Yet Another Pesky, Patriotic American Woman
Some plants die in the shadow of a larger, more powerful plant. Others thrive. Take Sarah Franklin Bach. You might know her father, Ben. He was involved in politics. Worked on that little thing called a Constitution. Liked to fly kites in electrical storms. Yes, that Ben.
Sarah was a chip off the old block. At a time when women were barely more than wives and mothers, the war for independence called to them. And American men, being smarter than their counterparts elsewhere, recognized the value of the feminine contribution to the effort. Even Lord Cornwallis grudgingly accepted that his men weren’t fighting just farmers with pitchforks and sickles, but that they were fighting the wives as well.
He didn’t say that jokingly. American women were different. They were feisty and uncontrollable. England mocked them, but always with a nervous tug at the collar.
Sarah, of course, grew up in an educated, opinionated household. Often acting as the hostess for her father’s gatherings, she picked up more than her womanly share of political information. When war finally broke out between the Colonials and their King, Sarah was one of the first women to jump into the fray. She immediately joined The Ladies Association of Philadelphia, a patriotic organization aimed at raising funds for Gen. Washington’s pitifully outfitted army. When the group’s organizer passed away, again Sarah stepped up. As the new leader of this unsung group, Sarah motivated the ladies to raise over $300,000! That’s money even politicians today wouldn’t snub.
Back then, it was the equivalent of well over $3 million!
Perhaps Sarah’s greatest contribution is the fact that her group managed to sew over 2,000 shirts AND deliver them to the troops at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78.
Samuel Adams, of the Sons of Liberty, the group responsible for the Boston Tea Party, reportedly said, “With the ladies on our side, we can make every Tory tremble.” Now that’s a heritage to be proud of.
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