Statue of Abigail Adams and son, John Quincy in front of their church in Quincy, Massachusetts.
For me this was an easy decision, Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts. Founding Fathers we all know and the brave men who fought in the Revolutionary War we are eternally grateful for their sacrifices. But what we forget, because luckily it truly hasn’t happened on a national scale since, is that the Revolutionary War touched the lives of not just the brave men on the battlefield but those left behind to carry-on everyday life in their absence. Foreign soldiers marched through countryside and towns alike, forcibly staying with families and helping themselves to food and supplies.
Every women left behind was expected to not only continue her every day life and duties but to assume those of her husband or father as well. Running the family farm or family business, schooling the children, cooking, cleaning, Church, and the endless list that was every day life in the Seventeenth Century colonial America. It is easy to forget about those left behind while George Washington and the Revolutionary Army battled Great Britain but by forgetting those left behind we dishonor their sacrifices and contributions which were as great as those who fought.
The book gives you a brief but thorough glimpse into the lives of famous women whose sacrifices made this nation possible. Were they the only women who sacrificed? Absolutely not, but they are the only women whose writings and public standing have survived the test of time. I don’t think their elevated social standing diminishes their struggle or elevates them above anyone else. I simply think the lives portrayed in the book illustrate the struggle the entire country faced while war raged and the inevitable pregnancies that followed while fighting was suspended.
I highly recommend the book. It is easy to read and more importantly, leaves you wanting to know more about the amazing women it portrays.