6 Women Who Freed America

6 Women Who Freed America

6 Women Who Freed America

When we celebrate the brute male hands that built history, it’s crucial we include the mothers who poured into the shaping of their brilliance, the sisters who made unconditional space, and the daughters who sacrificed the warmth of a father’s presence. When we celebrate the men who made history, we must acknowledge the women who upheld them.

Beyond that, what about the revolutionary women themselves? The women who served as peers, playing massive roles in the field with little to no acknowledgment? These were women who made homespun cloth, organized fundraising drives, wrote historical keep of the times, supplied the troops with food and care, worked in the military camps, tended to the wounded soldiers, worked to produce goods, and even served as spies. There were even a few women on the battleground themselves.

With strength and intellect, the bravery and advocacy of these women made them key (though often unrecognized) figures in America's fight for independence. A forgotten chapter in all of our history books, here's only a handful of the endless list of women who took part in American Independence and paved the way for us to continue fighting for more.

Abigail Adams

The wife of Massachusetts Congressional Delegate and future second President of the United States John Adams, Abigail Adams played a crucial-yet-understated role in the American Revolution. She was deeply involved in the political discourse of the time, sending letters to her husband with vital insights, from the need for women's rights to the moral and ethical dimensions of the revolution. 
Her famous quote, “Remember the ladies,” resonates politically to this day, highlighting her progressive views and influence in shaping the social fabric of the new world.

Phillis Wheatley

With literary contributions that extended far beyond poetry and into her role as a symbol of the abolitionist movement, Phillis Wheatley was an enslaved African American poet who wrote of freedom, human rights, and the revolutionary spirit. 
She famously penned “To His Excellency, General Washington," which praised George Washington and the revolutionary cause, earning her recognition from the future first President himself. Providing a unique and powerful voice that challenged white colonists’ notions of race and intellect, she asserted the intellectual capabilities and humanity of not only African Americans, but women, as well. Through the symbolic weight of her achievements, Phillis Wheatley made a forceful impact on the cultural and ideological landscape of the American Revolution.


Two Kettles Together

Two Kettles Together, also known as Tyonajanegen, was a powerful member of the Oneida Nation, one the few Native American groups to side with the American revolutionaries. 
She was renowned for her bravery and skill, directly participating in combat and providing critical support to American forces. Beyond her historical display of resilience while fighting alongside her husband in the Battle of Oriskany in 1777, Two Kettles Together also played a crucial role in logistics for the Continental Army. She was involved in delivering food and supplies, which were vital to sustaining the troops.

Esther Reed

In her writing “
Sentiments of an American Woman,” wife of a prominent lawyer and military officer, Esther Reed argued that “women’s love of their country was equal to that of men.” Aligning action with her devotion to American liberty, in 1780, she founded the Ladies Association of Philadelphia, one of the first women's organizations in the United States. The group went door to door to collect money for the Army and raised the extraordinary amount of $300,000, which was used to make over 2,000 shirts for the soldiers.

Baroness Frederika von Riedesel

Baroness Frederika von Riedesel played a significant role in the American Revolution as the wife of Major General Friedrich von Riedesel, a commander of the Brunswick troops fighting alongside the British.
 When her husband left Germany to fight against the American Revolutionaries in 1776, Frederika von Riedesel was pregnant with one of their three daughters. Soon after giving birth, she gathered her children and joined her husband in 1777, recording her experiences and journey as a prisoner-of-war in a detailed personal journal. Taking refuge in a cellar with other women and children while providing care for wounded soldiers, her resilience and resourcefulness under dire circumstances exemplified the fortitude required by those on the home front.

Deborah Sampson

Last but not least, a real-life Mulan, 
Deborah Sampson played a daring role in the American Revolution by disguising herself as a man to serve in the Continental Army. Taking on the identity of "Robert Shurtliff" and enlisting in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment in 1782, she served in combat for over a year without her true identity being discovered. Sustaining injuries from both a sword cut to her head and musket balls to her thigh, her service came to an end when she fell ill with a fever in 1783 and her gender was discovered by a doctor. However, instead of being punished, she received an honorable discharge, reflecting the respect she had earned from her fellow soldiers.