Molly Pitcher aka Mary Ludwig Hays, American Revolution 

Molly Pitcher was born Mary Ludwig around about October 13, 1754, near Trenton, New Jersey. During the American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth, she carried pitchers of water to soldiers, thereby earning her nickname. After her husband collapsed during the battle, she took over the operation of his cannon.

Since various Molly Pitcher tales have been told, many historians regard Molly Pitcher as folklore rather than history. They suggest that Molly Pitcher may be an image inspired by the actions of a number of real women. The name itself may have originated as a nickname given to women who carried water to men on the battlefield during War.


Hannah White Arnett, Daughter of the American Revolution

Hannah White Arnett (1733–1823) was an American woman who is known for preventing a group of men in Elizabethtown, New Jersey from proclaiming their loyalty to Great Britain in exchange for “protection of life and property.” It is reported that she heard the men, who were meeting in her house, talking about this offer, she called them cowards and traitors. Although Isaac, her husband, tried to get her out of the room, she insisted that she would leave her husband if he did not continue to support the American Revolution. 
On July 13, 1890, after the Sons of the American Revolution refused to allow women to join their group, Mary Smith Lockwood published the story of Hannah White Arnett in the Washington Post. On July 21 of that year, William O. McDowell, a great-grandson of Hannah White Arnett, published an article in the Washington Post offering to help form a society to be known as the Daughters of the American Revolution. The first meeting of the society was held August 9, 1890.
A memorial “honoring the patriotic dead of many wars laid to rest in this hallowed ground especially a noble woman Hannah White Arnett” was erected in 1938 in the cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church, in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  It was placed there by the Boudinot Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This is the cemetery where Arnett was buried. Another marker on the wall of that cemetery, which is now illegible, read in part, “Near here rests Hannah White Arnett…Her patriotic words, uttered in the dark days of 1776, summoned discouraged men to keep Elizabethtown loyal to the cause of American independence.” 
The Hannah White Arnett Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was named after her. It is a Fort Payne, Alabama chapter.

Constitution Hall, Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC

Constitution Hall was built in 1929 and designed by John Russell Pope. The Hall is home to the Daughters of the American Revolution also known as DAR. 

Since 1930, members of the DAR have come to Constitution Hall to conduct business and elect new officers during their annual convention called Continental Congress. 

The cornerstone was laid by Mrs. Calvin Coolidge on October 30, 1928, using the trowel George Washington used to lay the cornerstone at the Capital in 1793. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended events at DAR Constitution Hall.

On January 7, 1943, Marian Anderson sang at Constitution Hall and segregated seating was not in effect that night-a first for Washington, DC. Anderson later returned for her emotionally charged Farewell Recital at Constitution Hall. Her performance held great musical importance and she concluded her performance with African American spirituals. 

The Hall had a glass ceiling with a view of the stars until the 1950’s.

 In 1967,the Daughters Of The American Revolution (DAR) refused Joan Baez the permission to play at their Constitution Hall because of her strong anti- war views. When news of the refusal recieved coverage in the press, Secretary of the Interior Mo Udall gave Baez permission to play an outdoor concert at the base of the Washington Monument. It is reported that approximately 30,000 people came to hear her sing.

In 1985, the Department of the Interior designated the building a National Historic Landmark due to its national recognition as a center for the performing arts. It has a seating capacity of 3,702, DAR Constitution Hall is the largest concert hall in Washington, D.C. 

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 

The DAR was founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, and preserving American history and education. 

It is one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR has over 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. 

Martha Washington

Martha was born on June 2, 1731, making her 8 months older than George Washington. She was born at Chestnut Grove plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, which is roughly 35 miles from the colonial capital of Williamsburg. Martha was the first of eight children born to John Dandridge and Frances Jones.

Unlike the majority of women  in Virginia, Martha learned to read and write at an early age. Throughout her entire life, Martha found pleasure and solace in reading. She read the Bible and other devotional literature for religious edification and novels and magazines for entertainment and instruction. Martha was also known as a regular and active letter writer, and a collection of her surviving letters are housed in the collections of the Mount Vernon library. She was married to her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis was nearly twenty years older than Martha.  Custis guaranteed his own financial future as well as that of his future heirs–and of Martha herself by waiting until later in life to marry a woman his father approved of. 

Martha’s marriage to Daniel Parke Custis, who died on July 8, 1757, lasted just over seven years and she gave birth to four children during the marriage. 

As a pretty, young, wealthy widow, Martha Dandridge Custis owned nearly 300 slaves and had more than 17,500 acres of land when she met George Washington. 

The attraction between George and Martha was powerful. George stood at over six feet two inches tall and was an imposing figure with a formidable reputation as a military leader. George had inherited the Mount Vernon estate from his elder half-brother Lawrence who passed away in 1752, following the death of Lawrence’s daughter Sarah in 1754.
Washington resigned his military commission. On January 6, 1759, less than ten months after their initial meeting and less than eighteen months after her husband’s death, Martha Dandridge Custis married George Washington at her home in New Kent County. 

After Washington left Mount Vernon in 1775, he would not return again for over six years. Every year, during the long winter months when the fighting was at a standstill, the General asked Martha to join him at his winter encampment.

During the Revolutionary War, Martha made the arduous journey to George’s camp, whether it was at Cambridge, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Morristown, Newburgh, or elsewhere. She stayed with him for months at a time. In fact, during the period from April 1775 until December 1783 Martha was able to be with her husband for almost half the time he was away. The General regarded his wife’s presence as so essential to the cause that he sought reimbursement from Congress for her traveling expenses.
Washington felt that his wife’s presence was important. Many guests enjoyed refreshments, talked with each other, and mingled. Most people called her “Lady Washington,” or “our Lady Presidentess.”

Under the provisions of his will, George Washington declared that the 123 slaves that he owned outright (separate from the dower slaves that would be distributed among the Custis heirs) were to gain their freedom after his wife’s death. There was a fear that these slaves could revolt and kill Martha in order to gain their freedom. Rumors circulated about a suspicious fire at Mount Vernon that may have been set by slaves.

Fearing for her life, Martha, at the urging of relatives, decided to free her deceased husband’s slaves immediately. On January 1, 1801, a bit more than a year after George’s death, Washington’s slaves gained their liberty.
Martha’s death brought the Custis heirs even greater riches. Each of Martha’s four grandchildren received substantial amounts of land and money that been held in trust for them for years. They each received a share of “dower slaves,” the descendants of the slaves once owned by Martha’s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis. In 1831, after being moved from Mount Vernon’s old tomb to the new tomb, Martha’s remains were placed into a marble sarcophagus that stands near her husband’s at Mount Vernon. 

Rosie the Riveter

“Rosie the Riveter,” was a U.S. government campaign aimed at recruiting women for the munitions industry. 

She became one of the most iconic images of working women during the war. American women entered the workforce during World War II after a widespread male enlistment left gaping holes in the industrial labor force. 

Between 1940 and 1945, the female percentage of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home. 

Heritage: Brother Jonathan 

American Heritage and Brother Jonathan

Brother Jonathan is the national personification and emblem of New England and was also used as an emblem of the USA. The term “Brother Jonathan” probably came into use during the American War for Independence. Brother Jonathan is a fictional character developed as a good-natured parody of all New England during the early American Republic. He was widely popularized by the weekly newspaper Brother Jonathan and the humor magazine Yankee Notions. 

The phrase “we must consult Brother Jonathan” is attributed to Gen. George Washington to celebrate the part that the northern colonies played for independence from Great Britain.

After 1865, Brother Jonathan was emulated by Uncle Sam. 

Heritage: Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a work of art known as “Liberty Enlightening the World.” In French: “La Liberté éclairant le monde.” It is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States. 

The copper statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States and was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. 

The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.The Statue of Liberty is a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess. She holds a torch above her head, and in her left arm carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), which is the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. 

The statue became an icon of freedom and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving in America. 

Heritage: Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty is an important part of American Heritage. She is a goddess named for and representing the concept of Liberty. In American culture, we have the American Columbia and the Statue of Liberty. The use of Lady Liberty was chosen over Columbia.

In the United States, “Liberty” typically has five-pointed stars and usually depicts one raised hand with the other hand holding a sword pointing downward. 

The most common and famous of depictions of Lady Liberty is the monumental Statue of Liberty, created as “Liberty Enlightening the World.”