Monday, January 28, 2008

Birthing a Nation

In today’s Post-Gazette (

“…women vital to the birth of America

It’s an interview with history professor Holly A. Mayer

Here’s a bit from the article:

“…there wouldn't be a United States of America today if it hadn't been for the women

…the army could not have sustained itself for eight long years -- it [the Revolutionary War] was America's longest war until Vietnam -- without the women who followed the troops…How do you keep people in the field and keep them fighting for eight years?

Another misconception Dr. Mayer has fought against is the notion that most of the women who followed the army were prostitutes

… prostitution depends on cash, and by and large, soldiers in the Continental Army were too poor to offer prostitutes much steady employment, she said. "If prostitutes were going to follow any army then, they would have followed the British Army, because they got paid in good, hard currency."

Most of the women who traveled with the American army were wives, concubines or daughters of soldiers, her research has shown.

By the time of the Valley Forge encampment in late 1777, records suggested there might have been one woman in American camps for every 30 to 35 enlisted men.”

1 comment:

  1. I was just coming to blog about this! The book is now on my list at the Carnegie Library. I just finished this little biography of little known Pennsylvania heronines, including several "camp followers" who actually soldiered when men fell in battle. Very inspiring.