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Women in George Washington's World

Edited by Charlene M. Boyer Lewis and George W. Boudreau
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George Washington lived in an age of revolutions, during which he faced political upheaval, war, economic change, and social shifts. These revolutions affected American women in profound ways, and the women Washington knew—personally, professionally, and politically—lived lives that reveal these multifaceted transformations. Although Washington often operated in male-dominated arenas, he participated in complex and meaningful relationships with women from across society.

A lively and accessibly written volume, Women in George Washington’s World highlights some of the women—Black and white, free and enslaved—whom Washington knew. Women who admired and memorialized him, women who provided him love and solace, women who frustrated him, and women who worked for or against him—all of these women are chronicled through their own experiences and identities. The essays, written by established and emerging historians of gender, reveal the lives of a diverse group of women, including plantation mistresses and enslaved workers, Loyalists and Patriots, poets and socialites, as well as mothers, wives, and sisters. Collectively, women emerge as strong actors during the American Revolution and its aftermath, not merely passive spectators or occasional participants. Although usually not on battlefields or in government offices, women made choices and acted in ways that affected their own, their families’, and sometimes even the nation’s future.

Contributors:James Basker, The Gilder-Lehrman Foundation * George W. Boudreau, The MacNeil Center * Charlene M. Boyer Lewis, Kalamazoo College * Ann Bay Goddin, independent scholar * Sara Georgini, Massachusetts Historical Society * Kate Haulman, American University * Cynthia A. Kierner, George Mason University * Lynn Price Robbins, independent scholar * Samantha Snyder, George Washington’s Mount Vernon * Mary V. Thompson, George Washington’s Mount Vernon