In eighteenth-century America, information about a woman’s life and accomplishments was very difficult to discover, but some woman were avid letter writers or devoted journal keepers, and thankfully some of those letters and journals were saved. These woman include Mary Gray Bidwell, a quiet country woman who had a front row seat on the war and the formation of the new nation. Elizabeth Edwards Burr whose husband founded Princeton University and her son was the second Vice President of the United States (and tried for treason). Lavinia Deane Fisk, widowed during the Revolutionary War, her second marriage triggered a fire storm that led to a revolutionary war in the Congregational Church. The Widow Bingham who fought to live as a man becoming the first woman to have a tavern license, build a business substantial enough to send her son to college and serve on formerly all-male civic committees. Abigail Williams Sergeant Dwight, a Tory: the story of the Royalists during the War is not often told. The war years changed the lives of each of these women and perhaps their lives changed our new country.
A resident of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Carole Owens is the author of seven books, three newspaper columns, and numerous feature articles. As a local historian, Owens was named Scholar in Residence by the Massachusetts Council on the Humanities Market.