Dicey Langston

South Carolina Revolutionary War Patriot

Laodicea Langston, Dicey as her friends and family called her, was the daughter of Solomon and Sarah Bennett Langston of Laurens District, South Carolina. She was born May 14, 1766, on her father’s plantation. Dicey’s mother died when she was a little girl, and she was raised by her father and brothers. She was described as of below medium height, dark-eyed, proud, imperious, and high-spirited. She was also considered graceful and attractive in appearance and in manner.

When the Revolutionary War began, Dicey’s brothers left the plantation to fight with the Continental Army. They camped in the forest with a small band of Patriots, so the plantation wouldn’t suffer the consequences of their patriotism. To save the family from difficulties, they visited only infrequently in secret. Through it all, they managed to maintain communication with Dicey, who had become an outspoken patriot along with her brothers.

Read Article

Rachel Walker Revere

American Patriot and Wife of Paul Revere

Image: Rachel Walker Revere
By Gilbert Stuart

Rachel Walker was born in Boston, December 27, 1745. Born in Boston’s North End in December, 1734, Paul Revere was the son of Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot immigrant, and Deborah Hichborn, daughter of a local artisan family. Rivoire, who changed his name to Revere some time after immigrating, was a goldsmith, and eventually the head of a large household. Paul Revere was the second of at least nine, possibly as many as twelve children, and the eldest surviving son.

Paul was educated at the North Writing School and learned the art of gold and silversmithing from his father. When Paul was nineteen (and nearly finished with his apprenticeship) his father died, leaving Paul as the family’s main source of income.

Read Article

Dorcas Nelson

American Patriot and Wife of Colonel Richard Richardson

Image: Marion Crossing the Pee Dee
By William Ranney
Scene during the Revolutionary War showing General Francis Marion and his men on a raft crossing the Pee Dee River in South Carolina. Marion led a small force that employed the tactics of guerilla warfare, wreaking havoc on the British. The success of Marion’s motley crew depended on its mobility, on changing camps constantly and on fighting at night.

Dorcas Nelson was the daughter of Captain John Nelson of South Carolina, a native of Ireland. The ferry over the Santee River, established and kept for several years by her parents, is still called Nelson’s Ferry; and many of their descendants continue to live on both sides of the river.

Read Article

Anne Hulton

British Loyalist in the American Colonies

Image: Shot Heard ‘Round The World

Anne Hulton was a sister of Boston’s commissioner of customs and, like some 15 to 35 percent of the white colonial population, a British Loyalist. Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to Great Britain during and after the Revolutionary War. They were often referred to as Tories, Royalists, or King’s Men by the Patriots, those who supported the American cause.

Most of what is known about Anne Hulton comes from the letters she wrote to her friend Elizabeth Lightbody between 1763 and 1776. Of Hulton’s published letters the most frequently studied have been those written during 1767-1776, collected in Letters of a Loyalist Lady (1927). Scholars first noticed Hulton through her brother, Henry Hulton, who was a commissioner of customs (a tax officer) in Boston during the nine years preceding Revolutionary War.

The letters offer a firsthand view of political relations in the prewar period, as well as Loyalist views of the American Revolution. They also chronicle the everyday life of an upper-class eighteenth-century woman in colonial America, and they portray a friendship between two women who worry about one another’s health, share news of friends and relations, and maintain their correspondence even in wartime.

Hulton’s work offers the modern reader insight into various facets of life in the colonies: social relations, gossip and fashions; agricultural practices, observations on native plants and animals and domestic economy; diseases and cures; and the family ties and responsibilities of single women in the eighteenth century.

Anne Hulton’s birth date is unknown. E. Alfred Jones has noted that her father was John Hulton of Chester and that she never married. She did, however, become an important member of her brother’s growing family, which consisted of Henry, his wife, Elizabeth, and the four sons whose births were noted in Hulton’s letters.

In September 1767, Anne announced two exciting events: Henry Hulton’s appointment to a post in the colonies and the birth of his first child. Henry and his wife wanted Anne to accompany them to their new home, and he had promised to take good care of her there. She also laid out her intentions to do something productive in the colonies. She planned to establish herself as either a merchant or planter.

Henry Hulton left England ahead of his family, arriving in Boston in November 1767. Anne Hulton left for the colonies early in 1768, traveling with Elizabeth and baby Thomas. On her arrival in Massachusetts five weeks later, Hulton got a clearer view of political life there, which presumably deflated her ideas of becoming a tradeswoman.

Read Article

Elizabeth Lewis

Founding Father Francis Lewis

Wife of Francis Lewis: Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Like other signers of the Declaration of Independence, Francis Lewis was condemned by the British authorities, and a price was put on his head. While Lewis was attending the Continental Congress in the autumn of 1776, British troops destroyed the Lewis estate on Long Island and arrested Elizabeth Lewis, taking her to prison New York City. She never recovered from the inhuman treatment she received at the hands of the British.

Not much is known of Elizabeth Annesley’s early life or her ancestors, but there is evidence of her high character and undaunted spirit. Francis Lewis was the son of a Welsh clergyman of the Church of England. He lost both of his parents at the age of 4 and was raised by a maiden aunt. He was educated in Scotland and England.

Read Article

Sarah Tarrant

Civil Disobedience in Salem, Massachusetts

Thirty-year-old nurse Sarah Tarrant bravely challenged the British soldiers who occupied her town in February 1775.

In November of 1774, Colonel David Mason was commissioned by the Patriots of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety as an artillery officer. He had some experience in this during the French and Indian War at Fort William Henry. At the end of the war in 1763, he had formed an artillery company in Boston, Massachusetts. He had bought 17 old French cannon, 12-pounders, and was having them refit and mounted on carriages in Salem, Massachusetts.

Read Article

Mary Gould Almy

Loyalist Woman in the American Revolution

Mary Gould was born in 1735 in Newport, Rhode Island. Benjamin Almy was born on December 16, 1724. Mary Gould married Benjamin Almy on October 22, 1762 at Trinity Church in Newport – his church. She was a Quaker; he was Anglican.

When sides were chosen over the issue of American Independence, Mary remained loyal to the crown. Benjamin joined the patriot cause, as did some of Mary’s other relatives. And like hundreds of other Newport volunteers, he left his wife and family behind and joined the Patriot army. Her diary is addressed to him.

Read Article

Deborah Champion

American Patriot

Image: Cloak Worn by Deborah Champion
Deborah wrote to a friend, including in her letter descriptions of the clothing she wore, including this scarlet cloak made of camlet, a fabric of Asian origin, originally made of silk and camel’s hair.

In September 1775, twenty-two-year-old Deborah Champion of New London, Connecticut, was asked by her father, Henry Champion – the Continental Army’s commissary general – to deliver messages from her father to General George Washington in Boston. Riding on horseback with the family slave Aristarchus as an escort, Deborah headed north up the Quinebaug Valley to Canterbury, then east to Pomfret, crossing enemy lines in Massachusetts.

Read Article

Rachel Silverthorn

Heroine of Fort Muncy

During the Revolutionary War, settlements throughout the Susquehanna Valley in north central Pennsylvania were attacked by Loyalists (Americans loyal to England) and Native Americans allied with the British. In the early summer of 1778, news came of a group of Native American warriors, perhaps accompanied by Loyalist and British soldiers, heading for the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to destroy settlements there.

Image: Rachel Silverthorn’s Ride
This mural is in United States Post Office Building in Muncy, Pennsylvania.
It depicts Rachel on Captain Brady’s white horse warning settlers to return to the fort.

There were many smaller incidents of violence against settlers in the area, but on June 10,1778, a party of sixteen settlers were attacked in what became known as the Plum Tree Massacre. Twelve of the sixteen were killed and scalped, including two women and six children. This news caused the local authorities to order the evacuation of the whole West Branch Valley.

Read Article

Hannah Harrington Clark

American Patriot & Heroine of Hornet’s Nest

Image: Recreated Clark Cabin
Elijah Clark State Park
Lincolnton, Georgia

Hannah Harrington, born around 1737, was one of the great women of the American Revolution. Elijah Clark (or Clarke) was born 1733 in Edgecomb County, North Carolina, and was the son of Elizabeth Darden, who was the niece of George Washington and the second wife of Governor Stephen Heard. Hannah Harrington married Elijah Clark around 1763.

In 1774, Hannah and Elijah moved to Wilkes County in upper Georgia, because of the availability of new lands. They settled in an area that became known as the Hornet’s Nest, which was several miles northwest of Fort Heard, between the roads leading from the Broad River and Cherokee Corner to Augusta. Hannah was a large muscular woman whose every movement showed efficiency.

Read Article