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Women During The American Revolution Essay

1180 words - 5 pages

During the American Revolution, not only did men have to face the struggles of war time atmosphere, but women had to as well. The country during the war was divided into three different groups of people; the loyalists, the patriots and the remaining people who did not care. Catherine Van Cortlandt, a loyalist had to endure different struggles then the patriot women Eliza Pinckney and Abigail Adams. However, parts of their stories are similar when it came to their family struggles.
Catherine Van Cortlandt was a loyalist. She raised nine children, for the most part alone, while her husband Philip was part of the British military. Soon after Philip left to go fight for the British, Light Horsemen rushed through the door of Catherine's mansion, frightening the family. The men asked questions regarding her husband and when he would be returning. One of the men waved his sword around while interrogating Catherine and saying "If he was to be found alive on Earth, I would take him or have his heart's blood" (Marcus 124). Catherine's children were terrified by this statement and one of them said "Oh my dear Pappa, they will kill him, they will kill him" (Marcus 124). The children rushed to the nursery to get away from these evil men. The Light Horsemen knew that Philip would return home soon since he could not stand to be away from his family for long. Every night, the Van Cortlandt mansion was surrounded by eighteen or twenty men. Catherine's female neighbors now only visit her out of curiosity of what is going on with the family. When workers such as farmers and people who work in the mills find out who she is, they do not perform their service for her. At one point, she ran out of food to provide to her family, and therefore, the children were very hungry. One of the sons saw a farmer milking cows and screamed that he wanted milk. When Catherine approached the farmer to purchase some milk, he asks who she is, and following her answer, he refuses. While still living in the mansion, Catherine had to respond to the orders of the Colonel and officers who were also living with her. She was treated like a servant and called "landlady" by the men. Catherine communicated with her husband through letters which at times did not make it to the house.
Eliza Pinckney, a Patriot, had a rather large responsibility on her hands at the age of seventeen. When her mother died, Eliza was left to care for her siblings and the three plantations that her family owned. She grew several new crops and even indigo which was used as a dye and exported to other places. Eliza and her husband Charles Pinckney had three children together. Charles was also a planter, a lawyer and a political leader. Two of their three sons were involved in the Revolutionary War. They obtained the positions of General. After the death of her husband, Eliza raised her three children alone and tried to instill some sort of morality into their lives. "She constantly impressed on her children the...

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