes you!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States https://www.britannica.com/topic/Founding-Fathers http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705314716/Founding-Mothers-The-matriarchs-of-American-independence.html https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/nancy-morgan-hart/ https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nancy-Hart-American-Revolution-heroine http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/uhic/ReferenceDetailsPage/