Women's History Month
Women's History Month Book Features
Finding Freedom: Andrew - Record of Marriage
Andrew Ferguson married Jenny (or Jinny) Murphey in Monroe County, Indiana, in 1844. According to the 1850 United States Census for Monroe County, Jenny (listed on the census as Jane Ferguson) was born in Maryland.
Monroe County History Center Collection, Bloomington, IN
Season of Independence: Charlestown, South Carolina Grand Jury Presentments, April 23, 1776
This documentation of Grand Jury Presentments in Charlestown, South Carolina makes numerous legal arguments for why South Carolina and other American colonies would be justified in dissolving their connection to Great Britain. Also included are various grievances against King George III and Parliament, similar to those that were later included in the Declaration of Independence when it was adopted by Congress.
Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History
Finding Freedom: London - Robert Pleasants’s Letter to Benedict Arnold
On January 30, 1781, London’s former owner, Robert Pleasants, wrote this letter to British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, the American turncoat. Pleasants described how he valued London and wanted him to be returned. Soldiers from Arnold’s army had encamped near Pleasants’s plantation, called “Curles Neck,” earlier that month and may have persuaded London and his uncle, Carter Jack, to join them. London never returned to the Pleasants’s plantation.
Robert Pleasants Letterbook, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary
Cost of Revolution: Part 3 Wounded Veteran
Finding Freedom: Deborah - George Washington’s Letter to Lund Washington
On April 30, 1781, General George Washington wrote this letter to Lund Washington, his cousin and farm manager, to express his disgust with Lund Washington’s decision to supply the British when they came to Mount Vernon earlier that month. In General Washington’s absence, Lund Washington convinced the British to spare the plantation from being destroyed by providing them with food and supplies. General Washington wrote in response, “It would have been a less painful circumstance to me, to have heard…they had burnt my House, & laid the Plantation in Ruins.” Lund Washington’s negotiation saved the property, but General Washington felt his honor had been tarnished by giving in to the enemy. The departure of 17 enslaved people, including Deborah, only worsened Washington’s embarrassment. Although the British left Washington’s plantation untouched, they burned many neighboring properties.
George Washington Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Picturing Washington's Army: Verplanck’s Point
Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s watercolor of the encampment at Verplanck’s Point (August-October 1782) depicts the Continental Army at its professional best. Wooden bowers, or shades made of tree branches, decorated the long line of soldiers’ tents. Washington’s marquee tent stood on a hill where it “towered, predominant” over the camp, as one eyewitness put it.
For a month, the Continental troops at Verplanck’s Point gathered firewood for the coming winter and drilled for the next campaign. On September 22, the Continental Army demonstrated their fighting readiness for French forces marching from Virginia through the Hudson Highlands. One astonished French officer admired the transformation of an army that had “formerly had no other uniform than a cap, on which was written Liberty.”
Image: Museum of the American Revolution, Gift of the Landenberger Family Foundation
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: PLG - Chester Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, October 1807
Chester Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, October 1807
This is a transcription of a poll list from a state election held at a schoolhouse in Moorestown, Chester Township, in October 1807. This list of voters includes the names of 38 women that cast their ballots just one month before the New Jersey State Legislature passed a bill defining voters as white, male citizens. The closing of the electorate effectively stripped the vote from women and free people of color in New Jersey.
A number of voters on this list have yet to be identified. As the Museum of the American Revolution continues its research, please contact us if you know more about any of the voters. Share your research with us.