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Molly Pitcher firing cannon at Battle of Monmouth, by E. Percy Moran, courtesy of the Library of Conrgress.

Martha Washington actively supported the American Revolution and regularly visited her husband’s winter encampment. Hear how women took part in and contributed to the conflict which won the nation’s independence.

This event features historians Holly A. Mayer, Karen Cook-Bell, and Lorri Glover, contributors to the new book, Women Waging War in the American Revolution.

Following the lecture, guests will enjoy a reception that includes wine and beer, and a book signing.

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This annual event was created to share new scholarship and insights into the life and times of Martha Washington and is made possible through a generous grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.

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• Reception with beer and wine
• Book signing

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Women Waging War in the American Revolution

Image removed.America’s War for Independence dramatically affected the speed and nature of broader social, cultural, and political changes including those shaping the place and roles of women in society. Women fought the American Revolution in many ways, in a literal no less than a figurative sense. Whether Loyalist or Patriot, Indigenous or immigrant enslaved or slave-owning, going willingly into battle or responding when war came to their doorsteps, women participated in the conflict in complex and varied ways that reveal the critical distinctions and intersections of race, class, and allegiance that defined the era.

This collection examines the impact of Revolutionary-era women on the outcomes of the war and its subsequent narrative tradition, from popular perception to academic treatment. The contributors show how women navigated a country at war, directly affected the war’s result, and influenced the foundational historical record left in its wake. Engaging directly with that record, this volume’s authors demonstrate the ways that the Revolution transformed women’s place in America as it offered new opportunities but also imposed new limitations in the brave new world they helped create.


About the Participants

Image removed.Karen Cook-Bell is Associate Professor of History and the Wilson H. Elkins Endowed Professor at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland.

Her areas of specialization include slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and women’s history. She is the author of Claiming Freedom: Race, Kinship, and Land in Nineteenth Century Georgia, which won the Georgia Board of Regents Excellence in Research Award.

Her most recent book, Running from Bondage: Enslaved Women and Their Remarkable Fight for Freedom in Revolutionary America, was a finalist for the Pauli Murray Book Prize for Best Book in African American Intellectual History.

She is editor of Southern Black Women’s Struggle for Freedom during the Civil War and Reconstruction, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Image removed.Holly A. Mayer is Professor Emerita of History at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and currently serves as the 2021-2022 Charles Boal Ewing Chair in Military History at the United States Military Academy, West Point. In 2016-2017, she was the Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College. Her research interests include the social, cultural, and military histories of late 18th-century North America. She is the author of Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution, which was published by the University of South Carolina Press, 1996. In addition to authoring various journal and anthology essays, Mayer was co-editor (with David E. Shi) of For the Record: A Documentary History of America, and editor of the anthology Women Waging War in the American Revolution.

Image removed.Lorri Glover is the John Francis Bannon Endowed Chair in the Department of History at Saint Louis University. Her research interested include siblings and kinship in colonial South Carolina, masculinity in the Early Republic, the seventeenth-century colonization of Virginia and Bermuda, the intersection of family and politics in the lives of leading American Revolutionaries, and the fierce debates over the ratification of the US Constitution. She has written extensively about early America, including Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries. She is a frequent presenter at Mount Vernon and was a member of the Washington Library’s 2016-17 class of research fellows.



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