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Any time while I was a slave, if one minute's freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it — just to stand one minute on God's earth a free woman — I would.
Elizabeth Freeman

Across the new United States, enslaved people questioned their statuses in the midst of the American Revolution. In Massachusetts, a woman named Elizabeth Freeman, or "Mumbet," used the words of the new state constitution to sue for her freedom. With lawyer Theodore Sedgwick, she argued that as an inhabitant of the new state she had been illegally held in bondage. In 1781, she won her case, helping set a precedent that led to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.

Watch the Performance

"Meet Elizabeth Freeman" stars Tiffany Bacon as Elizabeth Freeman and was written by Teresa Miller for the Museum of the American Revolution as part of the Museum's 2020-21 past special exhibition, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807.

Go Behind the Scenes

Go behind the scenes of the making, scripting, and performing of the first-person theatrical performance, "Meet Elizabeth Freeman," with actress Tiffany Bacon, writer Teresa Miller, and the Museum's Visitor Engagement Supervisor Meg Bowersox.

The performance and behind the scenes videos were produced by Veracity Studios and the Museum of the American Revolution. The Museum produced two original first-person theatrical performances in conjunction with the 2020-21 past special exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807, that dramatize the different experiences and perspectives of two women of the period, Elizabeth Freeman and Rebecca VanDike.

This performance was made possible through the generosity of David and Kim Adler.

Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal are presenting sponsors of When Women Lost the Vote. Other support was provided by The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The exhibition was also made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

When Women Lost the Vote Exhibit Sponsorship Lockup

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story

October 2, 2020 - April 25, 2021
When Women Lost the Vote explored the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters and examined the political conflicts that led to their voting rights being stripped away.
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Virtual Exhibits

With our virtual exhibitions, including our When Women Lost the Vote virtual exhibit, the Museum continues to uncover and share compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment.
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"Meet Rebecca VanDike" Performance

Watch the original first-person theatrical performance portraying Rebecca VanDike, an early woman voter in New Jersey, produced in conjunction with our 2020-21 past special exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote.
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