Women in the American Revolution

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The Contribution of Women in the American Revolution

In America, the fathers of freedom is a public knowledge with the intent of a progressive nurturing of the rich American history. It is undeniable that even the young kids know of the American founding fathers. The common names of war heroes such as George Washington, Paul Reverse, John Paul Jones and Patrick Henry rings in the mind of any patriotic American citizen. They are remembered for their quench for freedom, which cost lives and destruction of properties. Historical books major on the war heroes as an indication of male dominance especially in times of war. Authors tend to sideline the contribution of the women (Casey 98). They focus on won battles and army generals. For this, memorial statutes are bearing the names of the heroes with less focus on women. However, women played very distinctive roles in winning these battles. The women contributed to winning battles through They spied on the enemies, raised soldiers' morale and even serving alongside soldiers.

The Significance of Women's Contributions

The significance of the contributions of the American women was realized when the colonies struggled for their independence. The war provided the women with the opportunity to prove their importance in society. They assumed responsibilities in a field regarded as a male dominant. During the war, women performed duties such as taking care of farm activities, defending their homes and even their neighborhoods and gathered intelligence to display the weakness of the opponent (Casey 98). Women also served as cooks and caretakers for the continental army. Others provided healthcare services to the injured soldiers as men battled in the zones. In the line of the provision of support, women were exposed to the consequences of war, which includes suffering, violence and death. Women, such as those who defended their homesteads, faced the threat of violence and rape from the enemy troop (Casey 98).

The Domestic Front

The women led the ordinary domestic behaviors, which reflected on the political, civil and social aspect of the revolution. The women supported the revolution through their roles at home, domestic economy and the businesses and belongings of their fathers and husbands. In 1767 after the Parliament passed the Townshend Act, women led a Homespun Movement aimed at promoting the local American industries and democracy while discouraging the British corruption and luxury. Instead of buying British clothes, the women ventured into producing their plain-weave cloth made at home. Further, the movements such as the Boycott British Textile and the Homespun Movement produced clothes and blankets for the Continental Army. During the revolution, women influenced al the American patriots to buying the locally manufactured goods (Casey 98). They implemented the patriotic move through a massive boycott on British clothes. Through domestic front actions, the British earned no profit from America leading to the collapse of companies thus success in the revolution.

Women's Organizations

Women supported the Continental Army through financial aid. Organizations such as Ladies Association in Philadelphia prompted every woman to make personal contributions to support the warring heroes. The organization, headed by Martha Washington, made contributions that she transferred to her husband, General George Washington, during the battle. Other states implemented the same strategy to assist the army. Some of the women leaders who influenced others to contribute include Sarah Franklin, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin, who delivered the funds to her father. According to Burgan (45), the women managed to raise $350,000. Through motivational titles such as "The sentiments of an American Woman" channeled women to a single course. They stated that their objective was to deliver their country. They extended their services to collecting fund from different donors and supplying the soldiers with necessities (Casey 78).

Women for the Battlefront

Although many of the patriotic women exercised their support for colonial forces while at home, others faced the battles with their husbands. Some women refused to stay at home due to factors such as fear of attack by the enemy, threats of violence and lack of financial security. They opted to fight alongside their husbands for protection and provisional requirements. Due to the lack of critical examination of recruits, the women found it easier to hide in clothes that covered their entire bodies. Some women who had no promiscuous feminine appearance such as those from the villages with hands and face depicting an exposure to physical labor, sneaked into the ranks and even in leadership positions (Casey 98). Women such as Deborah Samson, who had skilled fighting prowess and toughness, were not only, accepted in the Continental Army but also honored. Another patriotic woman who fought alongside Washington and her husband in the artillery battle losing her arm and breast from grapeshot is Margaret Corbin (Kneib 67).

Women as Camp Followers

General George Washington addressed the issues of using women as nurses during the war. He advised that they should employ a woman to take care of ten injured soldiers. They were compensated through a monthly salary of two dollars. Further, some women followed the continental army to serve as their cooks, nurses, washerwomen, and spies. Life as a camp follower was risky and unpredictable due to frequent attacks. However, some of these women had no choice since they depended on the income of the soldiers. They were daughters, mothers, and even sisters to some of these soldiers (Casey 98). As a camp follower, the women were delegated duties such as mending, childcare, and laundry earning a monthly compensation of a dollar. Unlike the poor women who provided support through physical help, the richer women such as Martha Washington frequently visited the camps supplying them with necessities. Their presence symbolized that every woman was behind the continental army.

Women as Soldiers

Women graduated from being mere camp followers to trained soldiers ready to battle. They dressed in Army combat while armed and leading battles. Women such as Prudence Cummings were elected Army captains. She later led a group of women at Pepperrell who joined to form an army after their men departed to Concord. They captured Tory, an officer, at gunpoint and made him surrender. Other women such as Deborah Champion and Sarah Decker helped in supplying sensitive military information as they rode through the enemy territory to deliver them to the continental army. During the Monmouth battle, Mary Ludwig supplied the American soldiers with water and later rescued the injured soldiers in a canon. These women battled with the urgency of reclaiming their country and their freedom (Thornton p.56).


In summary, however much history praises the American founding fathers; the female originators also deserve recognition. They provided support during battles, which could have otherwise failed. Through their cooperation in domestic fronts, the women boycotted British textiles prompting the American patriots to purchase the locally manufactured clothes. The boycott deteriorated the expected profits by the British companies. Women supported the revolution through women's organizations, which raised funds and supplied the continental army with food and warring tools. They also participated in the battlefronts, became camp followers providing services to the soldiers and they became soldiers fighting alongside their men. Therefore, it is fair to state that women contributed critically to the general revolutionary movement in America.

Work cited

Thornton, Jeremy. Famous Women of the American Revolution. New York: PowerKids Press, 2015. Print.

Burgan, Michael. Great Women of the American Revolution. Minneapolis, Minn: Compass Point Books, 2014. Print.

Casey, Susan. Women Heroes of the American Revolution. Chicago Review Press, 2015. Internet resource.

Kneib, Martha. Women Soldiers, Spies, and Patriots of the American Revolution. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2017. Print.

November 24, 2023


Subject area:

American Revolution

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