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date: 10 December 2022

Women and War in Early Americafree

Women and War in Early Americafree

  • Gina M. MartinoGina M. MartinoHistory Department, University of Akron

Summary

Early American women incited, fought in, and brokered peace in conflicts that ranged from regional to nearly continental in scale during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is true that in most early American societies, warfare was considered a masculine activity. Nevertheless, war making, particularly in periods of endemic war, required the active participation of men and women. In some Indigenous polities, women decided when to wage war and which enemy captives would live or die. Other Indigenous women commanded troops as leaders of their polities, forging and shattering alliances with their Indigenous and European peers. For European women attempting to colonize contested regions of the continent, military readiness was part of everyday life. Even if these women did not participate in the masculinized theater of the militia drill, they did know how to produce ammunition and fire a musket. Beginning in the 1770s, early American women would participate in a conflict that was at once a colonial war, a revolutionary war, and a civil war. The American Revolution did not distinguish between the home and the front or the frontier town and the peaceful hamlet. Women would be touched by a war that mobilized their production skills, intellects, and physical strength. That same war would also displace hundreds of thousands of women, many of whom would never return home. But as they had through the whole of early American history, women would continue to adapt, resist, and mobilize.

Subjects

  • Colonial History
  • Revolutionary History
  • Women's History

Martial Women and Contested Terrain in Early America

Early North America was a vast geographic space fiercely contested by innumerable Indigenous, Euro-American, and European polities. By the mid-17th century, the growing presence of European colonists with firearms and lucrative but disruptive trade proposals destabilized existing Indigenous systems of war. At the same time, Europeans imported their own customs of war that favored conquest over traditional Indigenous wars based on retribution. The nature of war itself changed, as wars became deadlier and broader in scope. In the Beaver Wars of the mid-17th century, the Iroquois nearly destroyed the once-powerful Huron Confederacy, driving its population west toward the Great Lakes. Indigenous and European women living in contested terrain found themselves victims of increasingly indiscriminate slaughter. Meanwhile, a profitable trade developed out of the increasing commodification of captives, many of whom were women, in economies across the continent.1

In the most highly contested regions, conflict became endemic. In this context of continuous warfare, waging war was a community affair. Long stretches of eerie calm between wartime raids and the unpredictability of unstable peace prepared early American women to repel attacks. They did so alongside other women, in mixed-gender groups, and on their own. Operating within dominant patriarchal structures and supporting their polities’ military and political objectives, these martial women were praised for their willingness to fight. Indeed, unless women’s wartime violence was perceived as traitorous, “unnatural,” or unrelated to the ongoing conflict, women could perform a wide range of martial activities. Although most early American cultures assigned the most formal military roles to men, women were essential to waging war on all sides. Women (as combatants, sentries, captives, spies, camp followers, diplomats, and providers of material support and logistics) were central actors in contests over empire and colonialism that consumed early America for centuries.

The gender orders of myriad Indigenous and Euro-American polities reflected the diversity of the polities themselves. Euro-American polities were patriarchies, though patriarchal practices differed by society. According to the legal doctrine of coverture, a woman in English America lacked a legal identity outside that of her husband or father. Single women and widows had somewhat more freedom to own property and enter into contracts, though inheritance laws favored a man’s eldest son over his widow. In some cases, a woman’s portion of her late husband’s estate depended on a judge’s determination of how well she had performed the role of wife during her marriage. Unlike in English America, women in New France maintained ownership of property they brought into a marriage, and neither husbands nor wives could sell property acquired after marriage without the other spouse’s permission. If a husband predeceased his wife, she inherited half of his estate. A woman in a broken marriage could petition for separation (though not divorce) from a spouse while still retaining her property.2

Indigenous societies’ gender roles are frequently described by scholars as “complementary,” particularly in the centuries before colonization began to tilt the playing field more toward male power. In systems of gender defined more by complementarity than hierarchy, women and men still performed highly gender-specific activities. Yet despite the gendered nature of these activities, such as hunting in the case of men and agriculture in the case of women, they were largely valued equally in society. Disparities in power between men and women did still exist in societies with complementary gender roles, albeit to a far lesser degree than in patriarchal societies.3

The ways in which Indigenous societies determined lineage, kinship, and property ownership along gendered lines resulted in significant differences among Indigenous polities and between Indigenous and European polities. In patrilineal societies, a member’s lineage was more often determined by tracing descent through the male line. Property ownership and the transmission of property from one generation to the next within kinship groups were determined by one’s relationship to men. Matrilineal societies privileged the female line when organizing kinship and property ownership. In practice, it seems likely that most Indigenous societies were neither purely matrilineal nor patrilineal. In some cases, differences between societies may have been more a matter of degree than of kind.

At first glance, it may seem impossible that an Indigenous polity relying on women to select its male leaders and initiate raids and the infamously patriarchal and patrilineal English America had anything in common with regard to gender. And yet most of these societies accepted and even supported women’s participation in war materially and rhetorically. Perhaps one explanation is that rank and lineage, sometimes more than race or gender, served as powerful organizing forces in many societies, particularly before the 18th century. Indeed, a woman of rank might have greater access to formal social, political, and military power as a public actor than a man of low status. This was particularly true in Indigenous societies and in the French towns and seigneuries (hereditary land grants) that formed the colonies of Canada and Acadia. In Canada and Acadia, the wives and daughters of seigneurs (the local colonial nobility) took command of troops as women of rank. Educated, well-connected women affiliated with religious orders such as the Ursulines raised funds to support the colonizing objectives of their missions. Jeanne Mance, the co-founder of Montreal, even secured financial backing from a wealthy donor to help raise an army when it seemed inevitable that Iroquois attacks would destroy that vulnerable Canadian outpost in the late 1640s and early 1650s.

Men and women of both elite and lower social status participated as public actors in informal, community-based activities. The more familiar public and private, domestic spheres of action associated with men and women, respectively, would not begin to develop in even the Anglo-American world until the early 18th century. Thus, throughout much of early American history, women in most societies (depending on their rank) had some degree of access to formal and informal martial roles. But despite the complexities of prescribed gender roles, at the end of the day, women participated in early American wars because their participation was necessary.4

Euro-American and Indigenous polities often staked out their land claims with fortified communities in highly contested borderland regions. In these communities, the lines between civilians and combatants and homes and military installations became blurred. Women living in these communities faced the threats of raids and captivity as part of their everyday lives. The historian Louise Dechêne described a state she called “ambient war,” in which French colonists experienced unease and heightened anxiety even when their polities were not formally at war. Although Dechêne was describing the effect that ongoing Indigenous warfare had on colonists in Canada, complicated alliances, constant threats of renewed hostilities, and long stretches of watching and waiting produced a similar sense of confusion and dread across large stretches of early America. In March 1697, Joanna Rossiter Cotton wrote of the despair she felt while waiting for Abenaki forces to attack the vulnerable town of Salisbury, Massachusetts. Cotton struggled to make sense of the rumors circulating in the region after troops sacked the nearby town of Haverhill. She warned her correspondent that families “cannot continue long thus opressed” and that a refugee crisis was inevitable if God did not intervene to save the colonists. Cotton reported that “all the rest of the towns are in eminent danger of destruction” and that food shortages and the impressment of Salisbury’s men into military service would cause the region’s system of fortified, defensive communities to collapse.5

Even when a community’s men were out in the fields or fighting, so long as women could offer a raiding party the appearance of a staffed, fortified installation, the odds of suffering a catastrophic attack were relatively low. In some cases, this required women to dress as soldiers and inflate the perceived number of inhabitants in a fortified structure. In Oyster River, New Hampshire, women in a garrison house repelled an attack while the community’s men were away in April 1706. Armed with quick thinking and sufficient muskets to put on a convincing show, the women “put on Hatts, with their Hair hanging down, and fired so briskly that they struck a terror in the Enemy,” who retreated in search of easier targets. Similarly, the 15-year-old Canadian Madeleine de Verchères famously rallied her father’s soldiers to defend their seigneury during an Iroquois raid in 1692. She adopted a strategy similar to the one employed by the women of Oyster River. According to a (successful) letter that de Verchères wrote in 1699 seeking a pension for her efforts, she “transformed myself by donning the soldier’s helmet, and went through a variety of movements intended to create the impression that we had quite a number of men in the fort, though in reality we had but the one soldier.” When caught unprepared or in an unfortified structure, women still attempted to fend off attacks with weapons ranging from muskets to boiling soap. Although such defenses were generally less successful than those undertaken in fortified structures, some occasionally succeeded.6

Captivity, Colonialism, and Indigenous Martial Womanhood

European colonists who stumbled into pre-existing political and military systems defined by Indigenous ways of war found captivity especially puzzling. Indigenous warfare was often retributive and more concerned with captive taking, satisfying vengeance, and maintaining the health of the polity than the European preoccupation with territorial conquest. As the market for Indigenous slaves grew in the 18th century, captives increasingly became commodities traded in a sprawling system of Indigenous slavery that spanned the continent. Indeed, Apache slaves from North America’s Great Plains were not an uncommon sight in 18th-century Montreal.7

At the heart of Indigenous war making were women’s formal roles in ritual torture and directing the rejection or incorporation of captives as adopted kin or (more often) slaves. Captive women and children helped maintain population levels and performed valuable labor within a polity, while captive men’s ritual torture and death replenished the polity’s spiritual power. Enslavement or adoption resulted in the captive’s incorporation into a family, often to replace the lost labor of a deceased relative. Younger children, who tended to assimilate more fully than adults into their new society, far outnumbered adult captives among those adopted. Adult captives who survived were primarily women and were more often enslaved than adopted. An enslaved captive occupied the space and the role of the deceased without ever truly taking their place. Life was difficult for an enslaved captive in a new household. If an enslaved woman married, she often assumed a subordinate position to existing wives in the household. She also worked harder and likely had less to eat during lean times than women born into the kin group.8

For English women taken captive in northeastern North America, the time spent with an Indigenous family was in most cases temporary. It was also often unpleasant for all parties. Members of Indigenous households frequently complained of Englishwomen’s laziness. At the same time, Englishwomen sniffed their disapproval at what they saw as the disorderliness of Indigenous family life. In the end, though, an Englishwoman’s greatest value lay not in her potential labor for an Indigenous household but in the price she would fetch in Canada.9

Once a captive Englishwoman reached Canada, she rarely returned to New England. Although only about 5 percent of all captives remained in Canada, women were seven times more likely to stay than men. The historian Ann Little attributes this disparity to several factors. Women who reached Canada often married Frenchmen. Those who did may have discovered that French marriages offered more legal and financial freedom than English marriages. Canada also suffered from a severe gender imbalance that overwhelmingly favored men in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Government programs offered financial incentives to entice captives to stay, and some colonial governors even lobbied individual women to remain in Canada. Furthermore, for many of these formerly Protestant women, devotion to a newly discovered Catholic faith may have become the strongest tie to their adoptive country.10

When an Englishwoman returned from captivity, the patriarchs of English America rejoiced at this implied affirmation of their society. Former captives—and savvy male propagandists—used these women’s experiences as captives to shape wartime discourse and improve their own political and economic situations. Mary Rowlandson’s The Soveraignty & Goodness of God chronicled her captivity among the anti-colonial Indigenous coalition during King Philip’s War in 1676. Published in 1682, it represents the first example of a uniquely American literary genre, the captivity narrative. These accounts served to model proper traits of Christian Englishwomen, such as pious perseverance in times of trial while reinforcing English America’s patriarchal family structures.

Of course, not all female captives spent their captivity patiently awaiting rescue. Others fought back with shocking brutality. Captives such as the infamous Hannah Dustan, who killed and scalped ten of her captors and their family members in their sleep, used their status as heroines to rebuild lives shattered by war. Celebrated for her martial activities by influential men ranging from the propagandist and influential minister Cotton Mather to the political elite of Massachusetts and even New Jersey, Dustan successfully lobbied the government of Massachusetts for a cash reward and a land grant. In both cases, she framed her violence as a public act and military service to the polity, language that would be echoed by other female veterans of New England and Canada’s border wars.11

Indigenous women’s martial roles were often shaped by their societies’ gender-based systems for organizing lineage and property. Two of the more strongly matrilineal societies of early America, the Cherokee and the Iroquois, had institutionalized roles for women in politics and war. Cherokee women participated in councils, and a small number of Cherokee women earned the appellation “War Woman” in recognition of their martial prowess. The naturalist William Bartram reported that one War Woman gained her status when she changed the course of “a decisive battle” in favor of the Cherokee through her “valor and stratagem.” According to Bartram, “she was afterwards raised to the dignity and honor of a Queen or Chief of the nation, as a reward for her superior virtues and abilities, and presided in the State during her life.” Anomalous and seemingly transcending the categories of male and female, War Women were defined first by their roles as warriors. Such women straddled female and male martial roles, dancing and feasting with men in wartime rituals while continuing to process captives.12

For the most part, though, Cherokee war making was divided along gendered lines. In Cherokee polities, warfare was retributive, its purpose to avenge the death of a kin member. Cherokee men began the first phase of a new war by leaving their villages to raid an offending village and take captives. Once the men returned home, they transferred possession of captives and trophies of war to female relatives. So complete was this transfer of martial power in the ritual Scalp Dance, that women’s roles processing captives upon the men’s return represented a second, equally formal phase of war making. Only women’s roles in the ritual torture and killing, enslavement, or adoption of captives could satisfy the demand for vengeance that began that cycle of war.13

Iroquois women had, perhaps, even greater access to formal power than Cherokee women. Iroquois clan mothers chose the male successors to League chiefs on the Confederacy council. They also played a coequal role with men in the retributive “mourning wars” of the 17th century. Indeed, the historian Daniel Richter noted that among the Iroquois, “traditionally, war had been the business of women and young men.” A grieving woman could request vengeance for the loss of a relative, dispatching a raiding party to attack an enemy polity. Women also participated in ritual torture and determined the fate of the captives who returned with the raiders. In one of the final acts of a war, Iroquois women dismembered the body of an executed captive before preparing it in kettles to serve in a feast that “in some way symbolized a complete absorption of the captive’s spiritual power.”14

The Algonquian polities of eastern North America were less matrilineal than polities such as the Iroquois and the Cherokee. Still, the anthropologist Kathleen Bragdon has argued that Algonquian polities, at least in New England, were far from bastions of patrilineality. Although Algonquian women lacked access to the institutions that were so conspicuously available to their Cherokee and Iroquois counterparts, they still played central wartime roles in managing captives. Visiting Jesuit priests recounted Algonquian women’s activities in this realm in vivid detail. Father Paul Le Jeune described with distaste how his Innu (Montagnais) hosts offered to let him join the women and children in torturing and eating an Iroquois man in the autumn of 1634. The women naturally assumed that Le Jeune would wish to avenge the deaths of three Frenchman whom the captive had helped kill. Le Jeune, misunderstanding the significance of the ritual and the invitation’s generosity, dismissed the opportunity to join in the war making. He informed the women that “these cruelties displeased us, and that we were not cannibals.” Perhaps realizing that the prisoner’s death would not strengthen their alliance with the French, the Innu halted the ritual and began peace negotiations with the prisoner. According to Le Jeune, the region’s Indigenous polities had been “treating about it for a long time, but at last it is concluded.”15 The resulting peace between the Iroquois, Innus, and Algonquins would last a little less than a year.

It is in women’s access to leadership that the differences between polities such as the Iroquois and the Cherokee and those of the Algonquian-speaking polities of the eastern seaboard are most apparent. Although Indigenous women’s political and military power in less matrilineal societies was inconsistent from one generation to the next, women who did rise to power performed roles similar to those of men. Bragdon argues that in southern New England, Indigenous women’s “roles were understood to be derived from their family, rather than their sex.” Power, too, might pass through the female line, perhaps as easily as through the male line.16 Women in Algonquian polities from Virginia to New England held power in their own right as members of powerful lineages. During periods of conflict, these women, known more commonly as “weroansquas” in Virginia and as “squaw sachems” and “queens” in New England, directed their troops and forged military alliances. English leaders eagerly sought alliances with these women of rank, whom they described using language associated with Queen Elizabeth I and other female rulers from history. Although some Indigenous female leaders, such as Cockacoeske of the Pamunkey, in present-day Virginia, and Awashunkes of the Saconet, in present-day Rhode Island, accepted English overtures, others did not. Female sachems such as Opossunoquonuske of the Appomattoc in present-day Virginia and Weetamoo of the Pocasset and Matantuck of the Narragansett, both of New England, assumed anti-colonial stances and died in battles while leading their polities in the 17th century.17

Further south and west in colonial Texas, where the Caddo set the terms for interactions with Spanish colonizers, women’s primary roles lay in preventing war at the turn of the 18th century. The presence (and even the image) of a women signaled peaceful intentions during encounters between polities. Spanish missionaries, the weakest group operating in the region, noticed positive responses to images of the Virgin Mary. They adopted her as a symbol of their presence in the region. For the region’s Indigenous people, her value lay not in her religious symbolism but in her representation of Spanish efforts to include at least the image of a woman in their all-male delegations. Between the 1720s and the 1740s, Spanish–Apache relations reached a nadir, and Spanish raiders captured Apache women with increasing frequency. It would be through what the historian Juliana Barr has termed “captive diplomacy” (along with new Wichita and Comanche threats to the Apache) that Spanish colonists returned many Apache women to help temporarily heal this rift at mid-century. As relations deteriorated between the Spanish, Wichitas, and Comanches later in the century, masculinity became almost indistinguishable from aggressive intentions. Women, often hostages and captives, would become central to any lasting peace agreement.18

Women would continue to play significant roles in the wars of the 18th century. Even as the growing presence of imperial troops and dedicated forts reduced European women’s more formal martial roles in some ways, women maintained their roles as colonizers who were able and willing to fight when the masculine first line of defense failed. The nature of Indigenous women’s martial roles often depended on whether Indigenous polities or European colonizers had the upper hand in a region. Where Indigenous polities dominated, colonizers played by the rules of Indigenous gender systems, and Indigenous women’s wartime political and military roles persisted. On the other hand, where colonial projects became more successful, colonizers increasingly sought to reshape the gender roles of those they hoped to colonize. Thus, in areas where European polities were stronger militarily, economically, or both, Indigenous polities often adapted (or were compelled to adapt) their gender systems to place more power in the hands of men. And as an imperial rupture between Britain and its North American colonies descended into a civil and revolutionary war during the 1770s, the place of women in war would face renewed examination and contestation.

Mobilizing Revolutionary Women

The American Revolutionary War brought warfare to areas that had been protected for decades and even centuries by fortified communities, militias, and imperial troops stationed in the borderlands of eastern North America. Throughout the war, the arrival of troops from all sides—and their longer-term presence—obliterated the notion of a home front or a safe place. A patriot or loyalist woman working steadily to keep her household running one day might find herself hosting unwanted soldiers or watching her home looted the next day.19 Many women who remained at home found themselves assuming new roles in their households in the absence of husbands, fathers, and sons. Even as they struggled with economic uncertainty and growing inflation, women learned to manage their farms and keep family businesses afloat. Historians have noted that for some women, these experiences led to a sense of pride and ownership in their hard-won skills and accomplishments.20

Figure 1. Mary Rowlandson, A Narrative of The Captivity, Sufferings and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (Boston: John Boyle, 1773).

Note: This is one of two covers that (incorrectly) portray Mary Rowlandson wielding a musket on new editions of her 1682 captivity narrative published in the early 1770s. Both illustrations present her as a model of martial womanhood from America’s colonial past on the eve of the American Revolution.

Source: John Carter Brown Library. In the public domain.

Taken as a group, patriot women are perhaps most famous for their roles in organizing and supporting nonimportation and for producing goods to make up for the loss of British imports in the decade before the war. As the needs of the newly formed United States shifted from the patriotic homespun of nonimportation campaigns to materiel and supplies for the nation’s new armies, it turned to women as its producers. The most common demand made of revolutionary women was the one that aligned most closely with women’s roles in the household during times of peace. Revolutionary governments expected women to systematically produce yarn, cloth, and clothing to outfit the military. Legislation regulating wartime production explicitly included women among those expected to supply the army.21

The struggling Continental Army lacked more than clothing and other domestic goods, and leaders called upon women to help ameliorate the army’s critical munitions shortage. Women across the colonies donated their valuables to be melted down and cast into ammunition. In some cases, women made gunpowder and bullets themselves. When General George Washington called for donations of metal to produce ammunition in the wake of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Mary Draper of Dedham, Massachusetts, melted down the pewter she inherited from her mother and used her husband’s bullet mold to produce ammunition. After crowds present at the reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York City famously toppled a lead statue of George III, the lead was shipped to Litchfield, Connecticut. A group of the town’s women, including two of General Oliver Wolcott’s daughters, melted the dismembered statue and produced 42,088 cartridges of ammunition. In a ledger itemizing the women’s production, Wolcott noted that his daughter Mary Ann produced 10,790 cartridges while his daughter Laura made 8,370 cartridges.22

Many women embraced their roles as suppliers to the army in the name of the public good. In the case of Esther DeBerdt Reed and a network of patriot women in Philadelphia, supporting the public good meant taking on public roles. In 1780, Reed, the wife of Pennsylvania’s governor, and Sarah Franklin Bache, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin, founded the Ladies Association to raise money for American soldiers. In her eloquent “The Sentiments of An American Woman,” Reed set out the strategies and goals of the Association along with an impassioned call for women’s roles as public actors in the war. Writing that women are “Born for liberty,” Reed situated patriot women in a lineage of active women stretching back to the Bible. She praised the women of the new United States for “manifest[ing] a firm resolution to contribute as much as could depend on them, to the deliverance of their country.” Reed presented her call for women’s action within a patriarchal framework, conceding that if not for differences in physiology and cultural norms, “we should at least equal, and sometimes surpass [men] in our love for the public good.” As the author of “Sentiments,” Reed understood that an undertaking of the scope she proposed would succeed only if placed in the context of feminine purity and gratitude for men’s roles as defenders of that purity.23

Reed’s call to arms was a stunning success. Female Philadelphians of all classes gave what they could to the cause, raising a remarkable $300,000. In New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland, women formed additional Ladies Associations, raising significant sums of money in their own right. Although the Ladies Association intended that the funds go directly to American soldiers, George Washington fretted that soldiers would spend the money on alcohol and paternally directed the Ladies Association to spend the money on shirts for the army. Rather than pay other women to sew the shirts, members of the Association took up their sewing needles and volunteered to do the work, in a sense coming full circle.24

Displacement, Migration, and Mobility

Despite the familiar image of revolutionary women spinning yarn and sewing soldiers’ clothing, for many women of all races, classes, and political loyalties, the Revolutionary era was also a period of civil war, mass displacement, and (often forced) migration.25 It is impossible to quantify the number of people displaced in one way or another by the war. One early-21st-century estimate places the total number of free refugees who left the United States for other British colonies around 60,000 total. This number does not include the 15,000 enslaved people forced to accompany loyalists in their flight. Jamaica and the Bahamas saw the highest number of enslaved refugees, and about 8,000 migrated to Jamaica alone.26

For some women, migrating to live among the Continental Army allowed them to stay with loved ones rather than struggling to survive at home. Washington’s dream of a British-style professional army clashed with the reality of a people struggling to form a military with frontier militias and provincial armies as their primary models. This improvisation resulted in a Continental Army that resembled more of a “Continental Community,” in one historian’s words. The Continental Community comprised men who served as combatants along with both women and men serving in support roles and often termed “camp followers.” Despite Washington’s distaste toward those who “belonged to the army” but did not fight in it, such women were integral members of the military community. They received rations and were subject to military law. Despite the later association of the term “camp follower” with prostitution, most women who lived and traveled with the Continental Army were not prostitutes. Rather, the women of the Continental Army cooked, nursed (some unofficially and others for pay), sewed, sold goods to the soldiers, and found other ways to earn a living participating in the army’s economy. Their presence also helped tie men more closely to the army, improving morale and troop numbers and creating a stronger sense of community.27

Few women have been recognized for serving in combat roles in the American Revolution. Perhaps the most famous of these, Deborah Sampson, enlisted under the alias “Robert Shurtleff” and was only discharged after treatment for a fever revealed her gender. Later, a postwar biography and speaking tour helped her gain fame, while her husband received a pension for her service. Other women, such as Margaret Corbin and Anna Maria Lane, enlisted and served alongside their husbands, dressing as soldiers. Brief accounts of women’s impromptu war making in more remote areas of Virginia and Kentucky are reminiscent of the martial activities women performed in earlier colonial wars. They suggest that Abigail Adams may have been correct when she wrote to John that “if our Men are all drawn [off] and we should be attacked, you would find a Race of Amazons in America.”28 Perhaps the volunteerism that characterized women’s economic involvement in the war extended to some degree to military activity.

Figure 2. Deborah Sampson, 1797.

Note: Deborah Sampson appears in this portrait commissioned for the frontispiece of her 1797 biography, dressed in women’s clothing and encircled by imagery representing her martial prowess and patriotism.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC- USZ61-202. In the public domain.

In predominantly pro-revolution areas, loyalist women experienced especially harsh treatment in the absence of husbands who declared loyalty to the British. Supporters of the revolution declared open season on the property of loyalist families regardless of class, and women frequently bore the brunt of looting and destruction. Wealthy loyalist men who left wives at home, gambling that a woman’s presence would protect their property rights, were frequently disappointed. Indeed, such prosperous estates seemed like rich, low-hanging fruit to neighbors, government officials, and soldiers. Officials also worried (not without cause) that loyalist women might serve as spies or covertly supply the loyalist cause. New York and New Jersey turned loyalist women and children out of their homes, exiling them wherever their husbands were serving with the British. Some women, seeing no other alternative, fled their homes, becoming refugees. Canada and British Florida were the most common destinations for loyalist women, who often had to endure a harrowing journey to reach a destination about which they knew very little.29

For many enslaved women and men, a civil war that consumed the attention of white Americans offered new possibilities and new dangers. Most enslaved people rightly saw an alliance with the British rather than the patriots as a more likely path to freedom. As early as 1775, the Earl of Dunmore, Virginia’s royal governor, raised a regiment of self-emancipated men with the promise of freedom. More often than not, opportunities for enslaved people to join either side were intended to include only men able to work or fight. (Despite officials’ intentions, they could not control the demographic makeup of the people who reached army lines.) Still, enslaved women, perhaps due to family ties, tended to remain in place during the war. Some women did answer the British general Sir Henry Clinton’s call for Black workers to travel with the army, though few found the freedom they undoubtedly sought. Indeed, of the estimated 80,000 to 100,000 enslaved people who fled bondage during the war, few ultimately gained their freedom. Of those freed, even fewer were women. When Sir Guy Carleton famously compiled his “Book of Negroes” during the British evacuation of New York City in 1783, 914 of the nearly 3,000 newly freed men, women, and children were adult women. Many of the Black women who did travel during the war did so as enslaved people forced to flee with white loyalist refugees. Enslaved women also faced the threat of sale and displacement when individual British troops, acting against orders, seized and sold people from rebel plantations. In other cases, skittish owners attempting to protect their investments sent enslaved men and women to faraway destinations in the lower South and the Caribbean.30

Indigenous women struggled to survive what historians have described as both a civil war within individual polities and a world war with the polities in conflict around them. Patriot forces sought to bring the war to Indigenous home fronts, destroying crops and communities and offering scalp bounties in attempts to reduce Indigenous polities’ capacity to wage war and even survive. And although more Indigenous polities allied themselves with the British, even those polities that sided with patriot forces faced the possibility of opportunistic raids on their towns by their American allies. Women and children were not spared. In one incident, patriots raided an Onondaga town, killing most women and children, save a smaller group of women who were taken captive, sexually assaulted, and murdered. For those women who were not direct victims of violence, starvation and displacement were all too common.31

Even after the Treaty of Paris (1783) marked the end of the Revolutionary War between the United States and Britain, the war between the United States and Indigenous polities raged on in what one scholar has called a “Twenty Years’ War.”32 The initial attempts of the United States to invade Ohio in the early 1790s were humiliating disasters that led President Washington in 1791 to return to the scorched-earth tactics of the war’s earlier years. In doing so, he turned his attention to the Indigenous women who cultivated the fertile Wabash River Valley and who had established an agricultural bulwark that fortified the war effort. The American invasion force’s orders were to kidnap and imprison Indigenous women and children in an attempt to starve the Indigenous coalition and sow terror. For the most part, these tactics failed, as soldiers discovered when they arrived at evacuated villages. Even the burning fields of crops they left in their wake could still be replanted that season. Despite the Americans’ underwhelming performance, nearly 100 women and children were kidnapped and eventually imprisoned at Fort Washington. The targeted attack on women whose labor fed the Indigenous coalition and helped defend its polities’ sovereignty prompted a massive Indigenous military response. George Washington’s strategy had backfired spectacularly. Allied warriors from polities throughout the Great Lakes and as far east as Montreal converged on Ohio and, in November 1791, dealt the American military one of the greatest defeats in its history.33

Martial Women in the Wake of Revolution

The war also created conditions for changes in polities’ attitudes toward women’s social roles. In some Indigenous polities, prolonged warfare offered war chiefs—with the support of young, eager warriors—an opening to claim greater power for extended periods in increasingly fractured societies. As village chiefs saw their power wane during the war, so too did many Indigenous women see their traditional roles in military and political affairs threatened.34 Despite these developments, some women in Indigenous societies continued to wield power, particularly in more matrilineal societies. Resisting the growing role of men in martial decision-making, some women of the Cherokee thwarted attacks they considered ill conceived, warning colonists of impending raids. Perhaps most famously, the Cherokee War Woman Nancy Ward formally met with treaty commissioners from the United States in 1781 and 1785, representing matrilineal power. Ward praised the new peace between the Cherokee and the United States, speaking for “the young warriors I have raised in my town, as well as myself.” She concluded, saying that “they rejoice that we have peace, and we hope the chain of friendship will never more be broke.”35

Perhaps the most influential Indigenous woman of this era, Molly Brant, forged a unique role for herself as a Mohawk leader and diplomat. Brant’s marriage to William Johnson, the British superintendent for Indian affairs in the northern colonies, made Brant and Johnson two of the most important people in upstate New York. When Johnson died in 1774, Brant used her money and connections to establish a seat of power in her hometown, the prominent Mohawk town Canajoharie. With the onset of the Revolutionary War, Brant seized the opportunity to build power as a Mohawk woman of distinguished lineage and as the widow of an influential British official. British military leaders relied on Brant to provide critical intelligence on troop movements and Indigenous polities. She also served as a diplomat, playing a pivotal role in holding together the fractious coalition of British-allied Indigenous polities in the Lake Ontario region. For Brant, the war marked the high watermark of her influence. With the war lost, Brant received a 100-pound annual pension, spending the rest of her life as another of the war’s displaced people in Kingston, Ontario, far from her native Mohawk Valley.36

Citizens of the new United States engaged in a vigorous discourse following the Revolution. At the heart of this conversation was a question: What role should (invariably white) women play in a nation founded on ideals of liberty and equality? The answer, it seemed, could be found in an unthreatening construction of American womanhood: the Republican Mother. An ingenious solution to the problem of women’s rights, republican motherhood celebrated women’s place in the body politic. This vaunted new role for women was rooted in her position as a wife and mother who could carve out a domestic space for republican virtue to thrive. Educated but removed from the corrupting influence of politics, the republican mother would preserve the flame of virtue to hand down to the next generation of republican sons. In addressing women’s capacity for war making, some commentators turned to the classical world for models. The mothers of ancient Sparta, with their reputations for stoically sending their sons to die heroically in war while maintaining their own military readiness, were especially intriguing figures for Americans of the early republic. For those looking to acknowledge a past that included women’s martial activities while imagining a future in which republican women sent virtuous sons into battle, a tamed version of the Spartan mother offered a way forward.37

Still, even as cultural attitudes regarding women’s place in the public sphere encouraged women to embrace private, domestic roles, in practice, American responses to 19th-century women who made war were more pragmatic. Indeed, as the American expansionist project picked up steam in the 1830s, authors and artists increasingly celebrated white women’s participation in the colonialism of previous centuries to help justify women’s roles in the ongoing colonization of the American West. At the same time, Indigenous female leaders of the 17th century appeared in white Americans’ accounts of the period as tragic figures who vanished in the face of inevitable colonization, serving as rhetorical foils for Euro-American women. Women’s active participation in colonial-era warfare remained part of white America’s collective past, as colonial martial women continued to appear in media ranging from plays and paintings to statues and textbooks through the late 19th century.38

Discussion of the Literature

The earliest accounts of women and war in early America appeared in local and state histories of the 19th century. Authors of the period sought to craft histories that would instill pride in citizens of the developing nation by pointing back to the heroes and heroines of the colonial and revolutionary past. Elizabeth Ellet, perhaps the first historian of women and war in early America, published The Women of the American Revolution in three volumes from 1848 to 1850. Ellet’s work celebrated women’s martial roles in the Revolution in biographical sketches of women while couching their war making in the 19th-century rhetoric of the cult of domesticity. Later in the 19th century, explicitly expansionist texts, such as William Worthington Fowler’s 1876 Woman on the American Frontier, portrayed early American women as “Pioneer Mothers of the Republic,” who “with muskets at their sides lulled their babes to sleep.”39 Surprisingly, over the next few decades, historians seemed to move on from all but the most famous martial women. It is likely that the increasing professionalization (and masculinization) of the historical discipline played a role, particularly in excluding uncredentialed female historians in the mold of Elizabeth Ellet. Not until the late 1970s would scholars revisit histories of women and war in early America.

Early generations of women’s historians working in academia embraced the opportunity to study women, particularly white women, in the American Revolution. Together, Mary Beth Norton’s Liberty’s Daughters and Linda Kerber’s Women of the Republic established the modern field of women’s history in the American Revolution in 1980. Their pathbreaking work was grounded in social and intellectual history. Norton and Kerber focused on women’s roles in boycotts and other forms of economic and political engagement and on the development of women’s roles as citizens in the new republic. Crucially for scholars of women and war, both authors included sections on women’s experiences in the war that remain historiographically significant. But because these and other landmark studies emphasized women’s activities in the revolution, as opposed to the war, subsequent generations of scholars (while expanding their scope to include loyalist, Indigenous, and enslaved women in their studies) have continued to decenter women’s martial experiences.40

The literature on women and war in the colonial era is even younger than that of the American Revolution. To the extent that colonial women have appeared in scholarly literature, it is primarily in studies of captivity. As a genre of early American literature, the captivity narrative has been irresistible to scholars of history and literature alike. Captivity narratives offer scholars an opportunity to study a range of topics such as piety, gender roles, cultural exchange, and identity, often in texts authored or coauthored by women.41 Despite the scholarly interest in captivity, it is the study of cultural encounters, particularly in the context of borderlands histories, that has led a handful of early-21st-century historians to begin exploring gender and war in colonial America.42 Studies of gender ideologies in regions of intense intercultural exchange and conflict have raised new questions about how societies gendered warfare in colonial America and how rigid those boundaries were in practice.

There is still much more work to be done in the history of women and war in early America. In the same way that scholars of women in the American Revolution have expanded our understanding of what constituted political participation, perhaps future scholarship will expand our idea of what constituted martial participation. Beneath the carefully crafted language of those early American women who claimed that modesty and physical limitations prevent women from fighting for their polities, there are tantalizing glimpses of martial womanhood.

Primary Sources

Accounts of women’s war making are scattered throughout colonial and early national records, local histories, missionary records, and contemporary narratives of conflicts in which women participated. Scholars have struggled to find these sources in part due to the broad geographic and temporal scope of the topic. Additionally, finding large, organized repositories of sources related to women’s history is a challenging task in its own right. Library catalogs are often of little help to historians of women and gender. A search in the Library of Congress’s online catalog for Cotton Mather’s 1697 sermon Humiliations Follow’d with Deliverances, which famously describes Hannah Dustan’s captivity, is especially illustrative. The catalog entry for one version provides the researcher with six subjects and names: “Indian Captivities—New England,” “Swarton, Hannah,” “American Imprint Collection (Library of Congress),” and three variations on “Sermons.” None of these conveys the importance of this text to colonial women’s history, and the name of a different female captive, Hannah Swarton, likely appears in the entry only because her name is part of the work’s extended title. Similarly, the entry for a 1997 edited, scholarly version of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, The Soveraignty & Goodness of God, includes Rowlandson’s name among its five Library of Congress subjects but fails to classify it as a book about or written by a woman. In many cases, historians of early American women (and their martial activities) either need to know exactly what they are looking for or need to look beyond traditional catalogs and finding aids.43

Fortunately, scholars researching women and war in early America can search online collections of primary sources to discover accounts of women’s war making. Often these accounts are hiding in plain sight, contained in traditional sources and waiting to be discovered with a full-text search. The indispensable Evans collection of printed material from 1639 to 1800 is now digitized and searchable online as America’s Historical Imprints. Another excellent resource for finding sources related to women and war is the Internet Archive. During the 19th century, states began publishing their colonial records in volumes that are now in the public domain, scanned, searchable, and available on the Internet Archive. The 73-volume side-by-side translation of the invaluable Jesuit Relations, edited by Reuben G. Thwaites, is also available there. Scholars and students researching the topic in Massachusetts can access a vast repository of microfilmed volumes from the Massachusetts Archive Collection at the State Archives of Massachusetts on FamilySearch. These are the same records that visitors to the state archives in Boston consult, and they cover 1629–1799. Volumes 1-239 and 240-326 are available to view online. Finally, the French and Canadian national archives and the provincial archives of Quebec have partnered to create a database of over one million documents from their collections on the colonial period on nouvelle-france.org.

Further Reading

  • Barr, Juliana. Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
  • Berkin, Carol. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence. New York: Knopf, 2005.
  • Coates, Colin M., and Cecilia Morgan. Heroines and History: Representations of Madeleine de Verchères and Laura Secord. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.
  • Gundersen, Joan R. To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740–1790. Revised edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
  • Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.
  • Little, Ann M. Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
  • Martino, Gina M. Women at War in the Borderlands of the Early American Northeast. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.
  • Mayer, Holly A. Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.
  • Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 17501800. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980.
  • Perdue, Theda. Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 17001835. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.
  • Young, Alfred F. Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier. New York: Knopf, 2004.

Notes

  • 1. James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Juliana Barr, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007); Juliana Barr, “How Do You Get from Jamestown to Santa Fe? A Colonial Sun Belt,” Journal of Southern History 73, no. 3 (August 2007): 553–566; Gina M. Martino, Women at War in the Borderlands of the Early American Northeast (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018); and Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney, Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003), 147–157.

  • 2. Mary Beth Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers: Gendered Power and the Forming of American Society (New York: Vintage, 1997), 144–147; and Ann M. Little, Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 140–141, 154.

  • 3. Mary Ryan, Mysteries of Sex: Tracing Women and Men Through American History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), 21–60; Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700–1835 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), 17–40; and Carol Devens, Countering Colonization: Native American Women and Great Lakes Missions, 1630–1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 7–30.

  • 4. Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers; and Mary Beth Norton, Separated by Their Sex: Women in Public and Private in the Colonial Atlantic World (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011).

  • 5. Joanna Cotton to Increase Mather, March 13, 1697, Massachusetts Archives Collection, 57: 68–70, Massachusetts State Archives. Martino, Women at War; and Louise Dechêne, Le peuple, l’état et la guerre au Canada sous le régime français, ed. Hélène Paré, Sylvie Dépatie, Catherine Desbarats, and Thomas Wien (Montreal: Les Éditions du Boréal, 2008), 103.

  • 6. Samuel Penhallow, The History of the Wars of New-England, With the Eastern Indians (Boston: T. Fleet, 1726), 32. Early American Imprints; Marie Madeleine de Verchères to Mme de Maurepas, October 15, 1699, in Supplement to Dr. Brymner’s Report on Canadian Archives, ed. Edouard Richard (Ottawa, ON: S.E. Dawson, 1901), 6–7; and Martino, Women at War, 19–24.

  • 7. Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton, The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500–2000 (New York: Penguin, 2005), 26; and Brett Rushforth, Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012), 241.

  • 8. Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), 183–184; Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), 2–6, 92–100; and Rushforth, Bonds of Alliance, 46–49.

  • 9. Little, Abraham in Arms, 91–126.

  • 10. Little, Abraham in Arms, 127–165.

  • 11. Little, Abraham in Arms, 93–94, 113–126; and Martino, Women at War, 97–102, 125–128.

  • 12. Perdue, Cherokee Women, 38–39; and William Bartram, “Observations on the Creek and Cherokee Indians, 1789,” Transactions of the American Ethnological Society 3, pt. I (1853): 32.

  • 13. Perdue, Cherokee Women, 52–55. See also Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 92–100.

  • 14. Daniel K. Richter, The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992), 32–36, 56, quotes on 56, 36.

  • 15. Kathleen J. Bragdon, Native People of Southern New England, 1650–1775 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009), 99–101. Nancy Shoemaker, ed., Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women (New York: Routledge, 1995), 6; Little, Abraham in Arms, 101–102; Martino, Women at War, 67–69; and Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed., The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France, 1610–1791 (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers, 1896–1901), 8: 23–25.

  • 16. Bragdon, Native People of Southern New England, 101.

  • 17. Martino, Women at War, 36–51.

  • 18. Barr, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman.

  • 19. Carol Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in The Struggle for America’s Independence (New York: Knopf, 2005), 34–36.

  • 20. Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, 31–34; and Mary Beth Norton, Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750–1800 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980), 214–224.

  • 21. Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, 42–49; and Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980), 42.

  • 22. The ledger is reproduced in Proceedings of the New York Historical Society for The Year 1844 (New York, 1845), 173.; Elizabeth F. Ellet, Women of the American Revolution (New York: Baker and Scribner, 1848), 1: 116–117; and Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, 43.

  • 23. [Esther DeBerdt Reed], “The Sentiments of An American Woman” (Philadelphia: John Dunlap, 1780), 1. America’s Historical Imprints.

  • 24. Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, 44–49.

  • 25. Norton, Liberty’s Daughters, 209, 212–213.

  • 26. Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (New York: Vintage, 2011), 357–358.

  • 27. Holly A. Mayer, Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community during the American Revolution (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996), 3–22.

  • 28. Joan R. Gundersen, To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740–1790, Rev. ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), 192–194; and Abigail Adams to John Adams, 20 September 1776, Founders Online, National Archives.

  • 29. Kerber, Women of the Republic, 48–50; and Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, 96–106.

  • 30. Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, 123–130; and Norton, Liberty’s Daughters, 209–212.

  • 31. Colin G. Calloway, “The Continuing Revolution in Indian Country,” in Native Americans and the Early Republic, ed. Frederick E. Hoxie, Ronald Hoffman, and Peter J. Albert (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1999), 13–15.

  • 32. Calloway, “Continuing Revolution,” 3.

  • 33. Susan Sleeper-Smith, Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690–1792 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018), 243–284.

  • 34. Calloway, “Continuing Revolution,” 18; and Perdue, Cherokee Women, 92–104.

  • 35. Perdue, Cherokee Women, 100–104; and Meeting between Cherokee Leaders and Treaty Commissioners, 23 Nov. 1785, American State Papers, Class 2: Indian Affairs, 2 vols. (Washington, DC: Cales and Seaton, 1832), 1: 41.

  • 36. James Taylor Carson, “Molly Brant: From Clan Mother to Loyalist Chief,” in Sifters: Native American Women’s Lives, ed. Theda Perdue (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 48–60.

  • 37. Martino, Women at War, 150; and Caroline Winterer, The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750–1900 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 76–79.

  • 38. Gina M. Martino, “Women Warriors and the Mobilization of Colonial Memory in the Nineteenth-Century United States,” in Women Warriors and National Heroes: Global Histories, ed. Joan Judge, Adrian Shubert, and Boyd Cothran (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), 93–112.

  • 39. Elizabeth F. Ellet, Women of the American Revolution, 3 vols. (New York: Baker and Scribner, 1848–50); William Worthington Fowler, Woman on the American Frontier: A Valuable and Authentic History of the Heroism, Adventures, Privations, Captivities, Trials, and Noble Lives and Deaths of the “Pioneer Mothers of the Republic” (Hartford, CT: S.S. Scranton & CO., 1877); and Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers, xi–xv.

  • 40. Some important works that include sections dealing with women and war are Kerber, Women of the Republic; Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers; Norton, Liberty’s Daughters; and Gundersen, To Be Useful to the World. One notable exception to the decentering of women as martial actors is Mayer’s study of camp followers, Belonging to the Army.

  • 41. Teresa A. Toulouse, The Captive’s Position: Female Authority, Male Identity, and Royal Authority in Colonial New England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007); Michelle Burnham, Captivity and Sentiment: Cultural Exchange in American Literature, 1682–1861 (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1997); Laura Arnold, “‘Now . . Didn’t Our People Laugh?’ Female Misbehavior and Algonquian Culture in Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity and Restauration,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 21, no. 4 (1997): 1–28; Tiffany Potter, “Writing Indigenous Femininity: Mary Rowlandson’s Narrative of Captivity,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 36, no. 2 (2003): 153–167; Pauline Turner Strong, Captive Selves, Captivating Others: The Politics and Poetics of Colonial American Captivity Narratives (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999); and Little, Abraham in Arms.

  • 42. Barr, Peace Came in the Form of a Woman; Little, Abraham in Arms; and Martino, Women at War.

  • 43. Cotton Mather, Humiliations Follow’d with Deliverances (Boston: B. Green and J. Allen, 1697), entry in the Library of Congress Online Catalog; and Mary Rowlandson, The Soveraignty and Goodness of God, ed. Neal Salisbury (Boston: Bedford Books, 1997), entry in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.