Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Women Heroes of the American Revolution

Many people can name George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere as important figures in the American Revolution. But who were Betty Zane, Phillis Wheatley, Lydia Darragh, and Esther Reed? What role did these women play in the American Revolution, and why do we not immediately know who they are? Some had roles as spies, nurses, fundraisers, and soldiers. They played important roles in the war, yet their names are not ones we immediately connect with the American Revolution. Here are the stories of twenty women who had important roles in the outcome of the war, and whose names deserve to be remembered with George Washington and Paul Revere.

I had been looking forward to reading this book, and was pleased when I saw it on display at my local library. July 4th had just passed, and it seemed a good time to read about women heroes of the American Revolution. I found it engaging and was pleased to read about a couple women I had heard about previously, but was even more surprised by how many of these women I had never heard of. I enjoyed learning about these women and how important they were to the success of the American Revolution.

The book is set up by sections, so if you are interested in women who filled certain roles such as spy or soldier you can easily find their stories. Each woman has about 5-10 pages about them with a helpful section at the end of their story where you can learn more about them. I thought this was an excellent way to introduce each woman and her contribution without overwhelming the reader. There are quite a few women I am looking forward to learning more about.

I think a few of my favourite stories were: Esther Reed and Sarah Franklin Bache who raised funds for the soldiers and argued with George Washington about the best way to help the soldiers with the money. Lydia Darragh who spied on British soldiers and reported the information to the Americans. Dicey Langston who was also a spy, but would help whoever was in need. She generally provided information to the Americans, but when hearing some Americans were planning on stealing a loyalist's horse (terrible because people depended so much on their horses) she informed the loyalist so they could save their horse. And Deborah Sampson Gannett signed up as a soldier while pretending to be a man. These are just four stories. I found all of them to be interesting and was intrigued to see how many different ways women contributed to the war effort.

I was very pleased with this book. It was a quick read, but very informative. A must read if you are interested in stories about women in history or the American Revolution. I highly recommend reading this book.