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Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

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While the fathers were off founding the country, what were the women doing? Running their husband s businesses, raising their children plus providing political information and advice. At least that s what Abigail Adams did for John, starting when he went off to the Continental Congress, which eventually declared the independence of the American colonies from the British. While the men were writing the rebellious words, the women were living the revolution, with the Redcoats on their doorsteps. John s advice to Abigail as the soldiers approached Braintree: if necessary fly to the woods with our children. That was it, she was on her own, as she was for most of the next ten years while Adams represented the newly independent nation abroad.

Abigail Adams is the best known of the women who influenced the founders, but there are many more, starting with Martha Washington, who once referred to herself as a prisoner of state for the constraints placed on her as the first First Lady. She was the one charged with balancing the demands of a Republic of the common man on the one hand, while insisting on some modicum of courtliness and protocol so that the former colonies would be taken seriously by Europe. She also took political heat in the press from the president s political opponents when he was too popular to criticize.

And there are women like Esther Reed, married to the president of Pennsylvania, who, with Benjamin Franklin s daughter Sarah Bache, organized a drive to raise money for Washington s troops at Valley Forge. In 1780 the women raised more than three hundred thousand dollars. Reed wrote a famous patriotic broadside titled The Sentiments of an American Woman, calling on women to wear simpler clothing and hairstyles in order to save money to contribute to the cause. It worked! The women who ran the boarding houses of Philadelphia where the men stayed while writing the now sacred documents of America had their quite considerable say about the affairs of state as well.

This will be the story of some of those women, as learned through their seldom seen letters and diaries, and the letters from the men to them. It will be a story of the beginnings of the nation as viewed from the distaff side.

The New York Times - Amanda Fortini

Founding Mothers is essentially a series of entertaining mini-biographies and engaging vignettes. Roberts fleshes out familiar textbook figures like Abigail Adams or Dolley Madison, and rescues more obscure women from the footnotes of academic dissertations.

Author : Cokie Roberts

Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers

Published Year : February 2005

Edition : Reprint

Format : Paperback - Paperback, 384 pages

Subject : Political & Legal Figures - Women's Biography, American Revolution - Biography, Political Activists & Social Reformers - U.S. Political Biography, Women's History - 18th Century, Political Activism & Social Action, Historical Biography - United States - 1

Dimensions : 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

ISBN : 006009026X

ISBN13 : 9780060090265

Overview :

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts comes New York Times bestseller Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families–and their country–proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts brings us women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favoured recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed and Martha Washington–proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.

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